The transient, Alvor Anchor Club began just a few weeks ago when Brian and I became surrounded by fun-loving sailors – what are the odds!? Great minds think alike; we all thought the Alvor River would provide good protection on the hook and reasonable access to neighboring, larger towns while we waited the next forecast to sail south. Everyone was headed toward the Atlantic Islands. All the toys were brought out to play while getting acquainted with new neighbors; S/Y Mira Polaris, S/Y Vagus, and S/Y Zest. Finally, our 15hp outboard was put to good use – WHEEE HOO!
Friday Happiness rolled around… the Alvor Anchor Club found ourselves in the hills of Portugal at a late night, wood-fired pizza fest. Delicious pizza, flowing mojitos, trance music; Friday was Happiness all night long!
Not all of Portugal’s hillsides featured pizza. We ventured inland with S/Y Mira Polaris, and trekked our own path along roads, dirt tracks, trails, and off-road through the brush for a first-hand look at the countryside of southern Portugal. We found charred earth from recent forest fires; the smell of ash, black hills, bare trees, with neon green ferns springing new life onto the scene. We stepped up hidden stairways that led us up tiered banks in which retaining walls had been built for cultivation. We sniffed ripe oranges, sauntered casually away from mangy dogs, spotted grazing donkeys, and tried to identify unfamiliar fauna.
I marveled at cork trees; a member of the oak family, their leaves were adorned with acorns. The bark was spongy. Wet bark actually was squishy. The bare sections of trunk of the cork trees which had recently been harvested were maroon in color, a deep purple color that reminded me of a shade of lipstick. The numbers on the trees, as Google tells me, indicate something about the number of harvests for that tree.
The adventures of the Alvor Anchor Club will continue; but don’t be misled by all the fun and games, that was only our first three days together. Now, we are waiting for a good breeze to sail to the Canary Islands and in the meantime we’re all working on various boat projects, cooking up tasty meals, swapping movies/music/books/etc., kite-boarding…the usual anchorage shenanigans.