Fog bound in Fig Foz

andromeda of plymouth
Susan and Andrew Wilson
Mon 31 Aug 2009 14:03
40.08.842N 08.51.576W
It could be a clever alliteration of someone being poetic or it could be someone with a signficant degree of nasal congestion. But its none of that - Figueira da Foz seems to be shortened by the local boats to Fig Foz, which probably makes sense, but yes we had very thick fog until about 1pm today.
We left Leixoes at about 7am for the 60 mile trip south and expected to motor for a few hours and then pick up some wind from the north and sail most of the way down. Nope, not today! We had to motor all the way as the wind barely reached double digits until we rounded Cabo Mondego when it decided to change direction to the North East (warm, you can tell when you've been at sea as long as we have :-) ) and blow a hooly! By a hooly we mean in excess of 30 knots of wind - from 6knots to > 30 knots in less than 10 minutes! We had the main up and found ourselves doing 7+ knots heading southeast. Very rock and roll - in a breif lull we headed up and dropped the main before heading for the harbour about 3 miles away. By the time we had reached the harbour entrance the wind had dropped to 8 knots - very unusual and certainly something that gets the adrenaline going.
For mosy of the journey south the wind couldn't make up its mind which direction to come from hence us motoring and as Aveiro was not going to feasible for us we had to keep going until we reached Figueira da Foz - there are no other anchorages or harbours available on this stretch of the coast, which is largely sand dunes. We arrived at about 5:50pm and amazingly managed to raise the marina on the phone - most times you ring there is either no answer or the number is no longer in use! We completed the paperwork with the police at the reception pontoon and then put 168 litres of deisel in the tanks - ouch, its expensive here. Its also expensive to stay, one of the most expensive on our trip so far, so having exhausted the towns provision amenities - one market and one tiny supermarket, we plan, weather permitting, to head down to Nazare tomorrow.
The marina is relatively small and does suffer from the wash of passing ships and fishing vessels. However we've washed down Andromeda and filled both fuel and water tanks so are ready for a little relaxation before getting ready for tomorrow.
We did see Dolphins on our way down feeding and racing around, but they didn't stay very long, quite a lot of gannets and brown albatross and what look like kittiwakes, but not much other wildlife.We didn't see a single other yacht going north or south which again surpirsed us. Figueira has some very large beaches with walkways across the sand to reach the sea - the beaches must stretch nearly half a mile from the esplanade to the sea itself and when the sun comes out they get very very full.
More in due colurse......
Andrew & Susan
S/V Andromeda