Sailed lazily to Ponta de Piedade and anchored up outside the beach for a little dingy excursion through the caves. Impressive!
But do not get fooled by the pictures, this is not a quite place. The first officer was counting the tourist motorboats at one given moment and came back with the number 20!
The harbour in Lagos is very expensive (about €70), so we anchored off the beach.
We avoided most of the wash from the sightseeing boats, but rental jetskis and waterskiing boats circled around the anchored sailing boats.
A quarter nautical mile up the river there is a pontoon to land with the dingy and we got free WI-FI from restaurants on the beach.
Sunrise in very calm conditions the next morning.
The fog cleared as we left Sines and we could sail in good wind all the way to Sagres. There is no marina there, but there are some buoys in the bay for the visiting boats. A shopping trip on land revealed a poor selection and relatively high prices.
The rocky shoreline of Cabo de San Vicente
The lighthouse at Cabo de San Vicente
At a buoy in Sagres
Fog again the whole day
The day was a bit foggy
The dots on the radar transformed into fishing boats
Fog again - staring at the radar and into the fog - at least we could sail, which makes it possible to listen for boats also!
The fishing boat in the picture did neither have a radar nor a radar reflector and kept racing through the fog - his radar signature was as small as the buoys marking fishing nets!
In a little clearing in the fog, we could see almost one nautical mile, and we notices some dolphins storming towards the boat, riding the bow for a minute before they continued on!
We didn't see the city from the marina, the picture was taken the next morning.
Vasco da Gama beach
The rookie sailor's corner
I hate these foggy moist days...
The breakwater under a full moon
Fog most of the day, but it cleared a bit in the afternoon when we tried to anchor. With gusts of 30kts pulling us around, we had some problems to get the anchor to sit, but with 30m of chain on 5m depth it finally held!
Representatives from the local boat club came around in the evening to make sure the anchors were holding and in the right place.
There was even a pontoon to land on with the dingy.
Next morning the fog arrived again...
Harbour day in Lisboa
The day was spend with sightseeing in Lisboa, where we fist went to the Baixa quarter. One of the houses wore a large banner, begging for silence, which gave an idea how the local population here must suffer under the mass tourism.
And yes, there are many tourists here. Unfortunately the tourism does not seem to bring enough money as one can find many large, run-down and abandoned buildings directly in the city centre, disturbing severely the image of a wealthy city.
The main shopping street and the churches are in excellent condition, the rest reminds the visitor, that Portugal is, nevertheless, a poor country.
View from Baixa towards Praça de Comércio
The barrio Alfama.
Praça Don Pedro IV
A church in Ciado
The streets of Alfama.
The rookie sailor's corner
After a long day in the city it is nice to douse off at a cafe.
Cabo da Roca.
Torre de Belém
Rounding the westernmost point of mainland Europe at about 9° 30′ W, the air dried up and the wind increased - we were doing 11.1kts in the surfs.
With 30kts in the anchoring area off the port of Cascais we decided to go the 10nm up the river Tejo to Lisboa, well, due to current in the river it added up to 15nm.
The fortress Torre de Belém is from 1520 and used to be in the middle of the river, but the earthquake of 1755 shifted the river’s course and it lies now on the north bank.
There are several harbours to choose from - all have the same price and we selected Doca de Alcâtara, as it is closest to the city. It is also close to a cargo harbour, where work was going on during the whole time. Adding to this the noise of the nearby airport, did not make the harbour particular quietly.
The harbour fee was about 35 € and included everything. A very strong point of this harbour was its FAST internet access.
In this harbour the first office got completely annoyed: First the boats were moored on the quays with 4-5meters space in between them, leaving no space for new arriving boats. So we had to tell some sailors the most obvious thing: move closer together, so that some more boats fit in. Then she spend quite some time walking around to find the harbour office and do the usual time-consuming registration, but it was closed, due to week-end! Therefore it was also not possible to get any access key to the harbour, and we could only leave the boat one at each time, in order that the other could let one into the harbour again. In stead of a harbour master a police officer stopped by and requested us to do the registration process. However, he could also not tell us, how we could get access to a harbour key card and the harbour facilities.
The closed harbour of Peniche
Later, two more police men showed up, therefore 3 policemen and 0 harbour master. It makes one wonder, what the priorities of this harbour are. The next morning (monday) we left, before the harbour opening times and therefore could not pay.
Unfortunately all the police present did not encourage the boats to respect the speed limit in the harbour, meaning, boats were passing at nearly full speed, making the stay quite bumpy.
Figueira da Foz-Nazare
Pontal de Nazare with the crowded beach in the city
Music & party on the beach, fortunately the marina were tucked away among the fishing boats at the far, far end of the city, so we had our peace and spent the afternoon in the local bar with fellow sailors.
As it was week-end, no harbour master was to be seen ?! Nevertheless there was information available at the quay, where to register and pay. Information where to do shopping, how to get to the town and what to do here, however, was not available. After walking a km to the security check-point, doing the usual time-consuming registration and having to pay 32.50€, we spent the rest of the afternoon at the local bar/café, which is actually one of the best points at the harbour. The owner is a welcoming chap and they have very interisting and good pastry here.
Besides the local café the harbour had another highlight: It is located nex to some dunes with a huge beach, which, the next morning, the first officer had alone for herselv and the dog.
Aveiro-Figueira da Foz
Figuera da Faz is surrounded by sand beaches.
Figueira da Foz is a tourist town famous for its very wide sandy beaches. In addition it has a very good selection of restaurants, mainly around the casino aerea which is not too far away from the harbour.
We had an excellent dinner at the restaurant Volta&Meia.
When arriving at the harbour boats first have to stop at the quay at reception for the - in comparison to North-Europe, time-consuming process of checking-in. Afterwards one crosses just over a short distance by boat, but a long by food, over to the transit quay, which is in maximum walking distance from the harbour office with its installation.
The harbour fee was €37.56 and included everything. The next larger supermarket was at a distance of about 1km. We also purchased a new gas bottle at the shop next to the harbour office.
The small tourist town San Jacinto, next to the Aveiro airport.
It seemed not possible to go to Aveiro, so we were laying on anchor in the bay of San Jacinto.
San Jacinto is a small sleepy tourist town, only the next day during the walk with the dogs we found a supermarket. Nevertheless, at the an excellent bakery as directly at the sea front.
A couple of other boats were lying on anchor in this bay and we had a calm night.
An added bonus was the free WI-FI from the military base
Harbour day in Porto
The next day, captain and first officer spent the morning with sightseeing in Porto, while the deckhand was taking care of boat and dogs.
Igreja de San Ildefonso.
Porto is probably the absolute highlight of this journey: its churches are beautiful, and it has something to offer for all tastes: colourful and rundown quarters with a very South-American charm, bombastic and well-maintained buildings, worthy of an old European mayor city and a colourful and lively riverfront.
Torre dos Clérigos & Igreja. This church was one of our favourites in Porto.
The old tram that goes along the river is an attraction on itself...
In the city, where the tram line ends.
Povoa de Varzim-Porto
Fog the whole trip, but the wind has turned north, the only land feature we saw was the breakwater when entering the river Douro. The current was more than 3 kts, but in the Douro Marina the current was hardly noticeable.
We arrived early and spend the afternoon with walking along the river towards Porto.
Porto with the port wine boats.
On the way back the first officer and the temporary deckhand visited Churchill's for the port tasting and came back to the boat with two bottles of port wine. While the port wine was lovely, the setting of the testing was not so. Another day, the deckhand did a tasting at Taylors, and found a very lovely setting there.
The walk to Porto is about 3-4km along the river.
Close to the Douro marina we felt like being in South America.
On the other side of Porto lies an area with all the port wine producers.
When we were approaching the harbour we were a bit concerned because of the strong current in the river. Nevertheless, within the harbour the current was not noticeable. A harbour master with dingy assigned us a place and helped with the landing. At the reception, the stuff was most helpful with providing maps and information on how to get to Porto. Furthermore they informed us, that we could have a free port wine tasting at Churchill's.
Viana Do Castelo-Povoa de Varzim
Before entering the breakwaters the city emerged from the fog.
Todays view of the Portuguese coast
The harbour fee was 22€ and included everything. The city is worth a visit, however the shops are too far away from the harbour. There also seemed to be a Lidl, but a couple of km away.
Fog the whole trip, but the wind has turned north! - and because of the missing sun, it was cold. We met the 3rd Norwegian boat in 3 months.
Bayona-Viana Do Castelo
We made slow progress tacking against the wind and current along the coast between Spain and Portugal. What should be around 30nm turned out to be 57nm!
The view of the coast that we followed the whole day
We decided to lay alongside outside the harbour in order to leave when we wanted. The marina itself is in a basin with a pedestrian bridge across the entrance, which blocked the harbour entrance most of the times.
The harbour fee was 34€ and included water and electricity. No internet, and showers/toilets were at the harbour house far away.
Alongside on the outside of the harbour
The mandatory walk in the city revealed some of the asulejos that Portugal is so famous for.