After a 7-hour trip (350 km on two buses), I arrived in Olhão, Algarve, on a hot day. A confused twenty minute walk through narrow streets took me to the port where I hailed a flimsy water taxi with a 100-hp outboard that took off at full speed along the channel violently punching the choppy water toward where I had left Jakatar at anchor. I had to keep my mouth shut to keep my teeth from chattering.
"I'm anchored about 300 meters directly in front of the marina entrance," I told the driver. But there, in my spot, I saw another sailboat. After recovering from a sudden empty gut sensation, I glanced around and saw Jakatar about 200 m farther east.
The fenders I had left hanging from the sissy bars were all all deployed from the lifelines at nearly deck level to fend off other boats. I also saw some black rubber marks on the hull. I asked the taxi guy if it had been windy. "It blew like hell Sunday afternoon," he replied showing little enthusiasm for conversation. I paid him the €25 and some loose change for a tip and then climbed aboard.
Standing in the cockpit I nearly laughed when I saw that the boat anchored about 50 m behind me belonged to the bald guy who had almost screamed his tongue from his mouth while flailing his arms like a lunatic thinking I was going to anchor in front of him. During the next days I saw only a young couple on the boat continuously "smooching" in the cockpit and in the water.
Later, I dinghied over to a nearby Dutch boat, and the friendly couple aboard described what had happened. On Sunday, before the wind piped up, a Spanish boat dropped about 15 m of chain (in 8 m of water!!) and the crew immediately went ashore for lunch. When the wind came, the Spanish boat began merrily dragging through the anchorage pulling up anchors in its path. In no time a bunch of boats, including Jakatar, were doing the bump dance.
Cruisers came to the rescue, as always, and a big black police RIB showed up to muscle boats apart. I forgot to ask my neighbors what had become of the Spanish boat dangling on 15 m of chain.
I spent a few days enjoying calm sunny days in Culatra in my own company, which hasn't disappointed me so far...except for the odd time.
|The Faro Ria. Mainland on the right, the island on the left (not visible).|
|My favorite café in Culatra.|
|There's no traffic on Culatra, except for tractors to transport merchandise from the ferry.|
|This trawler is sitting on the sand dunes way above any high tide. How it got here is a mystery. Somebody was living in it at the time.|
|The water salesman in Culatra. Since I didn't need any, I don't know how much it costs.|