Tag Archives: algarve

Closing Doors

Way back in 2002 (back in the day) I hit the Algarve beaches for the very first time.  Me, Alex Faggotpants Clifton and a young Ryan Morgan from the neighbours in Benn Street.

The following year, it happened again, this time with two more bell ends tagging along.  It was late on a very sunny Sunday afternoon in September (2003) as I was contemplating the drive back to the airport from Praia da Cordoama that I decided to move permanently.  By November the same year, my house was sold, along with all of its contents that I deemed I could live without. I was back, surf board under arm and ready to live a little.

Today, I signed over the house I bought here in Portugal to a young Portuguese couple.  Like most locals, they are priced out of the market by foreigners with more money than them.  It felt good to sell it to them, knowing they will build a home and grow a family there – rather than have Johnny Foreigner use it as a holiday home twice a year.

Sure, I got less money selling it to locals – but it felt a lot better in my heart.

In those 17 years away, many of you reading this will have paid a visit, some more than one, a few – paid far too many, just couldn’t keep you feckers away could I.

There were many good times had.  Some monstrous bar bills accomplished, several questionable ladies kissed, ample scuba diving excursions and of course many many many waves caught and ridden, all with varying degrees of success and grace.  Above all else, a myriad of memories have been created and a multitude of friends made from more cultures than you could shake a stick at.

I used to scoff at people who would brag about how travelling will broaden you mind.  I have to hand it to them though – they are right.

There is always a lump in my throat when I get off the motorway and get closer to Sagres, a warm feeling, fondness, a longing. In Portugal, they have a word for it – Saudades.  It seems quite apt that the language can accommodate all of those emotions in just one word.

Years ago on my weekend surf trips to Cornwall I used to get a similar feeling, close to Truro on the A30 when you plug up that last hill before sighting the wind farms for the first time.

Almost two decades of memories have been made.  I owe that opportunity to two people and a very simple act of kindness.

A young Ryan Gurnsey who departed 20 years ago, and a not quite so young Indian lady called Sandhya Desai, who, seeing me struggle with the early departure of Ryan, simply took the time to ask me one morning if I was OK.  The conversation that followed kept me from failing, kept me focused and ultimately gave me the hunger to chase something new.

I wondered what song might sum it all up as I drove back to Faro Airport this afternoon. I racked my brains for something suitable but drew a blank.

As if by magic, a Tuuuuuuune appeared in my head (it seems all those nights stella’d up with faggot pants in the clubs wasn’t a complete waste)  I was home alone one saturday morning in Benn Street somewhere between 2000 and 2002 with no-one to play with.  I decided ‘Fuck it – I am going Surfing’.

Typically, Cornwall was a 4 hour blast but on this day, it would take me 8 ½ hours.  The track you are going to be treated to next was just cueing up as those wind farms came into sight with the sun sinking low behind them on a delicious Cornish Saturday evening.  The surf was shit by the way………

Goodbye Sagres old friend – I don’t know if I shall see you again.

 

 

So that tune – I had to dig hard to find it.  Put your headphones on and enjoy

 

 

 

Its time for a new door to open.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


The Two Less’s

I hope you didn’t read that as The Two Lezzies.  Less’s as in the opposite of more.

All the hipsters will tell you that ‘less is more’.  Well shall we find out?  Currently I am homeless and jobless – two pretty major less’s in anyones life – but both at the same time?  Bring it on.

It sounds a little harsher than it is in reality though.  I do still have a house, just all the way down in Portugal, and being honest, that is close to uninhabitable right now. Being jobless is more correct but only until the 16th December when I head to Thailand to start my new job out there – so all in all, The Two Less’s was something of a misleading headline.

But officially – a jobless and homeless bum I am !!

I have been fortunate enough to be loaned a huge american motor home (America – Fuck Yeah!) for my following days of need – not a bad gig either.  Got my Xbox set up and am ready to rock and roll.

I also got my hand over notes today for the new vessel.  Sometimes I think I am something of a rarity when it comes to giving someone hand over notes.  Usually mine spread out to a small novel, my last effort,  whopping 49 pages.  Today I got half a dozen pages.  My initial pass made me think they were not all that but one cursory read had me shuddering in my boots.  A hull breach due to electrolysis.

For the non tech minded of my readers, electrolysis is damage caused to a metal that is immersed in water due to an electrical current leak.  Where the hull carries a positive charge, the damage is more severe, as electricity is always trying to travel from positive to negative, where negative in this case is earth – or sea water.  It also doesn’t bode well that salt water happens to be a good conductor of water.  The damage occurs as the electricity exits the positive side of the circuit heading for the negative.  During this exit, it takes a little bit of the metal with it, creating pitting.  If left for long enough, enough of the metal is removed to create a hole.  Once the hole is formed, the process doesn’t stop but continues to expand the hole’s diameter.

Some metals are more easily pitted than others. Aluminium for instance, is not naturally resistive to electrolysis.  It just so happens that the new boat is Aluminium.  For the American readers (as it is an American built Trinity Yacht) I should say Aluminum.  So there is my first serious dilemma to overcome.

I was also missing some basic data about fuel consumption, ranges and speeds, oil burn etc but I am about to send a mail to remind him of that.  I am also going to ask if his technical files are up to date – at this point I expect him to shit himself.

 

Moving on – for those of you that know what I do for a living, this has lead to the need to update some basic training.  Last week, I braved the Isle of Wight for three days to refresh my knowledge of Fire Fighting, Sea Survival and Advanced Fire Fighting.  Being Officer material, I am required to study at advanced levels !!!  That, in reality is irrelevant.  What I really wanted to share was the fact that last week I had to go in the water in West Cowes on the Isle of Wight.  The instructors took great pleasure in telling us that the water was a delightful 6ºc – I didn’t mis-type that, six degrees!  My cock was like a drawing pin!

This week I am on the other side of The Solent in Warsash and spent the day on the end of a windy Pier, fooling around with life boats.  My final few days winding up until I head out to Thailand for the first time in my life.

YES – I am aware that Thailand has a reputation for seedy sex and even more so Ladyboys.  I plan to spend the first three months working solidly on board until I can take some leave in April so it wont be bothering me in the slightest but thank you for all of the warnings.  Maybe I will make a photo album of ‘he or she’ when I get some time and let you guess which is which?

So this morning I will finish off all of my notes I need to complete and then head to sunny Southampton and maybe a trip up the Spinnaker.  Been a few years since I went up there.  Not being the most comfortable with heights, I think I should push myself to the top and stand on the glass floor.

More soon I promise, from Thailand

 

 

 


%d bloggers like this: