The Boatist

Sailboat Ownership, Translation Work and Tales of Minor Adventure

Retire early, be passionate, don't worry, die poor

Monday, September 22, 2014

Boat Delivery Job

Delivery job? Let's call it a "boat delivery holiday." Let's call it Life. It gets a bit boring being dead all the time.

When sailing (or motoring), I'm REALLY on holiday. It's my freedom time: no translations, no errands, trips to the supermarket, no grass to cut, no interruptions except for the mobile phone...I'm on the water and I can sing and whistle as I please. I gaze at the water and sky until there is no past or future worth caring about. You just don't care, and that's beautiful.

Boat delivery job
The real me - Floating in my element.
After a five-hour bus trip from home I found myself near the Lagos boatyard eating grilled sardines at a restaurant patio with David and Manuel. We then walked over to the Sopromar boatyard to leisurely check out a real boat show at the yard. 

Anyway, the plan was to sail to Sagres before dark where we'd anchor for the night. So, at about 4:30 we walked back to the marina in the heat and rising north wind. Manuel, whose boat was docked at the reception berth and ready, left immediately.

I went back to David's boat, a Bavaria 32, where I impatiently waited until 6 while David and his girlfriend packed and re-packed a million things. My forehead must have slowly become more deeply furrowed as I realized my nice sailing-only trip to Sagres was being decimated by baggage - all the crap we pack and don't need. Finally I helped them carry a ton of bags to the car and they were gone. I hightailed out of the marina on my first 14-mile leg. It was blowing stink by now (if you've ever been to this part of the Algarve in summer you know what I'm talking about).

The Bavaria has a useless furling mainsail, which I didn't even bother look at. After turning east at Ponta da Piedade, I unfurled 2/3 of the genoa and kept the engine at about 2,000 RMP, making my way between the fish farm and the cliffs.

Motoring with wind is cheating but I wanted to reach Sagres in time to have dinner at a taverna in town. If I sailed only, I'd be late. This way, I got a nice steady 7 knots without heeling much and without being scorned for motoring only on such a hard beam reach. With the engine going, it meant that I had to keep a sharp lookout for fishing buoys. The last thing I needed was a second nightmare in one season.

I made it into port just as the sun was going down, anchored, tested the anchor hard, fell in the dinghy with the engine on top of me while transferring it, scratched my shin on the propeller and got my pants greasy, and then picked up Manuel at his boat. We tied the dinghy off at the old pier, climbed the rusty latter, getting dirtier in the process, walked up the hill into town and entered the taverna dirty, wild-haired and  hungry. That's when a cheap roasted chicken meal is like a feast.

The journey had hardly began and I was already a very happy boat slave.


  1. Man, you're described everything perfectly. From cheap chicken and getting dirty too leaving all the hustles of "land and whistling and not giving a damn!
    Great (perfect) pic!!

  2. I see it more as a description of a perfect way to spend time. Just telling it like it is. As for the pic, you know, I never look that good on land :-)