Passage from Baiona (Spain) to Cascais (Portugal)

The adventures of Chili III
Peter & Belinda Vernon
Sat 23 Oct 2021 11:27

38:41.6N 009:24.7W


22-23 October 2021


Overall distance 227 NM, time 35 hours (23 sailing, 12 motoring)


With the forecast of a steady northerly, we left Baiona after breakfast and headed back out into the Atlantic swell. There is a notoriously ‘lumpy sea’ outside Baiona which we had encountered a couple of years ago – and it was the same this time. But after a couple of hours the sea settled down to a more comfortable steady swell which was a relief.


This was an opportunity to test our new downwind rig - which we had planned for our Atlantic crossing. We set up the genoa of the starboard side, held in place with the whisker pole and our new downwind stay sail on the port side poled out using the boom on a preventer. It worked brilliantly – it was really stable even in quite big seas and we were able to change course by about 20 degrees either way to avoid fishing boats without having to alter the sails.


Apart from the fabulous sailing, excitements included having to call up a cargo ship to ask them to change course and numerous dolphins. Belinda jumped out of her bunk at one point when there was a big bang on the hull – she thought it was an Orca but Peter said it was only a wave (it must have been a very hard one!).


As darkness fell the wind picked up to a N5/6 and we were racing along at about 9kn – time to reef down for the night. Even so, it was still very rolly and it took at least 2 ‘off-watches’ to get the hang of sleeping in those conditions (arms and legs splayed out to prevent rolling seemed to work best!). Sadly (but as expected) the wind died in the morning so the rest of the passage was under motor. 


We arrived in Cascais in the early evening to the sounds of an International Ironman event that was taking place along the waterfront. We were slightly alarmed by the marina reception which was like 5 star hotel and the large number of huge and very fancy yachts that were moored there – but when it came to pay the bill it was the cheapest marina we had been to so far. We were looking forward to exploring ashore.


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