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Date: 09 Sep 2010 14:29:00
Title: Nazare

 
09:09.10,  39.35.01N 09:04.49W
 
We set off in the afternoon from Povoa De Varzim planning to travel 15 miles down the coast to the next port Leixoes where we planned to stay the night before heading to Figuera Da Foz in the morning - we had a nice sail down, but once we got to about a mile from Leixoes, we decided against going in - basically you can anchor in a commercial port next to a load of oil terminals - not too lovely. ..  the evening was nice and the winds were gentle so we decided to carry on through the night and either arrive in Fig Da Foz in the early morning, or press on to Nazare which we hoped to reach by early afternoon.
 
I made a truly awful chilli for dinner out of strange Portuguese soya protein and the fish got to eat about half of it.  The wind died as night fell so we ended up having to motor through the night.  One thing that had really put us off night sailing in portugal was the number of what we thought were lobster pot markers - run over one of these and you risk getting it tangled around the prop and all sorts of bad things happen.  However - we ended up considering the chances of running over one - although there are a lot of them out here - you have to be unlucky to run right over one in all that sea.  We went 10 miles offshore in the hope that deeper water would mean there weren't any of these things to slalom around, however - we still saw them! - it was only talking to people in Nazare that we found out that most of these things are not actually lobster pots but they mark fishing nets strung deep under the water - hence they do set them up in deep water.
 
Lots of Dolphins spotted an hour after dawn in the morning - not sure what type - but they were small and agile - groups of them jumping out of the waves, probably around 50 in one pod altogether. 
 
Our next wildlife spot was not quite as exciting - looking through the binocs we saw what we could only imagine was an unidentified sea monster (or maybe a capsized boat) - it was in fact a huge dead whale floating at the surface. ..  alive would have been better. . . .. anyway - I am writing this blog update 48 hours after arriving at Nazare.  Today whilst walking on the breakwater at Nazare we looked out to sea and spotted the dead beastie again happily floating along - it had got here without the aid of sails or motor.  They took a boat out and went and dragged it into the harbour where it was lifted out with the boat hoist and taken away to be disposed of - I suppose that a huge dead lump of whale is actually a hazard to small boats - wouldn't want to hit it on a jet ski anyway!   We did go and have a look at the whale lifting operation - it was pretty big, not sure what kind of whale but a local biologist lady thought it was a minke whale.  It would be better to see one alive, I think it would smell better too. 

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