Leaving Cascais at midday, we experienced a thoroughly enjoyable sail which we sustained through the night, sometimes spirited, sometimes pedestrian but it was SAILING and we didn’t turn the engine start key until we were just outside Lagos at 11.00 the next morning.

Lagos is a thoroughly perfect yachting destination and I actually regret that I didn’t choose this for my ‘resting place’ while I return for 10 days. It is considerably cheaper than Vilamoura, has an excellent chandler, is perfectly sheltered and has a huge supermarket on the doorstep.

We only had a passage of 27 miles to Vilamoura and we had all day so, in very light winds we indulged in a gentle sail blissfully under the Parasailor. Our more sedate pace was like a switch and after incessant defeats in the fishing match, Stephen excelled himself scoring a handsome 17 nil which, although modest in size should provide us with a handsome brunch on our last day.

Unfortunately, I am still unable to post pictures and I hope to get this sorted out when I get back and then populate the blogs with something probably more interesting.

Stephen writes:

Well another great day and night under sail before we arrived at Lagos. The Master was on good form despite the previous limerick and made no mention of the cat o’nine tails for some time despite the late night raid on his chocolate stash by Peter and I whilst he was resting in the royal apartments. Unfortunately I have not had a single bite on the line so the Atlantic coast has won hands down. Tomorrow we have a short 4 hour passage and the last chance for a fish supper. We have received rather alarming feedback that the Hejira website blog has been hacked and there are links to porn websites so please do not click on them as Stormy Mines denies any responsibility.

Ollie writes:

Though shalt have a fishy on a little dishy,

Though shalt have a fishy, when the boat comes in.

 

After all the disappointment and piss-taking, as we disembarked at Villamoura yesterday – Stephen had the skip in his step of a man emphatically vindicated.

What’s that bible story: five loaves and two fishes? Two fishes!

Jesus’s efforts were rendered totally pathetic by Stephen’s heroic catch.  In fact, if the story of Stephen of Nazareth had been written down 2000 years ago, modern readers would dismiss it as an obvious fabrication.

Seventeen fish caught. Seventeen!

Not only was this a brilliant haul, but it happened when we were travelling much slower than usual, which totally justifies Stephen’s regular protestations that we’ve been going ‘too fast to fish’.

Small individually…………

When we arrived, Peter and I did the dirty work of gutting and filleting. There really is no end to Peter’s talents. And unlike me, he’s able to carve out a pristine, boneless fillet from a recently deceased mackerel in a matter of seconds.

The plan is to shallow fry them this afternoon with a little garlic butter. At the risk of sounding like Alan Partridge, may I say: ‘Superb’.

Stephen writes (again):

Dear reader we have now made it to our final destination and I am pleased to report that the skin of the crews backs remains intact. We managed not to force `The Master’ to `collapse the wave function’ to check the existence of Schrodinger’s Cat O’nine tails in the Royal Quarters.  We will never know if it existed on this trip even though it was slipped into the conversation from time to time to encourage our efforts. I am pleased to report that I broke my duck as regards fishing due to our relaxed passage yesterday with the Parasailor up and at times we were making only 3 knots so the fish were able to take the bait and we are all looking forward to a fishy brunch during our `tidy up’ session to leave Hejira in immaculate condition for the next passage. I have now verified my excuse for the lack of fish during 99% of the trip as being due to The Master`s `Need for speed’ but I am not going to tempt fate by saying it out loud in earshot of `he who should not be named’ just in case he decides to  brush up on his quantum physics. Bye bye dear reader.

 

Homage to Barry:

Peter is gutting fish