Depart Leixoes at 08.00. SE breeze
allowed morning sail but then snagged a lobster pot and took 1hr
unhitch. Couldn’t drop the main with wind holding us against the
and daren’t start the engine. Actually quite easy once I got in
water and released the secondary float that had trapped itself on
prop. Wind gradually veering pushing us out to 240- tacked in at
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.
The cruising guide mentioned a
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-
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
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
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
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
concert so Taxi back to the boat for supper & bed.
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
wind. Thought we should explore Isle de Berlenga 13:00 and picked
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
every available ledge. MJP took the dinghy round to the village (a
few holiday chalets and assorted tents) while AP+DP walked over
rather featureless rocky island populated by seagulls and
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
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.
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.
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
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.