We talk to Pedro, our insider in the Algarve who treats travelers to amazing sailing experiences, about life on the waves.
How did you become a captain? What led you to this job?
I wanted to be a captain for as long as I can remember, I was a young kid with a passion for sailboats. When I was seven, my father wanted me to try different sports so that I could “pick one” that I would really dedicate myself to… From one day to the next, I tried all sorts of sports, from karate to horse riding and eventually sailing. I guess I was never up for a fight, so I quit karate after a few months; I loved horses but didn’t feel I fitted in; finally, I fell in love with sailing. I still remember the first day out at sea, it was raining and cold and I was in tears I was so nervous. But by the end of the excursion, it was a completely different story and I had a big smile on the face (that I still have today every time I go out sailing).
I usually say, “I’m a retired engineer”, since now I have time to really do what I love. I got my degree in mechanical engineering and worked as a project engineer in the hydraulics area until 2010. When the economic crisis hit, the company wanted me to move to work in Poland, but I decided to stay here in Portugal, primarily to take care of my grandmother who was sick at the time. We could say that she is the one responsible for my new adventure!
Sailing is all about the “sit back, relax and have a long talk while the wind takes you there”.
What do you love most about your job and the region you work in?
I love meeting new people every week and having the chance to learn other cultures and other perspectives of the world we live in. Sailing is all about the “sit back, relax and have a long talk while the wind takes you there”.
I guess everyone loves their own country, but in my case, I feel particularly lucky – Portugal is a special little place. Particularly the Algarve region that still has some well-kept secrets to explore. All Portuguese sailors have the tradition to sail south in the summer and anchor for a week or two on the beautiful sand islands of Culatra and Armona. It’s not a secret anymore, but it still feels like it.
What do travelers find the most interesting/surprising about the experiences you provide?
The experiences we provide are genuine. We are not promoting “touristic” tours, but instead we are sharing what we love to do.
What is your top tip for travelers planning a boat trip to the Algarve?
Just remember rule number one rule about sailing: there is no rush. Pick your pace and your schedules during the day. We take care of the rest.
What are you looking forward to once lockdown ends? What's the first thing you'll do?
Traveling to meet my friends again! Today we have friends everywhere, and this lockdown takes one of the most important things away from us: “human contact!” Can’t wait to go out and have dinner with them again.
What is your go-to drink or favorite local food?
I’m not a “nightlife” guy. I prefer a good “petisco” at the end of the day or a good lunch or dinner surrounded by family or friends. Having some seafood at “Casa da Igreja” in Cacela Velha at Sunset, you can’t ask for much more.