Faro to Falmouth – Day 1


To Faro

As an avid listener of the Shipping Forecast I had not planned to visit Trafalgar, FitzRoy or Biscay for some time, but with the boat ashore during 2022 having a bit of tender, loving care I felt just like John Masefield in Sea-Fever 'I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky', and in need of a long voyage. Jumping at the chance to crew on a 'delivery trip' from Faro in Portugal to Falmouth some 950 nautical miles.

I am registered as volunteer crew with a company who move boats around the globe and this was my second voyage with them. Deliveries are interesting in that we get to meet different people and sail on much longer trips than normal. While only the skipper gets paid crew get travel and expenses. The last trip was just after the first COVID lockdown was an on a boat I would describe as an 'ocean going racing dinghy', that had competed in several ocean races including the 2020 Original Single-handed Transatlantic Race (OSTAR), on that occasion we were moving the boat from Cowes on the Isle of Wight to Hartlepool in County Durham for new owners.

Not having flown internationally for about 20 years the first leg of the journey from Devon to Faro started by being dropped off at the local railway station, catching a train to Weston-Super-Mare transferring onto a bus to Bristol Airport, taking hours to check in, even longer to past security, even said hello to some people I knew in the que, and finally got to the departure gate where I stepped on the Ryanair flight south.

Luckily, I had a window seat and was able to watch the world past beneath us as we few down the Bristol Channel, crossing to Start Point then over the channel to the island of Ouessant in Brittany. Ever southward over the Bay of Biscay and finally overflying Spain and Portugal before landing in Faro. The one memory that the flight left me with were the fires that went on for miles and miles in Spain and Portugal.

After, getting my passport stamped and picking up my rucksack - Brexit the gift that keeps giving. I queued up with lots of others for taxies. When my turn came handed the driver my phone with the address of the Nave Pegos Boatyard and got in the back. He did look a little bemused as it was not one of his usual drop off points and in a mix of English and Portuguese asked if this was the right place. On arrival at the yard I telephoned the skipper who was on the boat to say I had arrived. A quick meal and a beer before we turned in for the night.

All times are UTC.

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