Portugal to England
Having enjoyed a good nights sleep we emerged early in the morning to see what changes the night had brought to us. The wind had actually picked up to about a force nine so we decided to give it an hour or so to see if it would moderate. To pass the time Amiria decided to go for a swim despite being called mad by everyone. To say that there was a scream as she hit the water would be an understatement!
After a couple of hours had passed the wind had actually picked up to what we estimated to be at least a force ten. So we hauled the anchor up and made our way up the river towards the main marina. The wind was so strong that the tops were blown off the waves and the spray was carried well over a hundred metres. Even the Lista Light with bare poles was heeled over to a good twenty degrees at times.
After we had clawed our way up the river to the marina we gratefully tied up to the breakwater as it was quite a small marina. With our most pressing priority being to check the weather for the next few days most of us trooped off to the internet café. Vigo had a myriad of beautiful small old streets that we explored in the search of a restaurant for our evening meal.
After a beautiful dinner which we followed with a few shots of a home brewed tequila we retired to the boat in preparation for an early start the next morning.
We were all up bright and early the next morning and we headed out of the marina and off towards the open sea. Despite it blowing a force eight the sea had not built up to an unmanageable proportion so we came onto our course for the Scilly Isles. The sea was just big enough to make it hard for the auto-pilot so we hand steered with just a poled out staysail.
By evening however the sea had calmed down and we were still making a fantastic speed. By midday the next day we had lost the wind all together and were motoring along in a calm sea.
As it was still really calm there was a hive of cleaning activity aboard Lista which included much scrubbing and polishing.
The calm weather also gave us the opportunity to make sure that all the rigging was still well balanced and we were all very pleased to see that everything was still performing well.
It was our fifth day out of Vigo before we came into the Isles of Scilly in the early hours of the morning. We stopped alongside the dock to pick up a couple of hundred litres of diesel before going and picking up a mooring.
After dealing the most pressing priorities on the to do list we all trooped ashore to have a look around and a swift pint in the pub before we left for Lundy Island mid afternoon with the tide. It was a fairly tiring night as there was a thick fog giving us a visibility of as little as a mile at times but we were greeted by the warming sight of Lundy Island the next morning.
After a good hearty fried breakfast, English style, we jumped into the dinghy and headed ashore for an explore.
As we hauled the dinghy up the slip we saw some of the resident seals watching us with mild curiosity. We decided against risking hypothermia and swimming with them even though some people did give it some serious consideration.
We did a quick tour of the Island which included climbing the Light House before heading to the pub for lunch.
After lunch we headed back to the boat stopping for a quick Kodak moment on the way.
We left the Lundy with the wind dead behind us and to greet this almost forgotten feeling we raised a double reefed mizzen accompanied by the staysail. With the tide with us as well we were making a very comfortable six knots. The only downside of this was the wind was bitterly cold causing everyone to wear several layers accompanied by our now mandatory full wet weather gear.
Fortunately for us by the time we had negotiated the Bristol channel and entered the mouth of the Avon river the autumn sun was out in all of its glory bringing a smile to everyone's face.
As we were slightly early we crept up the river with only the tide pushing us along until we were back on schedule, and then Lizzie, with the ever faithful Perkins purring beneath us, rounded the corner in all her glory to be greeted by our friends and family as we entered the lock.
Once we had got to the top of the lock all of our welcoming committee, including the B.B.C. television reporter, got on board and it was smiles all around as we motored through the Bristol docks.
Once we had tied up alongside the dock the champagne was brought out of the fridge and the Lista Light crew toasted Lizzie for her strength and fortitude in the face of adversity and for all the challenges that she has met head on and emerged triumphant.
Soon the Champagne was in full flow and everyone had a hundred stories to tell to their friends and family and there were smiles all around as people who have been apart for ages were re-united.
The occasion even saw Jack firing up his celebratory cigar much to everyone's amusement.
Once the champagne supply was exhausted the beer was cracked open, with Noel enjoying not one but two of his favourites at the same time.
The celebrations carried on late into the night and there were some people who were suffering slightly the next morning, but most of us were still up bright and early. Over the next few days people have been making their own plans and slowly everyone has started gathering their possessions and leaving the boat that they have grown to love with a hundred stories that will ensure that their friends and family will be entertained for many years.
Lista Light who is now back home where she belongs and with an entire circumnavigation under her belt she is going to get the tender loving care that she deserves. Though the future for the Lista may be a little hazy, I feel that there will always be someone who will love and cherish her and she is immortalized in the memories of all the hundreds of people who's lives have been changed by her for ever.
It is just left for me to say thank you to Rob for without his support and knowledge I would not have been able to keep this website updated. I hope you have all enjoyed living our trip with us and I am very proud to have been the person to help this happen.
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