We had a pretty relaxing time in Baiona, re-exploring some of the old sights from 12 years ago and finding plenty more. Big Jack was with the Good Ship until 12th September and as ever provided a constant stream of entertainment for all concerned, much of it was intended. We really enjoyed Jacks company, the children in particular have learnt alot. As a result of Big Jacks careful tuition they now know how to cross a busy Portugese or Spanish road simply by charging at the oncoming traffic to the cry of ´leg it`. This skill was finely tuned whilst in La Coruna when every few minutes when trying to catch a bus someone would shout ´leg it´. This was done irrespective of whether there was a bus in sight or, if there was one in sight, whether it was the one we wanted to catch. On those occasions when there was no bus to be seen there was also no target to focus on. The result was the formation of a sort of Halsall star-burst where members of the family would simultaneously fly off in every direction. No doubt from a seagulls viewpoint this was an impressive sight, however, local motorists were less keen as they struggled to avoid various members of the family running in front of them. Jack also taught the children how to speak fluent ´dolphin´. Thanks Jack; having the children making high pitched squeaking sounds everytime the word dolphin is mentioned only slightly undermines the delight of seeing these wonderful mammals in their natural environment! The kids were also able to learn a number of useful words and phrases. For example they no longer say 'thank you for my dinner', they say 'awesome, that really took the egde off´.
You would not expect Jack's departure to have been smooth and of course it wasn´t. The bus was due at 1400 but we hadn´t quite worked out which stop, so we located ourselves at a bar where we could see several likely looking bus stops at once and moved to 'red alert' status. Our eyes were pealed looking for a bus that might be going to Vigo Airport. At 1355 Jack's bus went by, or at least we think it was. The familiar cry of 'leg it' went up and Jack was off. Sadly, whilst this initial stage went comparatively well, Jack subsequently stayed on the bus a little too long and went past Vigo Airport, he then had to catch a taxi back to the airport to catch his plane arriving just in the nick of time. It's hardly a surprise that Jack took the Bay of Biscay in his
We were all sad to see Big Jack go but at the same time pleased to be together as a family and alone for the first time since July. We stayed for another couple of days in Baiona and I think that for the first time we really started to fall into the rhythm of ´liveaborad´life and get down to some serious family enjoyment. The race to get down south was pretty much over and for the first time we were not worrying about weather or crew.
The kids had there first lessons, other than those provided informally
by Big Jack and we began to get a little bit of routine.
We sailed south to Viana De Castello and Portugal on the 14 th September. It was a pleasant 35 mile mooch down the coast. No night watches, no strong winds, no hassles, just a nice sail, with loads and loads of dolphins and a mackerel lunch ... and you said I wasn't a fisherman, Jack!