Day 157 – Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps!

Day 157 21st December 2010

Marina de Portimão 37° 07.22 N  08° 31.59 W

Eventually with my bladder at bursting point and the sweat pouring off me, I unzipped my sleeping bag and opened my eyes.  It was almost 11am, I had slept for 18 hours straight.  John had only just surfaced and had the kettle on.  The toilet was still faulty from yesterday, oh I forgot to mention that due to the other incidents of the day!  I grabbed the special card and raced to the toilet beside the showers.  When I got back, John was bailing out the toilet, I nearly threw up!  The worst part, it was my visit to the toilet that finished it!  Gee, thank heavens, I’m over my shyness or I might have thrown myself overboard!

“John, I was hoping t have a little breakfast before we started this procedure!” I said.

“Oh, I thought you went for a shower and was trying to get it done before you got back.”

Bless him, his heart was in the right place, but I had not had a cup of tea and was still grumpy.  I grabbed my showering stuff, a banana and poured a quick glass of peach juice and reached for my laptop before venturing to the showers to wash my hair. Oh I sneaked in a few items of clothes to wash by hand as well.  Rules are made to be broken – IT IS FORBIDDEN TO WASH CLOTHES IN THE SHOWERS.  I don’t actually wash the clothes by hand, I chuck them in the shower basin let the hot water soak them and stomp on them like I’m trying to get juice from grapes.  I have to get over the €12.50 cost of the laundry from Bayona. When I came back, John had some porridge ready and suggested that I go out for a few hours whilst he dealt with the toilet. I was more than grateful for his thoughtfulness and enjoyed catching up on my emails.

I thanked everyone for the Christmas wishes, emails, e-cards and just the kind thoughts hey have sent me.  This is the weirdest Christmas week I’ve ever had.  It’s mild and wet outside, John is cleaning up the poo on the boat, because that is what being a skipper is about.  I should be helping, but I’ve come over all Princessy today!

I Skyped my parents but they couldn’t hear me.  It was nice to hear the voices of my sister Tori and Mum and Dad.

The heavens open and the gusts blew at 40 knots, lightening flashed across the harbour and I thought ‘Welcome to the Sunny Algarve!’  I met John on the gangway carrying a flat fender, he was trying to get it inflated as the boat was bouncing hard off the floating dock.  I “How are we doing with the toilet business?”  I whispered.

“Oh, Oh, Oh, I think I’ve got it, the flopper valve…”

“John, keep your voice down, is it working or not?”

“…The valve was…”

“John, working or not?” I interrupted..

“Ahem, ahem, well I got some epoxy…”

“Ok, so not working yet, but later?”

“Yip, yip, yip, should be ready by morning, you can use the bucket until then!”

I bit my tongue, I was not using a god damn bucket when we were at a marina.

Dan called and updated me with his plans for Christmas.  He was sailing solo to Portimão and I hoped we would be able to join us for Christmas, despite the fact he’s a vegetarian.  Maybe he will eat some of my pumpkin pie!

After dinner, I went to the bathroom (ahem, ahem!) and then for a walk around the marina.  I decided to stay up as late as possible so I could go to the loo before bed and brush my teeth.

John promised the head would function before lunch time. Ah, the luxury of a toilet!

I finished reading the book (Berserk in Antarctica), and my lasting memory is of David (the American writer), wearing Manuel’s (The Argentinian) smelly woollen underwear, spooned in the same sleeping bag with his 21 year old Viking skipper, Jarle (wearing a wetsuit with a hole cut out of the crotch area to ease having a pee) freezing in Antarctica aboard a 27 foot Glass Reinforced Plastic (GRP) sail boat.  The levels a sailor will stoop to!  My, oh my?  What lies ahead?

Menu today

Breakfast – Croissant with jam, pain au chocolat, banana, Clementine and porridge with apple, raisins, and a sprinkle of muesli

Lunch – A cappuccino

Dinner – Chicken in chilli and ginger with green pepper, onions, garlic and scallions and rice

Snacks – A bowl of crisps and a can of beer


Meraid Griffin

Freelance writer, adventurer and public speaker. Descibed in the Sunday Times as a ‘modest explorer’. Nothing modest about me.

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