Figueira da Foz


Up at 4am to get ready for a 7am start. The WCC have decided that we need to observe “race starts” for the “its not a race” Rally.

Figueira da FozThe early starts and the need to keep up with the Rally schedule are tiring. But everyone is in the same boat (ha) and we all comply with a good heart and eyes half shut.

The start is slow…no wind. Scott – who wins everything – announces on the rally channel 77 that it may be a good idea to motor. There is a chorus of agreement on Ch.77 and motors are duly started.

Later as the wind picks up – the maximum all day was 14kts – some of the boats deploy their cruising chutes and edge away. But we stick to motor sailing opting for the less strenuous and less risky approach to sailing.

Figuira has a small but nice club house where we have a large sardine dinner. Jaz and I sit next to a very large man who appears to be an interloper and who is helping himself to the Rally dinner. He is easily 7ft tall and the spitting image of Timothy Dalton. He is scouting locations for a rally that he hopes to organise for jet powered speed boats and which will run from Southampton to Monaco. There’s nowt so strange as folk.

The next day there is a trip to Coimbra. This time we opt out because I have started to get worried about my leg that I cut days before in Baiona. Despite having plenty of clean  bandages and trying my best to keep it clean, it does not seem to be healing. Its hard to judge if it is smelling (old B&W wartime movies come to mind)…I smell strongly of lemon wet wipes and sometimes of pine when I mistakenly use the floor wipes that Jaz has stored in abundance in the heads cabinet.

HospitalInstead we get a taxi to the local hospital. The hospital at Figueira is a model of efficiency. The receptionist asks me (in good English) for my NHS ID – a small credit card sized card. I hand it over. She types into her computer and prints a barcode that she attaches around my wrist and tells me to wait.

Jaz and I settle down for the customary 3hr wait. My iPhone bar code app informs me that I am a bottle of jam worth £1.84. My name is called after only 15 mins and I am taken into the inner sanctum of the emergency room and treated by nurses and 2 doctors – all of whom speak good English and are bemused when they tell me that I must keep the wound dry and I tell them I am sailing for the next 6 weeks. I am prescribed anti-inflammatories and anti-biotics. All very efficient.