still in Portimao

Steve & Carol
Fri 3 Nov 2017 12:56
Well we are still in Portimao, I managed to pass my cold bugs onto Steve and so we have both been under par for a while! We have been carefully watching the weather forecasts for a weather window – Plan A was to head for Porto Santo, that changed to plan B and we decided to head straight to Canaries as weather was not being obliging! For a few days there looked like there would be an opportunity to set off last Sunday morning with light winds predicted for most of the trip, there would have to be some engine use but not a lot, with that in mind on Friday we provisioned for the passage, Saturday we decided to go into Portimao marina to do a few things before the passage: We put our older but slightly bigger cruising chute into our snuffer, flushed the outboard with fresh water, filled up water tanks, got batteries fully charged etc. Typically when we woke on Sunday morning the light but mainly sailable forecast had vanished and we would have to motor for a day then may get to sail for 24 hours then motor again! As its 530 odd miles to the canaries that would be rather an expensive exercise in fuel so we opted not to leave and re-anchored off Farraguda with Paul and Catherine on Kahia.
Not a bad evening view!
.20171023_183144  20171023_183159
Willie and Rhia on Sun Ra decided to risk it and set off Sunday - we are in SSB radio contact with them , they are much lighter than us and can sail well in very light winds, that said we last spoke to them last night when they were 50 miles from Graciosa and they had had to motor for the majority of the way with  the odd few hours sailing here and there, we made the right decision for us to stay for a better opportunity.
There are much fewer boats around now, a lot of the cruisers who are wintering in the Algarve moved on to Faro, the Guadiana river or have gone into marinas for the winter months. Most boats left for the Canaries much earlier either directly, via Porto Santo or Morocco - we even thought about going via there but have both agreed that we really don’t want to go there!
It now looks like we have an opportunity to head off tomorrow for Porto Santo (so back to Plan A) there is a little more wind forecast than we would ideally like but as its downwind we aren't too bothered by it – we will look at the forecast in the morning and decide then whether to go or wait longer, All the time we wait the nights are getting longer and cooler for passages! We have Stephen joining us today – he is a sailor form the UK who has his own boat and who wants to do the Atlantic to be able to join the Ocean Cruising Club (you need a 1000 mile passage to become a full member). He is arriving here today to meet us and sail to Porto Santo – weather permitting to see how we all get on
While waiting we have done a few jobs on board, the replacement wind generator is up and working well, we have also been enjoying the company of  other cruisers including Paul and Catherine, we have developed a liking for the Portuguese custard tarts, generally the weather is still warm we are still in T shirts and shorts although I did have to put leggings on for the first time a couple of evenings ago, it rained yesterday and is due to rain later today!
Portimao old town – not terrible pretty – lots of small cobbled streets
m_20171030_134413 m_20171030_135056 m_20171030_134217
The waterfront and our anchorage in the hazy distance.
 m_20171030_135421 m_20171030_135433