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Strange, isn’t it? We spend all that time in Portugal, Spain and France and the weather was not being very nice to us, then as we enter the English Channel the sun comes out and we’re spending out last days on the boat in glorious weather! As Lee scrabbles to complete his sextant readings we approach the River Dart and head into Dartmouth, one of the most beautiful entrances to a port I’ve yet to experience. Poetic.
The views of the Portuguese coast were unusually clear. The west coast is notorious for poor visibility and fog. The last few miles, however, were spent with the wind on the nose in a force 5-6, with the bow jumping around and watches spent concentrating on avoiding lobster pots. We approached Bayona on the Spanish border late at night. As soon as we hit the port Lee and I spent half an hour tracking down cigarettes and beer…
It was a beautiful day but there was a strong cold wind, unfortunately coming from the wrong direction so we motor sailed up the west coast past Lisboa, Cascais, Sintra etc. The wind was a light northerly, on the nose, making the passage mildly uncomfortable, so to cheer myself up I christened Harold and cast him over the transom. At the time of writing he hadn’t caught anything yet but I had high hopes for this baby. He looked like a killer!
After a number of calls to Kevin the skipper we arranged to meet at Heathrow at some ungodly hour in the morning. It felt like one of us should have been wearing a carnation in our jacket, as though we were on a blind date. I’d never met Kevin before but we had been thrown together by Professional Yacht Deliveries to help deliver a Malo 36 from Portugal to Dartmouth, UK. If this were to be a meaningful relationship then it was to be a threesome since we were also waiting upon Lee, who turned up at the departure gate at the last minute.
This was Jamie’s first delivery for Professional Yacht Deliveries World Wide, a UK-based yacht delivery company. It provided Jamie with the opportunity to sail with an experienced skipper, Kevin Smith. As it turned out the first mate, Lee, was just as experienced and together they provided Jamie with a wealth of knowledge and learning.
The journey from Lagos in the Algarve, Portugal, to Dartmouth in the UK, took just under two weeks. A few days were spent in Bayona due to bad weather.