What better way to relax than to set sail for the blue waters off the coast of Lagos with the sun on your brow and the breeze in your hair.
Again we chose morning time for our boat trip, this meant booking a day or so in advance, but also meant a reasonably flat sea and a relaxing ride as the winds pick up across the coast towards the latter end of the day… Warm winds mind you, but they still make for choppier waters.
We arrived at our arranged meeting place, clutching tickets, just as the sailing trip before us arrived back at the fishing harbour. They all sounded happy, laughing and joking with the crew and each other, taking an age to move over for our turn, but in their obvious enjoyment reassuring anyone (me) that a sailing boat trip would be fun.
We weren’t tied up with life jackets this time, for someone who can only swim confidently with one foot on the bottom of the pool this was a little un-nerving, but I took the seat offered on the roof of the long cabin below deck and watched the first mate steer us out of the fishing harbour. We motored out way along the inlet and out to deeper waters.
The sails went up and we glided along in this beautiful boat. Actually, I don’t remember moving very far or fast, the calm morning waters might have been perfect for the dolphin trip but the sound of the motor chugging away below deck was sort of comforting.
You may have noticed the little boat on tow behind us. After a while the sails were lowered and the motor turned off and we drifted just a little way off the coastline. We were divided into three groups and this is where the little boat came into play.
The cliffs along the coast here are full of small caves and hidden beaches. The Grotto is the name these little caves go by, at least that’s the name used to entice visiting holiday makers to tie themselves up in life jackets and to sit in a little boat, often no bigger than a large dining table, then to go bobbing about on a pond big enough for whales to play in. Well it worked, and not only once but twice on us, the smaller the boat, the more you can see, the more little gaps you can squeeze into or under, and the more you can see of how the sea has carved the rocky cliffs into its own work of art.
Don’t worry, like millions of tourists before and after me I fired off hundreds of shots with my camera and in a day or two (maybe a little longer) I’ll show you some of the best bits so you can “Ooh and Ahh” from the comfort of your own armchair.
Meanwhile, back on the sail boat… As one of our three groups set off to the Grotto, the remaining two groups were left to play. The picture above shows a chain strung across a gap on the side of the rails, the boat was parked, or I guess that should be anchored, a little way off-shore, with this side facing away from the buzzing little motor boats with their noses in the air. The captain unhooked the chain and pronounced the swimming pool open.
Just one young couple braved the impact of the cold water. We other more sensible (or possibly just less brave) people watched. We were served drinks, alcoholic and not, from the bar below deck and the captain entertained us for a while by fishing…
He and his mate threw food into the water and we watched as the fish broke the sea’s surface and jumped up to eat it. The captain dangled a piece of string over the side of the boat and before long caught a fish. He held up his six-inch trophy to many cheers before throwing it back to the sea.
Time flies when you’re having fun and the two hours on our sailing trip did just that. After we’d had our turn on the little boat too, accompanied by little life jackets I’m pleased to say, there was just enough time to sit back and relax with another drink as we trundled along the inlet and back to the fishing harbour
More from before: Lovely holiday in “Lagos“, in the Algarve, July 2015.