More than fifteen years ago I fell in love, deeply and long lasting.
Me and Nuno always went to all harbours to watch the sailboats and dream about going out sailing in the world together. Nuno was the enthusiastic one and I was the patient one.
Until one day in the last village of Portugal, when we had followed the whole coast from north to south in our old Citroën HZ mobilehome-car, looking for harbours;
we arrived to the river Guadiana, the border between Portugal and Spain, Algarve and Andalusia;
Vila Real de Santo António. (Vila Real de Santo António was destroyed by a tsunami, caused by the 1755 Lisbon earthquake, and largely rebuilt in 1774.)
In that time I made my first visit here, only the old harbour existed.
We are right now, today, in the new harbour.
(Nuno in red in the pic)
More than fifteen years ago when we arrived here to the harbour in Vila Real de Santo António,
we fell in love.
Have you ever heard us telling our boat-stories?!
Well, when we tell stories about boats we have met, I tend to mention my first and biggest boat-love.
And then Nuno describe all the technical details, while I just have a dreamy look.
I don’t even remember or know her name, but I have never forgot her, and she has been mine the-ultimate-boat. A beauty! Steel-hull and a lot of carved wood-details. Like a pirate-ship.
Like a minature of the ships in my childhood favourite film The Crimson Pirate with my childhood love Burt Lancaster (..another end of a love-story in my life…)!
She was caught with her crew for smuggling, and stuck in decay because of bureaucracy when we met her. Love at first sight. And we didn’t have the means.. Not in anyway. She was supposed to be sold in auction. But when?
So many times I wondered about her. Thinking about what it would be like if we had bought her. Wondering what happened with her..
We have passed some great great time here around Guadiana now since midsummer, and a week together with our very large Portuguese family. All of us finding new and old dear friends (extra love to Sonia, Nelson, Alana and Lucas). Hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of photos later we have arrived here to Vila Real de Santo António again, after more than fifteen years.
When we passed by the old harbour out in the river,
Nuno thought he saw the mast of our old love.
We went to look for her together yesterday, me and Nuno.
The whole area on the way to there is falling apart.
The big old tin-fabric is in ruins.
The sun was already touching the horizon.
Stray dogs everywhere barking at us.
I like ruins. I find beauty in them.
My hope to see her again was growing together with the fear of finding her in pieces.
We passed by some ship-wrecks, and I was all elated to find HER waiting,
soon behind those wrecks, (we could see a mast, but we couldn’t be sure yet).
Soon. Just some more meters and we would know.
She wasn’t in the same place anymore. But;
It was her! And it was sad and upsetting! She was dead or dying!
If I was at home in my studio now, I could scan my old photos of her and show you how she looked fifteen years ago. So much beautiful wood-details she had. She was my dream-boat!……….
Now; a poor wreck…!
The low-tide had left her naked with water dripping out of her, waiting to be filled again with the next high-tide, and I stepped out in the water to come close to her again – all full of emotions.
My love and the end of her life:
The end of her.
The end of this journey so soon.
Today Tassa, Tiago and Spirit left us to pass a week with their family here;
while Nuno and I’ll sail Siska to Faro where we’ll take down the mast, lift her up on land, and prepare her for a truck-journey home through Europe to Sweden.
Today was the first time in seventeen years together that we went alone – J+N / N+J – to a restaurant and accompanied with the food ordered a bottle of wine for us. We realized how incredible it was that we had never made this before..!
Not the end we had dreamt about,
yet; full of desires for letting the end be
only a continuation,
a passage towards new beginnings.
Best wishes, and huge greatfullness,
from Jenny and Nuno feeling honey and moon in Siska,
– maybe eight years away from a future world around cruising
with a bigger sailboat, and grown up children..?
(Iknow it sounds like goodbye when I´m writing. I’m just processing the end, but we