Our stay in Baiona

Thursday proved to be a very busy day for the team of Rally Control with the majority of the boats arriving during the day including us! The nightmare of a six and a half day crossing, as in 2003, was not repeated, for which I am mightily relieved. We spent Friday mostly doing jobs on the boat, mending the bits that went wrong. The Sailtainer is now reinstated, the first reefing line is led back in the boom and tied to the sail and the general mess below is tidied up. In the evening there was a Sangria reception for the rally, hosted by the yacht club, then we went for a group meal in a restaurant called Le Tunel. It was very good value. As the weather forecast was not very good for Saturday we chose not to go on the trip to Santiago de Compostela as we have been twice before. Instead I did domestic things like the washing! Such fun says she through gritted teeth. John connected up all the solar panels which he had already installed on the arch then he started to do battle with our satellite communications, in particular trying to get the e-mail capability sorted out. So far no luck. The weather on Sunday was even less attractive. I believe it is sunny and warm at home, it isn't here. I made a cake using the batter of a German Friendship Cake a.k.a. Hermann, which had been in the freezer at home for ages. It tuned out very well. It brightened up in the afternoon so we went for a walk around the Monte Real which comprises a battlement with watch towers at the numerous corners on a rocky promontory. There were some fantastic views, or at least there would have been if the area surrounding us hadn't been sitting beneath huge black clouds. In the evening we had the prize giving and dinner. Not surprisingly we did not feature in the top three in our group however we did win a prize for our anticipated arrival time. We might have been even closer to it if the wind hadn't piped up and sent us flying along for the last two and a half miles Monday dawned grey and damp, however we had booked ourselves on a coach trip, a guided walk up in the hills overlooking Portugal to see some watermills and watercourses built several hundred years ago, lunch and finally a trip to a vineyard where the production process was described to us. It was a very good day even if it was a bit damp. The walk was a very good workout for the knee, with a lot of up and down components on fairly rough terrain. The lunch was so good we haven't had anything to eat since we got back except a small piece of cake. I went to fill the kettle and found no water pump. John has spent the last hour in the engine compartment sorting out the problem. The electrical connections had corroded and the wires had dropped off. He has installed a spare pump so we have pumped water again. He thinks there is a good chance that he will be able to repair the old one. Tomorrow we leave for Portugal, approximately 60 miles with a fairly unpromising wind forecast. It is unlikely to be very strong and it will probably be coming from an unhelpful direction so we will either zig zag rather slowly or motor. We'll see what tomorrow brings. More soon Joyce

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