On Friday the 29 February I decided to start the year again by moving my
mobile home to Sines 37 57.04N 08 52.11W
This was decided for a couple of reasons 1. I was booked in until the 1st
March 2. I had spent afternoons soaking up the sun during the previous week.
Things looked good for the Friday leave, the wind was to be N NE at
between 11-15kts and it was going to be sunny.
Friday dawned , there was no wind but there was sun so I left at exactly
midday. The intention was to try for Lagos and after a few hours change to
Sines if necessary. Out through Cascais bay I had Portuguese gunboats
playing around me, I ignored them and they managed to miss me. During this
time the wind was beginning to increase and the number and height of the
white horses increased considerably, the wind now was mostly in the high
teens and the boat was doing about 5kts, so distance was passing quite
quickly but it was getting bumpier. Around 1700 I realized that I was
beginning to get cold so I decided I would not go to Lagos but take the
shorter option of Sines, I was some 25 miles from Cascais so it was only
some 25 miles to Sines, changed course and waited for it to get dark, the
wind was, or appeared, to be getting stronger, and all in all it was quite
uncomfortable. This was the first time in nearly 4 months that I had been
out at sea and it was a bit hard, can only get better! I was running the
boat with just the genoa flying and still making 5 kts most of the time.
The problem with this day was the night time air temperature, I had been
watching it steadily rise to 10-12 degrees overnight which had helped me
decide to move, this night it had dropped to about 4 degrees which with a
20kt wind gives a wind-chill of -14.5 deg, no wonder I was cold. I've always
said I won't go out at night unless its at least 10 deg. Since then the
night time temp has dropped to -4 deg in northern Portugal and 0 where I am.
I had to run the engine for a short while to charge up the batteries.
This wasn't too bad because all in all I ran the engine for a maximum of two
hours to cover 58 miles. when I checked the fuel gauge you couldn't see any
had been used.
I kept the genoa flying up to about 1/4 mile from the marina, and then
tried to reel it in, the wind was still about 20kts and it made the sail
very heavy cause it was pulling like a train. I did it after a lot of hassle
just in time to turn into the marina.
The reception pontoon is also the fuel berth and is in a cul-de-sac so
there is not a lot on maneuvering room, my first attempt missed completely
and I had to reverse quite violently to avoid the boats at the end, second
time I lassoed the bollard and hung on. I made finally. The fuel berth here
is open weekdays only and then only 1300-1400 1700-1800 and that's your lot.
I thought about booking in but on seeing the gates were card controlled I
decided to wait till morning, it was 0124 now. was thoroughly cold and,
because I was on the fuel pontoon I couldn't light any gas I had no heat, so
I wrapped up in a sleeping bag and waited for daylight.
Come daylight the world looked better, I went and booked in and found
that all the card keys had been disabled with bits of string. I spent
Saturday and Sunday getting myself into a better frame of mind.
Monday I went and had a look at the birthplace of some bloke called
Vasco da Gama, and the castle, and that completes the tourism part of Sines.
I'm not sure if "supermercado" means supermarket in the terms that we
know because they all seem to be corner shop size, but there are a lot of
them in Sines, and one of them even had a small stock of "Heinz Baked Beans"
in proper sized tins! The shopping here is protracted because you buy
vegetables at the market, meat at the talho and the rest at the
supermercado. But I got all I wanted and in quite good quality, must better
than the Cascais supermarkets!. Bread could be a bit of a problem because
mostly they don't have processed white bread which keeps for days but have
the local baked stuff which lasts only one day before its stale, but I did
find some processed.
There is internet here but not for the likes of us in the marina, even
with my good aerial I couldn't find a free one, so there is no internet. The
library does internet just for the asking, so it can be done.
I've been here one week now and am watching the temp at night, I don't
intend to move until it gets back up to 10 or above, so it might be a while.
This place can grow on you. The shops are actually closer than they were in
Cascais, but you do have to climb a hill!