We left Viano at lunchtime. The weather seems to be in a
pattern of starting cool with thick fog, clearing by lunchtime with light
winds which build during the afternoon to stiff Northerlies. The
temperature also continues to climb to a pleasant 80+.
One of the disappointments of the passages so far is how
little marine life we have seen. On the passage from Baiona we had seen 7
sunfish. These strange beasts either lie on the surface drifting with the
current, looking like abandoned plastic bags, or swish a dorsal fin lazily just
above the water surface. On approach they quickly disappear and are apparently
deep sea creatures which can, and do, live at great depth. They grow to be
8 foot long and weigh over a ton, although the ones we saw were only about 3
feet at best. Their other claim to fame is that they produce more
eggs than any other fish ...over 300 million a time. However, usually we see
more in the harbours than out at sea.
By the time we reached Povoa the wind had built, we sailed
into the harbour and moored in the marina. The pilot book suggests the town is
attractive. It isn't, the part we saw is dirty and care worn and a stark
contrast to the obvious wealth of Viano. A circus was encamped beside the marina
complete with 4 tigers in tiny cages and a hippopotamus in a small articulated
lorry, one end of which was flooded as a wallow.
Povoa had the advantage for us of a fast metro link to
Porto which has a harbour not recommended for yachts...not least because they
apparently still tip all their raw sewage into the river! However, the
city is well worth a visit with wonderful views across the steep sided valley of
the Douro river.
We enjoyed a good day wandering the streets and managed an
excellent lunch and a visit to the Sandeman's port cellars complete with
tastings that have converted me to Port. I had not realised that it is not all
the sweet sickly stuff that appears at Christmas. I particularly liked the
tawny port, Lorraine preferred the white.