September 2000 Nazaré, Portugal
Days at sea
Feeding some of the locals with french fries
Everything points in the right direction
Portugal is a wonderful country and I had to revise my preconceived opinion. I
came to lots of small ports and a few marinas and only had nice experiences
there. They have this typical southern European way of living.
One late night, Louis told that he had been to Portugal ten years prior. He and
his wife were told of a Canadian, who had purchased a hotel and ran it mainly
for backpackers where they had spent a couple of days. The place was in an
incredibly state of disrepair but George and his wife were very laid-back. They
had some plans regarding restoration of the building that oozed 40's and 50's
cosiness, had a fireplace and large English leather furniture, book shelves with
books from the previous century, etc. Caught by this story, I talked Louis into
us renting a car and go see what had become of it.
The following day we found our way to the place. It was the most idyllic hotel I
had ever seen. It oozed domestic cosiness. We were welcomed by a young girl
named Ina. She is German and is here on a week's vacation. She had been here the
first time seven years ago as a backpacker, and had just kept coming back. By
the way, she "ran" the place for two days because George and wife were visiting
We received the grand tour and were told lots of stories, among other things
that George would tell people that they were fully booked, if he could see that
they were "ordinary" tourists. I was sorry not to meet this George. We arranged
with Ina that she should come to Paneze the next day to see our boats and have
lunch with us. In this way we spent two splendid days together, all because of a
10-year old story.
I jumped into the water and scraped and brushed the hull.
A fisherman once told me that "mañana" which normally translates into "tomorrow"
actually means; "definitely not today and only maybe tomorrow".
I met another Dane in Nazaré. He had bought a new cooling system for his cold
store. A rather brilliant system that uses the temperature of the water to cool,
and without any movable parts or fluids inside. It consists of a large copper
plate that will need to be mounted on the outside of the hull below the water
line. From here connected to the element with a strong copper cable (bundle),
and to a small control box. We sailed his boat up a slipway and awaited low
The choice was either to dismount all of the galley including table top,
cupboard, etc., or for me to squeeze myself into the cupboard, since Jens is a
bit bigger than me. After two days it was working like a charm and with an
astoundingly low power consumption. But it was an incredible struggle working
inside a small cupboard and a hell getting in and out.
The harbour master of Nazaré, Portugal waves goodbye