(Vancouver 36)

(June 2007)

2006 Moonlight on the Hard at Faro

Note:- To view any image in a higher resolution just click on that image.
Also, there are many other photographs on this subject held on file

  All of a sudden it was Monday 4th June.   Malcolm Cross & I departed traveling by train to Gatwick Airport arriving on time at 1450.   Making a quick dash to check-in (it opened early) and then to the Departure Lounge where we met our crew John Anderson, Derry Baxter and our Skipper/Owner, Keith Taylor.  After an introductory drink our flight took off just 5 minutes late at 1720 arriving 2000 at Faro (no time difference).   A taxi took us all and our kit to the Quinta do Progresso Boat Yard where we boarded Moonlight still on the hard.  The temperature was around 20º C and it was getting dark.  With no shore power connected and unable to find the battery keys we stumbled around in the dark until I was able to short out the battery switches.  Light at last gave us the opportunity to polish off a large bottle of whisky, all relaxing in the cockpit.   We had arrived!   It was then that I was told I had been promoted to the ranks of Gin Bosun, a post I had not encountered before and Malcolm had volunteered for the post of Purser.  Derry & John shared the Forepeek, Keith took the Starboard quarter berth whilst Malcolm & I shared the Saloon.

  Faro is a considerable town and has a walled Cidade Velha (old town) well worth a visit.  From the bell tower of the Sé (cathedral) there are superb views of the estuary and town.  The greatest appeal are the tidal lagoons between the coast and the sea for some 30 miles.   To take full advantage we required a shoal draft vessel and we had deep draft so we had to stick to the main channel.

  Our passage plan was to sail Moonlight from Faro, Portugal back to Portsmouth in simple stages taking around 5 to 6 weeks.   First problem was to bail out some 50 Gallons rain water leaked in over the past year (broken auto-bilge switch).   Then on our first passage we found the Autohelm playing-up.  On to Vilamoura for an Engineer to find the Course Computer itself to be u/s.  We were all prepared to manually helm all the way but Raymarine kindly replaced it at no cost.   We passaged on to Lagos, Sines, Cascais, Peniche, Nazare, Figueira da Foz, Leixoes, Bayona, Vigo, Isla Cies, Pedras Negras, Portosin, Camarinas, La Caruna, Gijon, Ribadasella, Bilbayo, La Rochelle, Ile de Re, Ile de Yeu, L’Herboudiere, Belle Ile, Cameret, St Peter Port, Cherbourg, Lymington, Portsmouth.  We were all Skipper/Boat Owners and more than capable of sailing Moonlight single handed so were looking forward to a good adventure.

  The following photographs are just a sample of the 1,340 taken of the many interesting stories of the near 30 stages of an exciting adventure sailing back to Portsmouth.   An adventure that will favour in my mind for a lifetime again with far too many stories to tell here.

Faro, Vilamoura, Lagos, Sines & Cascais to Peniche

Moonlight's Passage from Faro, Portugal to Portsmouth, England as shown on 'Seapro' electronic navigation on a Laptop

Faro, We have arrived, found Moonlight, drinks and we celebrate

Faro, Our Boatyard (top middle) in relation to Faro Airport. So close

Seville, Views from an open top Coach trip (Low trees) whilst touring the town

Back on board in Vilamoura for a well deserved (and cheap) drink

Lagos, Malcolm navigating with a 'tatty' Map.  This was a bit different to the Electronic Navigation systems we had on board

‘Moonlight’ in Lagos, a simple mooring alongside

Cascais, Malcolm lost his bet (1 Euro) but both celebrated later with a drink

Cascais, just one of the many Private beaches

Cascais again, what a surprise - a 'Smart' Police car

Peniche, We find the 'Popular' Restaurant for an evening meal

After the evening meal Malcolm & Keith render a song (not for the feint hearted)

Nazare, Figueira da Foz & Leixoes to Bayona

Nazare, Malcolm on watch under the Bimini in the heat.  Autohelm of course

Figueira da Foz, Malcolm & Derry preparing Crab for the evening meal on board (and just a little chilled white wine)

Leixoes, Running 'Gull Wing' on autohelm at around 5 knots (with Preventers on)

Leixoes, Our mooring again easy although the ships 'prop kick made departing more difficult

Leixoes, Enjoying the Port and getting used to the local drink

Porto, we enjoy a drink at a bar next to the bridge that Eiffel built

Porto, Views from the Bridge of the Old town where all the distilleries are located

Porto (Day trip), Views around the New and Old Towns. This is a MUST and deserves even more than a day

Porto, one of many steps around the Old Town

Porto, Second-hand Shop down a side street

Porto, Graham's Distillery, And the Tasting itself

Porto, Croft Distillery, very early Vintage and unique Ports

Vigo, Isla Cies, Pedras Negras, Portoson & Camarinas to La Coruna

Vigo, Life in the Cockpit when the sun came out

Islas Cies, Man-over-board practise whilst on route (there's always time for practise)

Islas Cies, At anchor. Next stop through the gap is America.   This isle is well worth a visit

Islas Cies, Views from Monte de Faro Lighthouse

Islas Cies, Another view from the Lighthouse

Islas Cies, Dinghying back to Moonlight with Malcolm on watch

Portosin, one of many shoals of Dolphins on route

La Coruna, the Tramway cab and driver

La Coruna, Local Beach (topless seemed the norm)

La Coruna, Visit to the Tower of Hercules (basement) showing recent reinforcements to what was the structurally unsound foundations

La Coruna, from the top of Tower of Hercules. The pathway leading to the entrance where a local walks the pathway playing Bagpipes to the visitors

La Coruna, 'Caronte' boatman at Tower.  This photo says it all

Gijon, Ribadasella & Bilbayo to La Rochelle

Gijon, one of the many stunning Sunsets on route

Ribadasella (my favourite), me on watch this time.   We are all very keen Sailors as can be seen

Ribadasella, we didn't have time to tour much of the town but what we saw was impressive

Bilbao, the views on route to Bilbao also show the beautiful hills and mountains.   Absolutely stunning scenery

Bilbao, we just couldn't pass by without a mid-day drink

Bilbao, a Funicular railway in Bilbao Old Town. Last visit for Derry as he departed for home.  We continued with 4 on board

Crossing the Bay of Biscay with a few surprisingly large waves. At night the stern light caught a few waves some 10 ft high attempting to Poop us

La Rochelle, A drink in a quiet Square under a fig tree for John & Myself after a tour of the town

La Rochelle, The best Moule (with wine) in the Marina, immediately off the pontoon

La Rochelle, the Towers of De La Chaine & Saint Nicolas at the entrance to the Inner Harbour

La Rochelle, View of the Marina from Saint Nicolas

La Rochelle, John, Malcolm & Myself find a quiet Bar in the early evening

Ile de Re, Ile de Yeu, L’Herboudiere, Belle Ile, Cameret, St Peter Port, Cherbourg, Lymington and home to Portsmouth

Ile de Re, The Marina stretches around the Island for far more than one would believe

Ile de Re, Malcolm undertaking some housekeeping

Ile de Re, Local Market where everything is really fresh

Ile de Re, John & I find some Long haired Donkeys at St Martin

L'Herbaudiere, a quick shower but we found cover in the Street Market

Belle-Ile, I always had my camera at the ready even outside the Harbour at anchor.  This was a short stop to juggle the tides for our next leg

Belle-Ile, Our aspiring Leader, Skipper and Owner guiding us through difficult times

Views of Pointe Du Toulinguet in the very low cloud making passage making rather difficult (we had to work)

Camaret, we moor inside the fuel berth in the Harbour to fill our tank then inside the Marina for the night

St Peter Port. Keith the Skipper relaxing.  This leg like many others was very easy

St Peter Port, John's 3 guests invited on board for drinks

St Peter Port, Renovating the Cockpit Teak and generally cleaning Moonlight for her homecoming