39:21.09N 09:22.63W

Simon Ridley
Tue 19 Jun 2007 09:52
Well here we are in a small marina in Peniche, what appears to be a thriving fishing port judging from the heavy traffic of fishing boats going in and out of the harbour.

We arrived at just after 11.00pm last night, two hours outside of the allotted time for yesterday's voyage. The planned journey from Figueira de Foz to here was about 50 miles, but the winds were 15 - 20 knots from the South / Southwest. We sailed the whole way, tacking out West for about 15 miles before heading back in and down the coast. The sailing was good with Gertha regularly giving us 6.5 - 7 knots with one reef in the mainsail for most of the day. As we got to within about 10 miles of Peniche the tides and currents around the headland made it difficult to achieve headway and this added an extra hour to hour and a half to the voyage. In the end we did just about 100 miles of sailing to get here!!

Once again Gertha was the only boat in the fleet to sail the whole way, others telling of sailing for the first 2 to 4 hours, then heading south under motor, others not even bothering to sail. It must have been an uncomfortable ride for those who motored all day straight into the wind. Everyone is hoping that the wind will come around to the north to allow all of us a nice broad reach, by far the most enjoyable point of sail.

As has been the case on most of our "free days" we woke to wet windy weather, and it seems set for the day. How nice it would be to have some warm sunshine to relax in. Even going shopping is an effort when you have to don oilskins and get soaked! Spares for the mainsail track have arrived courtesy of North Sails, which we managed to order via email whilst in Bayona, so that's a nice surprise.

Tonight we have a "civic reception" at the municipal hall, so it looks as if we are being treated like visiting dignitaries - let's hope the food is good!

More tomorrow,