Fishing buoys galore!!!;- Povoa de Varzim to Nazare. 17 August - 19 August

Tue 19 Aug 2008 16:05

We made a 0630 start, as we wanted to complete the 110 mile trip to Nazare in as much daylight as possible.  This was primarily to make it easier to spot the ‘thousands’ of fishing buoys along this part of the coast, which are quite tricky to identify in the dark.  We had a fairly uneventful trip, with not much wind, but quite a swell running.  As usual we were joined by a pod of dolphins, who love to play in Nimue’s bow wave, but we spent most of time watching out for, and avoiding  the odd fishing buoys.  We were about a couple of hours away from our destination, when the sun went down, but this was replaced almost immediately by the full moon, which shone brightly and was most welcome.  With only one near ‘fishing buoy’ miss, we arrived safely through the narrow harbour entrance and into the yacht basin.  We couldn’t initially find anywhere to moor and no-one was about, so decided to moor up against a Portuguese power boat.  Once the owner saw us he immediately turned off all his lights and went below...... not a very polite thing to do, but anyway we were as quiet as mice and as usual Michael made a perfect job of going alongside.  The yacht basin was also the residence of the local fishing fleet and it wasn’t long before we heard their engines revving up and them preparing to go off on their regular night fishing catch.

The next morning we were woken up early by the English harbour master, asking us to move, because the pontoons were only held on anchors and we were too heavy. However the Portuguese boat left soon after and we were able to moor against the same pontoon.  We were also joined by ‘Beez Neez’ who had decided to make an overnight trip from Povoa de Varzim.  The next hour or two was busy with checking in and a visit was made by the customs police to check our passports. 



Some of the fishing fleet and new of Nazare in distance                                 Narrow entrance into Nazare

It was then off to the town, a mere 1.5km walk away, to see what was on offer.  Nazare is basically a holiday resort with one long beach and is frequented by locals, but is also a holiday destination for the French.  The Atlantic swell can be seen quite vividly here as we saw the next day, when breakers of well over 20ft were crashing against the shore- an amazing sight!  The best place to get food in Nazare was from the market and we both had a fun time stocking up on fresh produce and trying to make ourselves understood, as I have little grasp of the Portuguese language.

Walking back along the seafront with our groceries

That evening the fishermen had arrived back with their catch, which was being auctioned off at the wholesale market across from our mooring.  Of course I wanted to see what was going on and whether I could pick up the odd fish or two?  I dragged Mandy from ‘Beez Neez’ along, but there was nothing to be had apart from the odd mackerel which had slipped off onto the floor, but in no time at all was being gathered up by the locals. I must have looked a bit disappointed; because when I arrived back, a local Portuguese man mimicked my ‘folded arms appearance’ to Michael and then gave him a plastic bag full of mackerel!! (can’t imagine me looking like thatl???)  I had a quick lesson from Mandy how to gut the fish, but I must say they were a bit small, so I didn’t do a very good job and they ended up from whence they came.  Anyway it was a bit of fun and we all had quite a laugh. 



Fishing boat returning with their catch                                          Locals grabbing mackerel from floor (Nimue moored in background) 



 Lesson from Mandy in gutting mackerel !!!

Nazare is an ideal point for visiting some of the interesting historic Portuguese sights and on our last day we decided to take a trip to Batalha (Battle Abbey and Alocobaca –featuring a Monastery and beautiful market town and were joined by Steve and Mandy off Beez Neez.  More about our day out in the next instalment.