We had been looking forward to Lagos. This is a spot where many sailors winter-over and we have friends from Brittany who love this spot. It is beautiful and the weather is perfectly hot and dry, the water is turquoise. After our overly-physical departure from the Sagres Ensenada in the morning, we pulled into Lagos thinking the worst of our day was over (see previous post). We were wrong.
|The beautiful Algarve coast around Lagos.|
The long welcome dock was full and we had to raft up next to another boat. We missed the approach on the first attempt because the wind shoved us too fast and at a bad angle into the other boat and we had to rapidly put the boat in reverse to keep from doing damage. Once in reverse, the wind and currents took us on a bizarre ride and threatened to push us over to the rocks on the other side of the narrow channel. We finally got control of the situation and made a gentler approach, tied up, and checked in at the marina.
Patrick requested a spot with good internet reception. He still hasn’t learned. This almost always means going deep into the finger berths and getting into a spot meant for smaller boats near the dock entrance. I’m going to start announcing to marinas “we are an 11-meter boat AND WE DO NOT HAVE A BOW THRUSTER !!” Our first arrival was just perfect, except that we were in the wrong spot. We were in a spot for the many tourist boats that take people to visit the grottos. We had to move. The wind was 15 knots from ahead. Patrick asked the marina for assistance to get into the slot next to us because it was a tight squeeze to back the boat out, and with stiff cross-winds, we worried about our maneuverability. Two guys from the marina came out and expected that all they would have to do is shove us off and take our lines in the new spot. Patrick backed the boat out and the wind immediately took the nose and pushed her over onto the boats on the other pontoon faster than we could react. Once pinned against the other boats, their anchors scraping on our hull, there’s not much we could do. People came running from everywhere, yelling, screaming, pushing, shoving, yanking. We got Mareda off the line of boats and once into the middle of the fairway, the wind shoved her right back before we could even slam the motor into gear. One guy asked if our bow thruster was broken. Finally, one of the smaller tourist rib boats came out and took our lines and towed us free, and once Mareda was properly lined up and the motor engaged, we managed to pull into the assigned spot. The hundreds of on-lookers from the terrace restaurants cheered. We were traumatized and mortified.
In the end, there was no damage to the other boats, our gelcoat had a few superficial scratches, and the iroko-wood rub rail has a big gash in it, but it could have been much worse. We hung our heads low and tried to make ourselves invisible for the rest of the day.
Our efforts were not even rewarded. The internet was crap, the showers were cold, and we got blasted by “Karaoke night” from the bar next door. For this, we’re paying 47 euros a night – the most expensive port so far. We were so looking forward to visiting Lagos and now we can only think of how to slink out of here as soon as the winds calm down. Yes, yes, I know: “Get over yourselves. You’re not the first to screw up a maneuver; it’s not the first time and it won’t be the last time.” Easier said than done.