Viana do Castelo to Leixoes and Leixoes to Figueira da Foz

Minka of Southampton - Cruising Log
Edmund Wigan
Sun 25 Apr 2010 21:48
Viana do Castelo to Leixoes
Saturday 24th April
I have been having some problems with the satellite software and pictures. So this update will be text only.
At Viana I needed to fill up with diesel before setting off but found that they had a problem with their diesel was empty because it had a hole in the bottom. So they sent me to fill up in the commercial port. I found the place ok but had to tie up to a massive stone wall which was about 3mts above my deck. Fortunately there was some string to tie to hanging down. I mean string as I have seen stronger stuff on a parcel. The arrangement was that they would be there at 0800 to serve me. No sign of anyone. I called the harbour master and marina on the radio but no reply. No answers to their phones either.
Eventully at 0915 I started the engine and was about to unwrap my parcel when a very smart young woman looked down from the top of the wall and asked if I wanted some diesel. She wandered off and came back with the man. Then I had a long explanation about why their diesel was very expensive, did I really want some? It was 1.11 euro a litre. By this stage I would have paid anything. So I filled up undid the cats cradle and off we went.
Not a lot of wind and it was from the south so we ended up doing 46nm to get 30 and arrived in Leixoes about 1930.
First impressions were not good as the water is very dirty. I think the marina doubles up as the town's septic tank and oil disposal facility. From the sea the town looked very industrial with factories and chemical works. I had a wallk round later (having climbed out of the marina as the office was shut) and there is an old town which was picturesque.
I decided to leave early the next morning before Minka dissolved and the marina office opened to charge me for sleeping in a sewer.
Sunday 25th April
Leixoes to Figueira da Foz
I had to go to this place to see if it was as interesting as its name. I set off at 0700 as it is over 60nm which is normally about 12 hours sailing.
There was not much wind for the first hour but then we got about 10kts from the north so I put the spinnaker up. After a couple of hours the wind increased to 20kts and Minka started surfing off the tops of the waves doing 8kts. I decided to get the spinnaker down which was interesting but I managed it without doing any damage.
There are an awful lot of pot marker buoys along this coast up to ten miles off shore which is why it isn't sensible to sail at night. However as I came round Cabo Mondego the bay just before F da Foz it was full of them. So I had a bit of fun playing dodgems. At least it was low tide so none were floating underwater which sometimes happens if they are on a short lead.
Arrived here at 1840 and two nice policemen came and took my lines. I then had to produce all the ship's papers, passport and insurance. I think they must have seen me speeding with the spinnaker up. They then said they would allocate me a berth but that was too much trouble so they told me to park where I liked. Nice friendly people. They didn't have the code for the marina gate as the marina has no staff on Sundays. So I had a choice of another climb out of a marina or stay on board tonight.
I will stay here for two nights to have a day looking around. I noticed some great beaches on the way in.