SV Accomplice Blog week 6 12/9/19 to 18/9/19
Thu 19 Sep 2019 15:05
After a noisy and sleepless night we left Camarinas at dawn, bright with mist clinging to the coastline, bound for the Muros ria, a short 40nm day passage.
This passage would finally get us around Finisterre or Cabo Fisterra and the air flows that it has so far divided.
It proved a day of mainly motoring in a swelly sea, the wind gradually increasing as the day progressed. And no ....Janet
didn’t suffer I am pleased to report. She had a right to though as there were two crossing swells originating from bad weather a hundred miles away, this is where the Bay of Biscay meets the Atlantic Ocean.
On entry into the Muros ria we chose to anchor off a beautiful sandy beach, Enseada de San Francisco. It was one of those great arrivals where having been out to sea your prize is ending up in beautiful surroundings where people just get on with their normal day to day lives. Though a beautiful spot with shelter from northerly winds, it proved to only provide marginal shelter from the now strengthening wind and a sleepless night ensued. With gusts of wind in excess of 25 knots the new Rocna anchor held firm with minimum of chain down....impressed, a good omen for the future.
At dawn we were off again, bleary eyed,?destination Cascais, Portugal, a passage of some 250 NM, two overnighters. The wind was forecast to come and go which is exactly what it did.
Dolphins, dolphins and sun fish. This was the passage for both in that ratio. We were treated to great dolphin agility displays as they weaved in and out of the bow wake. I haven’t ever seen so many, at times five or six abreast at the bow. I must confess I thought that I had captured the best video in history barely inches above them........until I realised that I hadn’t pressed the right button!....bugger! We entered upon a vast shoal of sun fish, I had only ever seen one fish before down in Southern Brittany......here there must have been hundreds. You recognise them by a small black flappy fin on the surface of the water. You think ah little shark, until the fin flaps. If you don’t know them they are a flat round fish with a big eye, flappy fin and seem to lay on their sides just underneath the surface. Funny looking creatures really.
We had moments of perfect sailing, but in the main we relied on the engine yet again to make meaningful progress. It literally has been weeks of all or nothing.
The nights were spent under a fullish moon keeping a keen lockout for shipping, fishing boats and mines (lobster pots!). Janet captured a fantastic moment on her phone where the sun was setting in the west as the moon was rising in the east, magical. The chance of seeing a lobster pot at night and being able to avoid them are slim, we had on a couple of occasions little buoys (that’s not what we called them) serenely slip down the side of the boat!
Matthew had his fishing line out for 2 days but no bites, we put it down to overfishing by the Portuguese 😉
We arrived in Cascais marina early morning and were duly told that there was no room in the inn.......um ok doesn’t look full.....ah we don’t have a mooring for your size boat (not big enough) You will have to go away and we will telephone you if anything changes....great. Not what you want to hear when you haven’t really slept for three days! We made a plan B and arranged a mooring more into Lisbon. Not what we had planned and couldn’t understand their policy when there were larger berths available. If you first don’t succeed.....I tidied myself up, shaved off the beard and represented myself at the marina office.....oh good different younger receptionist., not the old battle-axe....we have a berth available sir.....and tied up we did in a plum spot!! I can kid myself it was my charm😂
We celebrated our safe arrival with much food and beers and iced teas in the very busy touristy centre....not that we need much of a reason!
We bid farewell to Janet at Cascais railway station, waving our little hankies with a tear in our eyes. Janet needed to get back home for family reasons and we will meet again in Gran Canaria. It has been an extraordinarily slow trip so far to Gran Canaria but it has allowed us to explore and venture further ashore than we would have been able to if it had all gone to plan.
Then there were two....three of us would be good, after much searching for somebody to take over from Janet, Mikey kindly stepped up and agreed to join us for the final passage from Cascais to Gran Canaria for which we are grateful. He will be flying in this Sunday coming.
We will not be able to consider setting sail again until the present disturbances in the Atlantic have gone through and the Portuguese northerly trade winds resume. These are forecast for this coming Sunday/Monday, so fingers crossed.
In the meanwhile we have been cleaning, making alterations etc to the boat mixed with exploring ashore and of course enjoying the local seafood and beers. Oh and taking in the heat.
Cascais is an international tourist hotspot with lovely scenery, beaches and buildings with eateries and designer shops lined down the main thoroughfares, and has its share of sports bars and liveliness. Not bad really.
We monitor the weather and get ready for the final passage of this trip to Gran Canaria. A passage downwind hopefully of approximately five days and nights.
Andrew and Matthew
19.09.19 Cascais, Portugal.