Lisbon (Cascais) — Rochefort (Charente-Maritime)Startharbour: Lisbon (Cascais)
Boarding after: 25.05.2016 17:00
Departure: 25.05.2016 17:00
Port of destination: Rochefort (Charente-Maritime)
Arrival: 04.06.2016 13:00
Days on board: 10
It feels so funny. You fly to Lisbon, get off the plane and realize that in a few, when everybody is going to be at their hotels, you are going to be aboard a frigate. The border officer will take a moment to chew on your response about the purpose of your visit. And here it comes, the sweet feeling that you are different, not like everybody else.
That’s right, not everybody knows how it feels to come to Lisbon to sail a frigate. After all, a historical tall ship is a whole another world, paradoxically more real than our real daily life.
So you leave the airport and plunge head first into history. Lisbon is one of the most ancient European cities; it has been mentioned for the first time at the beginning of the Common Era. Portuguese Baroque, Middle Age Gothicism, Portuguese pavement, and look, in absolute authenticity, there is a tall ship at the dock in the Tagus estuary.
You climb the gangway and your life changes yet again. Now you’re a sailor, surrounded by your own like-minded brethren, like you they are ready for a new adventure. While at the dock the new hands get a chance to study the ship, so that when you hear “brace the yards!” or “brail up!” you would have at least a slight clue of what is going on.
Anyhow, ten days at sea give you plenty of opportunity to find your way in this new world, test and challenge yourself and learn something new. Or rather well-forgotten old. The itinerary helps the learning process as well. At first the ship is North-bound from Lisbon to legendary Porto. We are going around Cabo da Roca, the West-most point of Europe. That’s your time to get a feeling of the ship, to get accustomed to the new schedule and environment and, of course, to learn a lot.
The “Promised Land” awaits the crew in Porto, we rest there, take a break from the swell, and replenish our water and Porto supplies.
But it’s a little too early to forget your acquired skills. The Bay of Biscay lies ahead. These waters are famous for having quite a character. You’d have to use everything you’ve got. Especially reaction speed, especially on galley watch when mugs and plates spontaneously levitate on yet another whim of the waves. We’d be truly lucky to pass that part of our itinerary on calm waters. But it is a very different kind of luck – and not in a bad way - if The Bay of Biscay demonstrates us its’ true nature. We didn’t come here to wear off the deck chairs, right?
And finally, after all these adventures, we go by Île-d'Aix with a citadel and a fort, we leave the famous Fort Boyard behind, and we finish the trip in French Rochefort. Now you’re a true salty dog, you’ve tasted the breath of Atlantic, you’ve weathered the wild temper of The Bay of Biscay and felt the starlight in the silence of the ocean.
What would it feel like to be you now? What would become of your world? How would your relationship with the world around you change? We’ll see.