Sines - Lagos 37 05.86N, 08 39.68W

Saro's Gyda
Derrick Thorrington
Mon 11 Oct 2010 09:28

We waited at Sines, enjoying the weather, good company and good swimming, whilst a new weather window developed. The necessary 5 day window appeared on the 28th Sept,so after loading up sufficient food and water we once again set off for Madeira. However, by this time we were wondering about the possibility of doing something different with our year. The thought of spending possibly 3 weeks at sea in order to reach the Caribbean and even longer coming back was putting us off a bit. We decided to head on down to the Algarve instead and then to look at all the possibilities, including a shorter Atlantic circuit taking in Madeira, Canaries and the Azores properly.

  We had a very quiet day at sea. No wind but lots of dolphins playing around the bows, and increasingly high, towering cliffs as we headed towards Cabo Vincente to turn away from the west coast into the quieter waters of the Algarve.

   Cabo Vincente has a fierce reputation. The wind accelerates around the huge steep cliffs and can kick up a wicked sea. We approached as the sun was beginning to set. A beautiful evening. No wind, no swell. It was so peaceful that, instead of completing the last 20M to Lagos we turned sharply N around the headland to anchor in a tiny, steep bay under the loom of the Cape lighthouse.

The following day we completed the last leg of the passage admiring the high cliffs and headlands. We rounded the last headland to turn towards Lagos and were amazed at the amount of caves, arches and pinnacles along this last mile. Small boats were weaving in and out the arches and edging into caves to reappear somewhere else.

   We noticed “Alice” in the anchorage and couldn’t help smiling when we thought of how Celia and Andrew might react when we turned up unexpectedly again! As we sailed onto the anchor they noticed us and jumped into their dinghy to welcome us, take photos and ask us to lunch. We spent the afternoon with them, exploring the caves and arches in their dinghy. Later in the afternoon, Yvonna and Roderick on “Happy Bird” anchored and came aboard for a drink. We had last seen them in Nazare so it was good to catch up.

After a peaceful night at anchor we moved into the marina in order to do some research into alternative options. We discovered, after examining the pilot charts for the relevant times of the year, that it would be possible to do the shorter circuit if the fancy took us. We also looked at the possibility of calling into a couple of ports along the Atlantic Moroccan coast as an alternative way of reaching the Canaries if the wind decided not to comply with our plans.

Suitably armed with all the possibilities we settled down to wait for that elusive weather window of 5 days so that we could get to Madiera to meet up with my father who

would be spending a good proportion of Oct in Madiera.




Cabo Vincente anchorage.




Lagos “Grottoes”