Libertad Jake's Blog 17th August 2008 Portugal
Sun 17 Aug 2008 12:18
As you know we made it to Portugal and with it we did our first 1000 miles, which was quite the achievement. We have worked out that we motored probably 90% of the way which is a bit of a shame but hopefully we can hit some good wind further down the coast.
Povoa de Vazim, was dubbed the Blackpool of Portugal by everyone on the first day, but it provided some good entertainment and an easy train ride to Porto. Everyone in the port was really friendly and we got there on a good day as there was a big BBQ going on, hosted by some resident ex pats, we trundled up there at about 7, there was a massive spread and everyone got chatting. After a while, Tim, Laura, Tom and I decided to head out to town it was starting to feel decidedly old. We had quite a boozy night out thanks to finding 50 euros on the floor...Bonus! Although I dont think it was the gift sent from heaven that we may have thought as it produced some pretty interesting hangovers. Tim spent the next day in bed, arrising at 5 o' clock, but i headed out to Porto with the crew from Ula, very very tired....
Porto is a pretty gorgeous city helped out by a good amount of sunshine, it is built in a valley because they used the caves for brewing and storing port. There were plenty of port brewery tours on offer, but we didn't really fancy it.... We had a good walk around the town, on a world famous John Richards walking tour, walked across the huge bridge on the way back which was quite something and then then headed home.
Paul, Tim, Nick and I headed up to the marina restaurant for an amazing and cheap :) meal and then I hit the hay about 11 o' clock.
Yesterday we had a long day ahead of us with a 113 mile journey to Porto de Nazare and we set of at midday in order to arrive at 8 in the morning, the plan had been to average 6 knots. As we left the marina we had hopes of a beam reach late
in the afternoon, but it did not happen and again we had to motor the whole way. Other than the wind, the day was really nice and when the night hit we had a nearly full moon making the phosphorecent light glow blue, unlike the green of biscay. The dolphins came and played on and off all day and at night they created there own wake, quite spectacular. The problem that we found was as we had been motoring at 7 knots we found ourselves coming into port at three in the morning, but Paul checked the almanac and he said it was straight forward and we will go for it. We ran a couple of watches, with Tim and Paul first and then Nick and I taking 12 till 2. We could spot one lighthouse but not the one for Porto de Nazare. I went off watch and Paul and Tim took over again, when Paul woke me up an hour later, it seemed like the whole world had closed in, as we had about 50m visibilty. No wonder we couldn't spot the lighthouse. While trying to see our way around a minefield of pot bouys the dolphins turned up again...very bad timing! In the end it was an amazing job by Paul to bring us in blind and as we rounded the harbour wall we had enough visibility to berth succesfully.
We birthed at about 4 and had a cup of tea before hitting the hay. We were woken this morning by the harbour master, who informed us we will be arrested at the next port due to not registering last night, in the fog at 4 in the morning??? Neway that all got sorted and now we have the rest of the day for a spring clean and then maybe hit the beach, I still havent been for a swim after 4 weeks or so.
We aLso had gOOd some news about oBb coming on back to the boAt later on in the Month at madeira - looking that forward too (hows that for capitals and grammer Bob) :0P Cya soon mate
Hope your all well