Whilst in Cascais, we decided to take a trip by train into Lisbon for a day of sightseeing. We seem to have been tied to the boat, getting on top of all the jobs that constantly take priority. We got the train and luckily sat opposite a student who told us where to change trains in order to be able to get a ‘hop on hop off’ open top bus around the old town. We felt like real tourists with our ear plugs in listening to the guided tour and cameras snapping away…..quite a change from the daily boat maintenance schedule!

Bus top view of Lisbon

Bus top view of Lisbon

We hadn’t read up about Lisbon and were surprised to hear that it was totally demolished by an earthquake and tsunami at the end of the 18th century. The centre was rebuilt in a matter of years in an early conveyor belt way ….. all the stones were cut to the same size from the same quarry and the buildings built to the same dimensions on a grid layout. The more important buildings have a lot more individuality and are covered in tiles or have impressive frescos.

The Bull ring ..... in Portugal they don't kill the bulls, we were told?!

The Bull ring ….. in Portugal they don’t kill the bulls, we were told?!

Hopping off the bus we came across squares which are used for exhibitions or meeting and eating.

An exhibition square with loads of international cafes and the castle in the background.

An exhibition square with loads of international cafes and the castle in the background.

Very quirky-arty cafe

Very quirky-arty cafe

On the front of the bar in the same cafe.

On the front of the bar in the same cafe.

We stopped at one for lunch and with our lack of Portuguese, managed to order Marcus the large beer…..our sign language was clearly bigger than we realised!

This is called a Girafe! Not what he thought he'd asked for, but a man's gotta do..........

This is called a Girafe! Not what he thought he’d asked for, but a man’s gotta do……….

Aaaaaaagh!

Aaaaaaagh!

We managed to negotiate the trains back to Cascais, but sadly Marcus left his Tilly hat on the train and despite our best efforts with the lost property office to trace it, someone now has a well-travelled addition to their wardrobe!

SEIXAL

We spent another couple of days at anchor in Cascais, during which time our water maker’s electric motor decided to overheat to the point where smoke was filling the cabin! I’m sure Island Kea has ADHD and decides to misbehave to get our attention when we leave her alone!
We decided that mending it could wait until we got to Seixal and were safely tucked up in a river, sheltered from the imminent southerly gales that were forecast. The 15 mile trip round here, last Tuesday was completed in thick fog….thank goodness for AIS! ….We were able to track one of the massive cruise liners coming out of Lisbon, that passed within half a mile of us…..we could hear her fog horn, but close as we were, we couldn’t see her.

Luckily, as we came in under the suspension bridge, the fog cleared and we could see the buoyed channel and easily navigated the shallows up to Seixal.

IK Moored behind the barge with the sloping mast.

IK Moored behind the barge with the sloping mast.

We have been moored up next to a traditional barge for the last 6 days as the tail end of this tropical storm blows itself through. These are the first strong winds and rain we have had since June and has come as a bit of a shock, but at least it’s warm.

The fishing pontoon we're moored to ...... the weather isn't a;ways good!!

The fishing pontoon we’re moored to …… the weather isn’t always good!!

Marcus spent a day trying to separate our hot headed motor from the hydraulic pump, to no avail, so we took the whole thing off its hull mounting, loaded it into the dinghy and took it up the river to a local boatyard.

Once the electrician had been woken up, he met us at the quay and took the motor to his battered white van, that was fitted out as a workshop… He had all the gear and seemed to have some idea! The upshot is that the motor has to be rewound and is in the hands of another company and we are waiting for their quote…..everything takes time and money! Hopefully they won’t keep us waiting too long as we need to be making our way south as soon as weather permits.

Meanwhile we are enjoying life here attached to the land…. (well almost, once we’ve scrambled across the barge), with electricity and water and a small village at the end of the pontoon.

On Wednesday evening we had a meal with Loic and Marie aboard Maloiva, who were moored outside us, and then walked over to the village square and had a game on Boules until bedtime!

The village square that became our boules piste for the evening

The village square that became our boules piste for the evening

The harbour master and local people are very helpful and welcoming and the local fishermen, whose pontoon we are sharing, gave us three grey mullet from their catch. Marcus descaled, gutted and filleted them (the fish, not the fishermen!) on the pontoon and then they offered him a bucket full of small crabs that they said they ate with beer. We tried them for lunch….very tasty, but too fiddly by far for very little meat, so they were destined for the stock pot.

The bucket of crabs before crunching.

The bucket of crabs before crunching.

They wouldn’t accept any money, so we left a few beers on their boat by way of thanks.
Marcus cooked up the crabs, pulverised them with a wooden mallet, added wine and whiskey and boiled the stock. Once cooked he strained the juice and reduced it into a sauce. The mullet fillets were marinated in lemon, ginger and garlic. Mmmmmmm!!

Ingredients for our dinner, minus the Johnny Walker bottle.

Ingredients for our dinner, minus the Johnny Walker bottle.

Magnus, Sarah, Mike and Kate, (on Maimai and Right Turn) who are also tucked up here out of the wind,came aboard for dinner. Another very tasty meal at ‘Hayward’s the Floating Restaurant’.

1 Comment

  1. John and Deborah

    Hi guys. Enjoying reading your account. A great pice of writing about your experiences finding me oscillating between envy and pity (true). Haven’t heard much about music making on board. Hope Dan can remedy that before long. Stay safe and fair winds.
    Love john and Deborah.

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