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Date: 23 Aug 2012 21:24:17
Title: Nazare

39:35.03N 09:04.51W

Well, the night passage wasn't quite as we'd anticipated.. the winds dropped to 5 knots or so, which coupled with being behind us made it pretty impossible for Sadie to steer by, and Otto developed a fault so we were the helmsman and woman for the night. Three hours on is too long if you're helming, as you can't let go to pop to the heads (the loo, you landlubbers!), grab a cuppa, check the chart etc so we changed to one hour on, one hour off, except, it wasn't even that really, because at times we were both needed so change sail settings and so on.

We made good progress though, and next day saw us sleepy but a good way down the coast. However we, decided to come into Nazare late afternoon, as we hadn't managed to sort out Otto yet and it seemed silly to go for another one hour on, one hour off night when there was a pleasant little marina here, a day's sail away from Lisbon. We'd had a lovely busy day, enjoying the sailing and being so successful with fishing that we stopped as we had enough for three or four days' meals. Phil landed two beautiful tuna (Bonito), silver with bright blue markings. Here's one trying the dish that Norma gave us for size:


The approach to Nazare is really interesting because a fantastically deep underwater canyon leads up to it, one is sailing along the coast, the depth finder showing about 30m, then as you come past the headland into the bay the depth drops off dramatically... we called out every 5 meters: 35, 40, 45... and it fell as fast as we could count out loud in fives, until somewhere about 150m the depth finder gave up trying! Our entry was really easy as the Marina owners called us up on the radio, described exactly where we needed to go, told us which side to put out fenders and were there on the dockside to take our lines. They are Mike and Sally, two cruisers who came in to take refuge from fog to stay one night fifteen years ago, and stayed to run the marina. They are living aboard their boat, with their two Portuguese/Siamese cats, and offer a warm welcome and much helpful information to any visiting yacht. 

The marina is tiny, tucked away in the corner of a big fishing harbour. All the time we are rocked by the wake of boats coming and going, there's a definite fishy aroma to the place, and the horn, signifying a catch to be sold, goes off at all hours. The fishing boats are well looked after, brightly painted and often have a tender to match (accessorise your fishing boat with a matching tender...)


Nazare is amazing! It's a major seaside resort, almost kiss me quick hats, but Portuguese style, of course. We cycled the couple of km to the town and weaved our way amongst the holiday makers to the funicular railway that takes one up the cliffs to the old town on the headland. From there you can see the new town spread before you, a jumble of red roofs below, then the crowded beach curving round to the port that we'd come into.



Everywhere you go there are old women dressed in traditional clothes, often sitting on chairs in the street trying to persuade holiday makers to stay in their apartments, or selling crocheted keepsakes or dried fruits. They have daring above the knee skirts, with petticoats underneath to fill them out and an apron over the top.


We found a lovely little cafe up in the old town, that looked like it was there for the locals rather than the tourists (no photos of food!), and enjoyed freshly barbecued sardines and god company. The family there were so friendly, helping us with our Portuguese and trying the little English they knew, they were fascinated by the Bromptons (we demonstrated folding for them) and entranced when Phil lent his iphone with 'Angry Birds' loaded for their 9 yr old son to play on. We then zoomed down the hill on our bikes, back to the sea front to stop for a most fantastic ice cream. A big cone with ice cream, sorbet, fresh fruit and topped with cream!

There are cats all around the harbour, we saw a family of 6 cute cute kittens hiding amongst the pallets behind the fish market, and found a beautiful Portuguese/Siamese cat caught in thrown away fishing nets. He was in a dreadful state, panting, dehydrated and frightened. There were four or five other cats around him, trying to help by licking him where the nets were, staying with him. We cut him free using an old tin lid, and Phil cuddled him whilst I went to beg some water for him from some fishermen. He recovered enough to walk away into the shade before we left him. One of the cats, a collared one this time, came to explore the boat. It was lovely having him visit - we still miss our little Ducatti.










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