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Portuguese History and the Pringle war over.

We have just spent a couple of weeks soaking up Portuguese history, lounging on beaches, and a few rolly waves.

We based the boat in Cascais for a week in a beautiful relaxing marina overlooking the fort. A gentle stroll into town opened up a multitude of options from the best ice cream ever – Satinis, (even topped Nardinis in Largs), to my favourite terrace yet; overlooking the beach volleyball, sipping a refreshingly cool a glass of white wine, watching the sun set (and perhaps the occasional glance at the eye candy).

From Cascais we took the local bus to Sintra – a must see for anyone visiting the area with its beautiful medieval forts and places set in wonderful countryside with good walks. (CJ even loved the hill walk- he is smiling and getting fitter and now just grumbles about the midday heat). Lisbon was also a fabulous excursion, made so much more interesting by Goncao – a local guide who gave us a private tour, three wonderful hours non stop walking and talking.

He gave us an incredible insight into Portuguese history, Lisbon's quirky features and gave us a real insight into both the historic interests and life in Lisbon today.

Back out to a rolly Atlantic and for at least the forth time in the past month I open the crisp and biscuit cupboard to be bombarded by the contents. Why is it that when you open the cupboard, it is at the exact time a big wave comes from a direction that causes the Pringles to arm them selves and fire full pelt onto the floor, smashing into thousands of tiny crumbs?

Time for action – after several frustrating hours figuring out how to secure netting, the purchase of a staple gun turned the job from two hours per net to 15 min. Having test driven them I reckon the war on Pringles has been won.

This week we were joined by Patrick, (Malcolm's sister''s husband Nick – his sister ( Louise) - husband. He was an absolute pleasure to have on board. He is from Belgium, sails well, loves the same food as we do, has a boat of his own and we hope he will sail across the Atlantic with us.

Patrick usually speaks French, needless to say even after three weeks of my audio learning French – his English was a lot better than my French. However, CJ, having lived in Montreal a while, found some phrases come flooding back. It was lovely to have an extra pair of hands on the boat and poor CJ had to put up with two folk that loved trimming (a nice word for messing with) sails – seeking out every 0.1 of a knot.

After a few perfect nights at anchor and some more yummy char grilled sardines we reached Lagos, where Patrick headed home on his Motorbike – an epic journey in itself. SAORSA came out of the water for a few days, to get her bottom ready for the tropics. Next Madeira – or maybe Sunday on the beach first!