Sagres anchorage

Lesley & Derek Mercer
Tue 16 Aug 2011 01:39
37:00.1N 08:56.3W
A dull day.  We set off from Sines at dawn, very straightforward as we were at anchor and once lifted, we were off.  No wind to start with, as is usual in Portugal, so we motored for a while until the winds picked up.  Had quite a pleasant sail for a few hours with not a single vessel in sight, not even fishermen!  (Still found a few lobster pots lurking around though).  The winds never really picked up, and so had to resort to motorsailing, and then the fog came in.  I think we must attract it, as it was not forecast.  It was not as thick as we had in say, Biscay, visibility was around 1/2 mile, but still made the whole world dull and we could not see the coast.  This is a desolate part of Portugal, with some nature reserves along the coast, but it was all invisible to us.  The high point was when we had some visitors just before reaching Cape St. Vincent:
They played with us for 30 mns or so, and then two groups of about 4 dolphins “surfed” together once beside us, and disappeared.  It was as if they were saying goodbye.
Cape St Vincent has a bad reputation, and is well deserved.  We reached it around 6 p.m. and sure enough the winds picked up smartly, as did the seas.  I was prepared for it, however, and despite the fog and winds, managed to get around about 1 mile offshore and get into Sagres bay where there is a “safe” anchorage.  It was quite weird to suddenly see this massive piece of rock appear through the fog, and all I can say is thank goodness for electronic navigational aids.  We made it in to the bay, and dropped the anchor.  We are now sitting here with 25 knots of wind howling outside, safe and secure, and almost self sufficient.  I ran the generator and watermaker to keep them functioning smoothly, and after an excellent pork chop supper, we were able to retire.  May have to sit the weather out for a while, but we will see.