Sunday, 21 February 2016

Misfortune #2

15-17 Feb: Vilamoura

On the evening of February 15th, I finally got the new main sail and the repaired head sail. I must thank to my friend Vitor Frade and to José Wanzeller from Sailloft their help and commitment in solving the sails issue in such short time. 

For a big finale, I had to carry the two sails alone from the bus station to the boat. It was a hard task due to the weight and size of the bags, but I made it. After all the physical effort, I thought it might be a good idea to offer a treat to myself. I got to the "TA Taberna" restaurant for dinner. 

Unlike the real tavern I had lunch in Sines, this was a gourmet tavern, with pretty blond waitresses and gourmet service. Nevertheless, the food was good looking and tasty. I enjoyed what I thought it will be my last dinner in Portugal for a couple of months. 

The house special dish at the "Taberna". Homemade fried potatoes with chicken. 
I went to sleep that day with well-defined plans for Tuesday, 16th: have a good breakfast, prepare the food for the passage, set up the sails, check-out from the marina, and leave Vilamoura, crossing the Gulf of Cadiz to Chipiona. 

But, as often happens, plans are not always as we expect. While preparing the boat for the trip, my glasses fell over the pontoon into the water. I promptly prepare myself to dive: neoprene suit, mask,  snorkel and fins. It seems simple listed like this, but it took more than a half-hour to be ready to dive. Fortunately, a kind fellow sailor girl that was cleaning a boat nearby helped me wearing the neoprene suit, amidst jokes on my how tummy grew since last time I had worn that suit.

I dive in the area where the glasses fell for almost one hour without success. The water was around four meters deep and I had no air tanks. For every couple of minutes underwater I had to return to the surface to breathe. I gave up to try to find them for myself I looked for professional help. 

I contacted both the marina services and a diving school nearby. The opinion was unanimous. It probably doesn't worth the effort. The probability to find the glasses amongst all the debris is low. Worst, the divers will only be available the following week, which reduces even more the probability of success. Moreover, I had to pay them, whether they find the glasses or not.

Retrieving my glasses was o valid option, then. I must buy a new pair. Since I have no details about the lenses, the faster and cheaper solution was to go back to Lisbon for it. I took an express bus and, on Wednesday evening, I was back to Vilamoura with this problem solved. After all, my dinner at "A Taberna" on Monday evening was not my last dinner in Portugal before heading to Spain. 

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