We had a relaxing day in Cascais, enlivened by the arrival of visitors Tamsin Isaacs and friend Alex, who took us through the streets of Cascais to have breakfast in the delightful House of Wonders. this colourful cafe serves a wonderful array of vegetarian and fruitarian treats. In the light of tummy troubles I opted for the safe option of a big bowl of yoghurt, wisely refusing the granola, but for better or worse still had the mango chunks Of course coffee was out of the question - orange and maracuja is lovely.
Later on we completed port formalities ad paid or fees, receiving a presentation bottle of wine as a welcome gift. Outside the heavens opened briefly - November weather had arrived.
With the lure of the big blue and white lighthouse nearby, I set off to explore and sketch. The Farol Santa Marta lighthouse museum was excellent with great displays of Fresnel lenses to focus light. Amazing how a small light bulb can be concentrated into a bright bean to sweep across the sea. Next door is a fascinating palace or mansion house, with lovely walls of blue painted tiles showing great scenes, ad little balconies out over the rocky inlet giving views of the lighthouse.
Across the inlet a convenient cafe gave a great view of both buildings, and sheltered from the rain showers I settled down to sketch. Midway a cheese omelette seemed a good idea (although medics please note that I didn't touch the salad!)
I made it back to the boat just as the sun set dramatically behind the lighthouse,
Tomorrow, all being well, we will probably set off on our 3 day voyage towards Madeira. We take individual watches of 4 hours over the lengthening night, trying to keep the sails trimmed for maximum speed, but motoring if the wind falls too light.
Our battery banks give us about 6 hours operation at the power consumption of the freezer, autopilot and other instruments at night, and longer in the day with the solar panels. If it's very windy the wind generator makes a big input, but with the wind behind us at moderate strength it doesn't keep up at night. A water driven version is supposed to get round this, but that we do not have. So often we run the diesel generator for an hour or so to get everything charged up - it can be a surprise to those asleep in t forward cabin to have that leap into life under the bunk. Sorry about that Niall - should have warned you !