As one chapter closes

So here we are, out of the water in the yard, with a nice clean bottom, jobs done and ready for a new set of travels. But the future travels that Kuta will make will not be ours they will belong to somebody else.

Two and a half years ago we made a momentous decision to sell up and buy a boat and now we have made another decision. Our sailing chapter has ended and a crew will arrive later today to take Kuta back to the uk to be sold.

It has not been an easy decision for either of us but it has been a joint decision and one that we are happy with.

Having Kuta has enabled us to create some very cherished memories, have some wonderful experiences and meet some amazing people. But all that aside it has not been without its stresses and strains, be those financial, emotional or mental, and for my part the constant fear that I feel through my own lack of experience is one that I have struggled to overcome. Craig has his own reasons but they are his share if he chooses. But be assured there are no regrets.

Neither of us are the same people who sailed off in 2017 and if anything despite the tough times we are stronger now than we ever were, individually and jointly.

So, as this chapter closes on our lives we can both look back with pride and say ‘we did that’, and as the page turns a new chapter begins in a new house in a new county with new experiences to be had, new memories to be made and new people to meet.

Thank you to those who have continued to show us love and support throughout this journey, it has meant the world.

So there you have it and for one last time this is Kuta Of Carrick out x

Reaching Lagos

After two nights in Albufeira Marina (hooray a marina!), we have now reached Lagos where we will spend two nights before the boat is lifted.

Albufeira (in my opinion) is a toilet, although that’s not what I called it, but it served its purpose – Lagos is somewhat different.

The journey here was pretty uneventful until we got to the river leading to the marina. Then it was like the M25 Of waterways, boats everywhere going in all directions and a real hubbub of activity. As we were approaching the bridge, which you have to wait to open so you can pass under, we were met by the GC32 racing boats who were going down the river out to sea for one of their races. Wow they were pretty spectacular.

They are basically the mini America’s Cup training/development boats

And on the GB Red Bull boat, none other than Sir Ben Ainslie! Probably some other famous racing peeps as well, but hey who cares, I saw Sir Ben Ainslie.

Last night we went to The Lighthouse restaurant so Cliff could have the pie he’s been waiting for for the last few weeks. Craig said it’s the best steak pie he’s ever had – well there’s a recommendation!

And then at 10 a band came on, and in fairness they were great – there was a good old singalong to some old school rock classics, and Craig was strumming his air guitar with the best of them – sadly the video won’t load for some reason.

The marina itself is a hubbub of bars and restaurants and there is a really nice atmosphere, but ooh it’s hot, hot, hot. So, so far so good, and on today’s agenda, an all day breakfast, formula one, and sundowners at a bar where they’ll be a jazz trombonist playing. All is well with the world.

Tomorrow, well another new experience looms, watching AWOL and Kuta being lifted from the water and living on the boat for two days whilst it’s sat in a cradle on the hard – if life gave us one new experience every day that wouldn’t be too bad would it.

x

What a difference a day makes

This morning the bay is like a mill pond, 65 boats of all shapes, sizes and nationalities floating quietly and calmly on almost still waters. Still that is until the fisherman and water taxis start their day, then there’s the sound of a swarm of bees as they cross the bay either starting their own, or ferrying others to start their day.

Whilst the fisherman, mostly, are not too bad, the aim of the water taxis seems to be to go as fast as possible and as near as possible to the yachts in their path, with the aim of creating a wake that as it thunders against the side of the boat causing the boats to bounce up and down would wake the soundest of sleepers – still I suppose everyone needs to get their kicks somehow. Yesterday a taxi driver was kind enough to indicate to Craig with an up and down arm movement as he came towards the boat – well that was kind of him, shame he couldn’t have just gone slightly in a different course so it wasn’t an issue!

We’ve been anchored here for over a week now and during that time we’ve met with fog, a bit of rain and some high winds, and of course some glorious sunshine! For six hours during gusts of up to 40 knots (46 mph) we sat on tenterhooks, constantly checking our boats position against those around us but if is one thing that we seem to have done well it is anchor and we have not suffered as some boats have with the anchor dragging. That is to say that the anchor hasn’t dug in properly and with the first gust of wind the boat has propelled backwards through the water, with the skipper desperately trying to avoid other boats in his path, and the crew desperately trying to get the anchor back up as quickly as possible so they can try the whole process again. Yes we have seen boats collide and get tangled up with another, and we have seen boats going backwards passed us at a rate of knots as they plough through the water with their anchor just scooting along the bottom of the sea bed. It’s quite funny whenever the sound of an anchor winch starts, heads bob up out of cockpits and companionways, does that familiar sound as chain rolls around winch mean a new arrival or a departure. If it’s a new arrival will they come too close to us, will they secure their anchor the first time around, or will there be an in-depth analysis of why they didn’t hold and what they did wrong. As someone leaves you watch for the amount of weed and mud you know they’re going to pull up – believe me I’ve been there and yes the weed is surely helping on the sea bed but blimey it makes a mess as you’re lifting the anchor, tangled around the chain and clinging on as if it’s life depends on it, and as it entwines itself in the anchor roller you know there’s nothing else to be done than get your hands stuck in and try and yank the stuff off. Lesson one – wear gloves!

It could be easy to get very isolated at anchor, but there’s a bar on shore and quite a few people meet up for sundowners everyday, so a dinghy is essential. That in itself makes for an interesting ride as you scoot across the bay hoping that there aren’t any water taxis coming for fear of toppling over the side as you get caught by their wake. And there’s the delights, as we had this week, of not getting back to the boat before dark, having not taken a torch and not put your anchor light on before you left – yes we are certain there’s a yacht out there with our name on it – question is will we find it?

Fortunately this was before we started having dinghy issues of our own, so yes we did find the boat and make it back safely. But now we have a dinghy where not only the outboard keeps cutting out, one of the attachments that keeps the oar on the dinghy has come unstuck. It’s sort of called the rollocks , or is that the word we used when it detached itself! So when the engine cut out on the way back to the boat yesterday, if we hadn’t been towed back by Val and Cliff one of us would have been one side of the dinghy rowing and the other using the oar as a paddle – I was all for humming the Hawaii 5 0 tune but Craig didn’t look too impressed!

So the job for today is try and fix the outboard, having already taken the whole thing apart three times and glue the dinghy back together – never a dull moment.

We are leaving the anchorage on Thursday and yippee going to a marina for a night in Albufeira, so we’re getting one step nearer to Lagos for our lift out on Monday. Currently the plan is to then anchor in Portimao bay on Friday night and then spend two nights in Lagos marina Saturday and Sunday. So there you have it, that’s the plan which as we know is all subject to change – bit like the UK weather at the moment!

Whether you have rain or shine have a great day! x

Nearly a disaster!

Waking up to this and then realising that a fishing boat is taking an evasive manoeuvre to avoid you

Where did all the other boats go and then slowly over the course of an hour they all pop back into view – it’s like a scene from the Pirates of the Caribbean as they all descend out of the fog!

Still another hour or so and the sun will be out – we can but hope!

There’s some strange goings on…

Be it an Octopus drying on a clothes line

Or a cow on a skateboard

What is there to say to either of those.

On an other note, we are in Vilamoura marina for two days to celebrate Cliff’s birthday and first things first Craig spotted a new outboard for the dinghy!!! Boys and their toys eh.

I think we’re gonna need a bigger boat!!

x

Stunning

Today we took the dinghy ashore and walked along the beach on the other side of the island and oh what a beach! Fabulous white sand, a warm breeze and lots of stops along the way picking up shells. All that was missing was a bucket and spade.

Sadly the waters too cold for something other than a toe dip, which of course I did.

And then of course before the long walk back you have to have to stop for lunch

Fab afternoon, 7km round trip, but oh the calves are going to hurt in a day or so but guess what, it will all still be there again tomorrow!

X