Porto to Lagos

Ocean Rival Journey Log
Adam Power Diana Power
Sun 22 Feb 2015 22:02

7th Sept.

Depart Leixoes at 08.00. SE breeze allowed morning sail but then snagged a lobster pot and took 1hr to unhitch. Couldn’t drop the main with wind holding us against the line and daren’t start the engine. Actually quite easy once I got in the water and released the secondary float that had trapped itself on the prop. Wind gradually veering pushing us out to 240- tacked in at 150 but then next tack out only making 260 at 4KN. Engine on at 17.30. Motored on through the night with a few (4) hours sailing between 2-6am to reach Nazare for 9.00am.

8th Sept.

The cruising guide mentioned a festival in Nazare on this very day- usually we miss events by 1 or 2 days. Taxi ride into Nazare (about 2miles)-Nazare has 3 separate areas- the main beach town, the Fishermans quarter above the town on a hill inland and Sitio up on the cliff. The tourist office told us that the festival is in Sitio comprising religious service and procession around the streets. Also that a bus would take us up. However approaching the bus stop we found a throng crowded round a bus with the driver shrugging his shoulders in despair. It appeared that everyone had the same plan.

Looking up at the cliff we felt up for the climb and set off following signs which turned out to be for the funicular which was out of action.

Had to re-trace our steps to find the footpath and followed a steady stream of hardy souls up to Sitio. Arrived in the town square to find a service in progress in a large marquee with crowds spilling out into the blistering sun. Soon got bored and explored Sitio- dodging the sun between shady spots-  The church (Igreja de Nossa Senhora da Nazaré), the grotto with statue of Virgin Mary bought from Nazareth, the market stalls, the carpets of flowers

arranged lovingly along the streets. Even after a slow iced tea in the café the service was still showing no signs of ending. Just as we were about to give up people started to move and began lining the street leading away from the square. We took up a spot on the shady side of the street and watched the promised procession of incense swinging priests, brass bands, children, old people, locals and tourists pass by.

Returned down the path for a swim and lunch (fish soup with chips). Met MJP by the tourist office and following the cruising guide recommendations again we found the bus station and boarded the bus Heading inland to Batalha to find an abbey.

After 1.5hrs of mostly ribbon development along the road we needn’t have worried that we would miss Batalha altogether- the Abbey dominated the little town and was obviously demanding of our visit as the bus swept in. Perhaps if you dropped Westminster Abbey in the middle of Diss you might be equally amazed at the scale and grandeur of the structure but this was certainly breathtaking as we approached. With only 3/4hr left before it closed we made a quick tour of the interior and the unfinished chapel before circling the exterior. It was built as a promise after King John 1st won a battle that finally kicked the Spanish out of Portugal and took over 100 years to complete.

Time for a quick beer before catching the bus back to Nazare- too tired to return to Sitio for the evening concert so Taxi back to the boat for supper & bed.

9th Sept.

Ready to depart at 8.00am but took an hour to get diesel as the intercom between the pump and the sales kiosk didn’t work-had to trot back and forth several times before the diesel flowed (100ltrs). Departed Nazare 9:00am-not a breath of wind. Thought we should explore Isle de Berlenga 13:00 and picked up a free mooring buoy beside several other yachts, small boats and tripper boats. Took dinghy ashore to Fort after lunch aboard. Fort houses a youth hostel so lots of young people sunning themselves on every available ledge. MJP took the dinghy round to the village (a few holiday chalets and assorted tents) while AP+DP walked over top- rather featureless rocky island populated by seagulls and trippers.

Wasted most of the afternoon trying to find a secluded beach for DP to swim- the main village beach being crowded. What appeared from the distance to be an empty shingle beach turned out to be littered with dead and dying seagulls. Swam off the rocks in the end- quite chilly and water simmering with fish. DG worried that they would nibble her toes. Left Island at 5pm with wind picking up from south. Decided to tack though the night aiming for Cascai.

10th -11th Sept.

Motorsailed last 3 hrs and arrived Cascai at 11:30 am. Tried Marina but chose to anchor in the bay after discovering Marina fee 65euros.

Look round Cascai after lunch –elegant resort town with good maritime museum (dedicated to King? Who took his summer hols here) & interesting modern art gallery. Provisioned from corner shop + greengrocer+ baker. Dinghy loosing pressure- must have scraped on the rocks at the island. Left anchorage at 8pm (set a trip line on advice from the guide) after risotto supper. Tacked through the night in 8-14knots wind (southerly again). Got Aries working O.K (counterweight should be into wind) Motored last 2 hours.

12th Sept

Arrived Sines (pronounced Sinch) marina 12:00. Birth place of Vasco de Gama. After snooze, lunch, shower, take a walk round town. Very smart art gallery full of life’s work of Maria ?. Local museum in castle. Swim from beach then supper (vegetable stew) and rest. Departed 21.00 sailing on port tack in light wind-4 Knot boat speed at 240deg.

13th Sept.

Wind dropped and backed so motor on at 4.00am. Motor off at 8.00am-4Kn at 210deg. Gradually pushed out to 240. Motor on at 11.00am. Around Cap de Vincente at 1pm. Fishermen casting long rods off top of 75m high cliffs. Approached by coastguard who asked us via megaphone to look out for a red dress in the water. Someone got too close to the edge of the cliff?

Arrived Lagos 5pm. Marina fee 60euros but no anchor option so fuelled on waiting pontoon (90 lt diesel + 1lt petrol for outboard) and under lifting footbridge to marina berth.

Supper in town courtesy MJP- very good fish stew . Lagos has different feel to west coast- more holiday makers/ ex pats. Must be in the Algarve.