There is Nothing Like a Sail!

True to the taxi driver’s word, the wind came at us from the north in spite of the weather forecast. This made at first for an exhilarating sail, beating up the coast. With three of us on board the tacking was straightforward and I loved the energy rush of being out sailing fast in a steady wind. Although we travelled quickly progress north was slow, due to the zigzag track we needed to follow. John checked the forecast, for if the wind stayed in the north, Portinax would be too exposed to the weather for us to anchor there. The wind was due to drop and then turn south, so we carried on. An hour or so later Lara looked up from her book and was alarmed at the steep angle we were travelling at and our rocky motion through the waves. John and I had not really noticed, having come through much heavier seas last year. Ahead of us the sea looked choppier though, so we thought to turn round and run quickly back to San Antoni., which would be a smoother straight run with the wind behind. It was rather disappointing, with John rather dreading the prospect of the hippy disco, but we had enjoyed the sail. Almost immediately after we had turned the wind dropped. We looked at each other and sure enough it began to build from the south. Back round we turned and sailed up to Portinax in surprisingly calmer seas.

Portinax also has a connection to the filming of South Pacific. Perhaps it is always hard to visualize how a film set fits into a landscape, easier to spot familiar places on film. Perhaps it is just too long ago, but we could not feel the vibe of the film there. Perhaps we need to see it again. It is a lovely, lovely place and it was hard to find a spot amongst the boats already at anchor. Wooded headlands funnel round a deep bay with three beaches, one large and two smaller at its’ head. There are white hotel buildings climbing the hills on three sides and parasols and loungers along the main beach, where the Seabees sang about the unique nature of women and gazed out on the forbidden island of Bali Hai. After we had anchored, a process we approached tentatively with Lara relaying messages between John lowering the anchor from the prow and myself at the wheel, we were troubled to see an island out to see in the Bali Hai position. Not because we knew the actual island was down south some way, but because we had passed no island on our way in. Lara broke out the beers and when we looked again the island had shuffled across the horizon, revealing itself to be an oddly stacked container ship. Glad we didn’t come across that on our way here.


We all went for a swim off the boat. The water was beautifully clear, but still very cold. This meant Lara took quite a time to actually come in. She was wary of the temperature, but even more afraid of the bright blue fish, which came towards her each time she dipped a toe in. John and I loved swimming with the fish, but Lara prefers her water void of non -human life forms. After much encouragement she took the plunge and we all cooled off swimming peacefully round Lyra as she hung idyllically in the bay. We ate on board. John made enough pasta in piquant sauce to feed an army. Afterwards we sat watching the sun go down and listening to the singing. At first it was children singing, from the hotel on the right, lots of little treble voices Letting It Go. After a pause the hotel in the middle sparked up with some adult karaoke. John managed the first three songs and then retired. Lara and I sat out waiting for the stars, listening to a practiced sounding My Way and some woman murdering Adele. There was a reprieve of Let It Go from a woman and child and we pictured John’s niece and little Bea singing along in their car. It was nice chatting to Lara and having the stars come out one by one to join us.

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