DIARY - Vigo to Cascais

Mon 1 Oct 2018 13:51
Set sail from Vigo to Baiona on 20th September at 1pm, via the beautiful, picturesque Islas des Ons at the mouth of the Ria de Vigo.  The wind was very low, so we motor-sailed the 20 nautical miles, and over four hours later, we arrived at the very friendly and well-equipped Marina Real Club de Yates.  It was Dennis's first trip out with us in this part of the world.  
Baiona is a delightful town, with narrow streets, great food and live music, a replica of the Pinta, a Parador hotel built inside the battlements right next to the marina, and a beautiful walkway around the headland.  We saw a magnificent old yacht called Xarifa, built in 1927, now in private ownership.  
Next was an overnight passage from Baiona to Porto; Dennis's first overnighter.  We left at 8.10pm; the first 5 hours of sailing were magical; we saw dolphins and porpoise coming and going, playing in the bow-wave, creating phosphorescence.  The next 5 hours were foggy, with wind on the stern,  rolling  us along under sail at 7 to 8 knots.  Arrived in Porto Douro marina, situated in an old fishing village called Afurada, on the banks of the Douro river.  It's about 40 minutes walk from Porto city upriver, along a boardwalk which is used by many city-dwellers and visitors, on bikes and on foot.  We took a lovely bike ride south one of the days we were here.  The houses in Afurada are all tiny terraced, with tiled fronts, and little barbeques outside where the householder cooks their food, sardines and spuds being the most popular.  There is a communal clothes wash-house beside the shore, and an area beside it with clothes lines held up by long branches; very charming and practical too; there's great drying here!
Porto is a beautiful city to explore on foot and ramble around to see it's sights.
We set sail  for an overnight voyage from Porto to Cascais near Lisbon on 30th September at 2.30pm, guestimating it would take us about 40 hours or so.  Low winds and fog by the coast, clearing for the night-watch ...amazing starry night with porpoise playing in the bow-wave again, making phosphorescence.  Not much wind for our trip (sorry Dennis...not a very exciting sail south, apart from the spectacle of the porpoise).  We arrived into Cascais marina at around 6pm.  Once we were settled into the lovely marina, we spent the next few weeks exploring Cascais and Lisbon, meeting friends, including Marie and Joe Sullivan who live in Cascais these days and were so good to show us around.  Houli (Ann), her sister Trish and their friend Anne Goggin were holidaying in Cascais...lucky for us...it was great to meet them too.   In Lisbon, we heard great Fado singing/music, ate more nata and drank cocktails in The Chinese Pavilion and  The Pharmacie  (old haunts of Helen's from a previous visit with her bestie Caroline).  We enjoyed the sights from the castle grounds and harbour front.     Casa de Santa Maria near the marina in Cascais is worth a visit; it was once owned by Jorge O'Neil, who built it for his daughter as a wedding present.  Designed by Raul Lino, it was built on Moorish principles or five values of Nature, Truth, Harmony, Beauty and Comfort.   
We said farewell to Dennis on 11th October.   First rainfall since Ireland on 11th October!
Mark arrived back to us on Luna Quest  on 16th October to crew on our Cascais to Madeira and Tenerife voyage.