Lagos, The Algarve Thursday 29th 37.06N 008.4W

Island Wanderer
Peter and Avril Brookes
Thu 29 Jul 2010 20:34
Last night's concert , broadcast live from the beach, was an epic! Starting with some rather unusual community singing, there followed a number of  different groups including reggae, rock and pop, some unknown genres, jazz (which Avril enjoyed) and finished, at dawn, with a steel band.
Unfortunately we had to be up rather early because of a long journey ahead. The day started windless and the sea  like a miror.With visibility limited due to a haze and light mist there were no identifiable features at all; it was rather like floating in a pale blue bubble - rather surreal! To add to the atmosphere, the wildlife had come out in multitudes. Birds, fish, insects and numerous sightings of several variety of dolphin interupted the journey.
After lunch a thick fog set in. We had been warned of this in the pilot guides. It prevented us seeing the St Vincent cape, the most south westerly point of our journey. However as we turned eastwards, the fog cleared to reveal stunning scenery, accompanied by a northerly wind which allowed us to switch off the engine. Yet more dolphins followed us towards our anchorage for the night in Lagos.
Was the guide book right about the  western  Portugese coast? Certainly it was quite desolate in places and the visibility was generally  poor. To get from port to port required a long day's sail, usually 7 or more hours. However, the sailing conditions were excellent on the whole (if you wanted to travel south) and the weather fantastic. Port authorities were helpful and friendly. There were few boats around and it was easy to find a spot to anchor. The two marinas we tried were friendly and had good facilities. Overall, the coast was ideal for passage making, but perhaps not so good for local cruising. It will be good to compare with this next leg of our journey, eastwards to Gibralter.