Nazare (Portugal)

Phil Pascoe
Tue 18 Nov 2008 12:54

39:40.0N 09:06.3W

Nazare 10 Oct

A nine hour day from Portosin, with light winds and a rolly sea (some sailing with Spinnaker, but a lot of motoring) meant we arrived at Bayona just after dusk. We were grabbed by a boatman from Deportivo Marina and persuaded to come alongside there. It wasn't particularly welcoming - perhaps the office staff just wanted to go home, and pretty expensive with few facilities. A quick walk and a drink at the posh Yacht Club and Paula and I circumnavigated the Castle and Parador, all pretty impressive and a shame we didn't have more time here.

Away at 7 am as we hoped to reach Leixoes (Porto) before dark. Another day of light winds and a lot of motoring, but fairly easy and comfortable apart from all the the pot buoys we had to avoid. Highlights were crossing the 'border' into Portuguese waters and two groups of dolphins that came to play with us.

Although we were knackered, we decided to have a run ashore into Porto for a meal. Pete seemed to know his way around, so we ventured forth with our trusty guide and navigator at the 'helm'. A walk, a bridge, some trouble understanding the automatic ticketing machine for the train/metro, some help from the locals and eventually we found ourselves in a rather deserted and shabby-looking Porto. We kept heading downhill to the river - this area looked a little better - and were pressured by the rumbling of stomachs into selecting a restauant and getting stuck in to some beer, and food, and wine, and food, and more wine, and Port. Our table was by an upstairs window over (or under) looking the river, the bridge, the barges and all the colourful signs of the Port Houses. That's better.

Back to the boat on the Metro with the same ticket, which we felt was probably not correct but the ticket inspectors ignored us as obvious Brits. Aah, the sleep of the innocent sailor, bueno noite (spelling?).

After a look around the Port area and the local beach (actually quite an up-market resort) we decided not to venture into Porto again, but move on. The fuel berth was limited on draft and the diesel frothed more than hot cappucino (71 litres for 100 euros) and took about half an hour or more to fill. The afternoon, evening and night winds were up and down like the proverbial W's Ds (5 to 20+ Kn), so there was a lot playing with sails and engine on, engine off stuff, but a beautiful moonlit night and not too cold.

We arrived at Nazare around 7.30 am, 95 NM in 18 hours. We weren't quite sure what to expect from the highly recommended 'Mike's marina', run by an English couple that arrived for one night 12 years ago and are still there. Well. Captain (retd) Mike was not what we expected, but was there to welcome us and we were soon temporarily tied up alongside a small Gin Palace (not one of Robin's gins) called 'Why Not?' I could come up with several reasons why not, but the weather is getting better, so I'll hang-fire for a while.

That's it - the Crew were exhausted - too much sailing - Mutiny - we'll stay put and get the bus to Lisbon, the next crew will have to start from here!