Well, we have broken out of the marina and somewhat like swallows that
have found the evenings getting cooler, have headed south again.
The first leg of our journey has taken us 51 nm to Sines (pronounced
“cinch”). Leaving the River Tagus estuary in a flat calm produced
some excellent views backwards but not much in the way of sailing. Settled
weather at this time of year appears to mean nothing much in the way of wind
until 2 to 3 in the afternoon which is really too late in the day to be
starting a day sail passage. Today we had to be resigned to motoring, then
motor sailing, 1200 rpm producing an additional 3.5 knots over sailing, then
joy a final hour of running in 12 knots of true wind.
Whilst there is a small marina that looks to have room for us, we have
anchored off the beach next to the marina, under the castle and church outside
of which is a statue of the town’s famous son, Vasco da Gama.
Until 1971 Sines was a quiet fishing port. The original port which
contains the marina and beach is now surrounded by a major port capable of
taking 500,000 tonne tankers. Fortunately all of the industry is hidden behind
a hillside and we only see the attractive old town and new residential areas.