After exploring Portugal for several days in a row, Mel finally has an opportunity to blog. The Atlantic crossing video is coming soon, but we need to get you caught up. At the moment the Burnetts are in Lisbon, trying to pick up their kids. Unfortunately, the kids’ flight from the US was cancelled and Greg and Mel will have to wait until Friday to see them.
We have been enjoying Lagos, Lisbon, and Portugal. We feel like we have discovered a secret world where the English go in the summertime to get one shade darker and finally become “off-white.” Portugal is quite hilly near its coasts, so we are also getting in shape again walking the beautifully cobbled streets, learning about all of the different uses for cork. Turns out you can try to use it for a lot of things.
We have enjoyed many dinner parties aboard various boats lately. It is easy to meet people at marinas, especially the one in Lagos, which has over 400 slips. You just basically sit in the aft cockpit and watch people stride by, slow down, stop, and say, “Nice boat!” Meeting people from all over the world has been the best part about cruising so far.
The cruising world is one of itinerant storytellers, so there is much to learn and discuss. Since you may be curious as to what transpires during our cocktail/dinner hour meetups, Mel has done her best to mentally record the conversations that took place the other night:
Six Brits (and two Yanks) are sitting around a table on a boat.
The ice is broken with speculation as to why the French next to us bought a German boat.
The Americans get the whole Trump discussion out of the way early.
We review our past and future sailing destinations, good ports nearby, and things to do (usually cheap things, or things that are free)
There is a bit about our former careers and the stresses therein.
Mel learns the word “publican.”
The foreigners’ experience of the foods of each nation represented is discussed. Mel learns that there are mixed opinions even in England regarding the merits of the traditional English breakfast. Greg talks about tea. A lot.
We have a discussion of recent American news, including a comparative study of the gun control policies of various nations.
We compare and contrast the demeanor of customs agents around the world.
The Brits express their sympathy for the Americans regarding Schengen.
We all then try to solve the refugee crisis by gesticulating at a tablecloth that happens to be a world map.
We share appetizer recipes and discuss the relative merits of various kitchen appliances, as they pertain to living on a boat.
We discuss the latest way in which sailors have died and how it happened.
The Brits lighten things up by talking soccer. The Americans politely sip their drinks.
We talk about our boats and fixing boats. A lot.
The catamaran sailors try to convert the monohullers. A vigorous debate ensues.
We share hilarious mnemonics for remembering the difference between the French and Dutch ensigns.
A cautionary tale is shared about the red light district in Holland.
We discuss various alcohols we drank in college, and why we avoid them now.
Some start to discuss ex-wives.
The conversation moves on to manscaping.
Suddenly it is midnight. Arrangements are made to eat on the next boat tomorrow night. The meeting is adjourned. Good night!