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Date: 28 Sep 2014 12:19:08
Title: Lisbon to Sesimbra38:26.3N 09:06.4W

Dear Family and Friends,

Leaving Lisbon on Friday 26th September, mid afternoon to exit the River Tejo on the last of the flood tide/slack water, we could see the brooding clouds gathering over Lisbon behind us. Heading down river we seemed to be running just at the edge of the gathering storm, always in the sun against the dramatic dark grey sky, the thunder rolled, the rain shrouded parts of the city from our view but we escaped with just a few spots of rain. The rainbow over the land followed us for some time as we headed south. The coast rears up again, sharply incised strata define upended and crumpled rocks and cliffs. As darkness fell and the winds accelerated around Cabo Espichel to around 20knots, gusting 26, we decided to amend our plans and head for Sesimbra our nearest port. Approach at night is always tricky, you cannot be sure all navigation lights and buoys will be there and then there are the lobster pots! Our GPS on deck has also been loosing signal and did so just we were entering the harbour, so unhelpful!

A final picture of Lisbon: as we were heading down river, we once again saw the pale ghosts of jelly fish swimming in on the tide, at times the river was teeming with them. Their spawning ground is upriver, (or as we saw in translation, their maternity)! But there is no way I would want to be in that water, for they are about 2’ 60 cm or more in length, with frilly tentacles, yuck!

It is a rugged coast here in Sesimbra, the port is surrounded by steep pine clad hills, encrusted with apartments like so many yawning barnacles. Sesimbra is a seaside resort with a lovely sheltered and sandy bay. It lies in a region of protected landscape with old fortifications along the headlands. A small fishing harbour with colourful fishing boats, still operates as the wooden fishing hulks of yesterday lie wallowing and rotting on the foreshore. There are several busy diving schools here and the marina is good.

As so often is the case I am writing this as we bob along having left Sesimbra. It's a lovely day but little wind, like the migrating birds we are heading south again and it feels good! This morning we ate breakfast in the early morning sun, watching the fishes meander by in the clear waters and the autumn breezes wipe away the clouds shrouding the high cliffs surrounding the bay. I backed Jenny out of her berth and out of the harbour, a much better effort than previous attempts but like learning to drive there are many nervous moments! We negotiated the usual booby trapped minefield of pots close into the shore.

But it does have its compensations as I spotted dolphins ahead, we followed them, eager to join in and play they did, we have some great photos and movie of them.

We keep bumping into yachts on the same course for over wintering in the Algarve, Mediterranean or further afield in the Canaries. There is a common cause and camaraderie and a willingness to help which is wonderful.

We are on route to Sines as I write although we will have reached there by the time I send this!

Photos to follow, all our best wishes to you,
Lynne and Alan


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