39:20.88N 9:22.28W Thursday 16 September Peniche

Martin and Elizabeth Bevan
Thu 16 Sep 2010 19:00

Continued lack of wind meant another day of motor sailing, although we did manage four out of ten hours under sail and no motor as the wind came and went.  Desperation – we even put up the mizzen staysail and gennaker which gave us a steady 6kts . 


The AIS had shown Quicksilver, and ARC member who we had met in Bayona, in the marina at Figueira and they popped up about 2 miles behind us and we enjoyed a chat on the VHF catching up on where we had both been.  With their encouragement we made a slight detour to visit the Ilha da Berlenga where the Pilot Book said that there were possible settled weather anchorages.  With a 2m swell running neither anchorage looked tenable but the sail by was well worth the visit.  The island is very dramatic with a fortified monastery built on an off lying rock; to quote the Pilot “Forte de São João Baptista – built in the 17th century by monks, tired of their undefended monastery being ransacked by pirates”.



The detour added some 4 miles and after 66nm we dropped anchor in the shelter of the breakwater outside Peniche, a very busy commercial fishing port with a small marina which as we were only staying for the hours of darkness we chose to avoid.


It appears necessary that yachts check in with the GNR (Maritime Police) at every stop.  In marinas the office can do this by fax.  We were not sure how anchorages were treated.  It may not be general but in Peniche the GNR do house calls – bureaucracy with a smile delivered by RIB!