Thank You Portugal

Zipadedoda of Dart
David H Kerr
Fri 28 Jul 2006 11:44

Bayona here we come……..


Since leaving Nazare, we have continued our north ward bound passage. First to Figueira Da Foz. The main attraction there was the open market where there are all manner of fish, meat and fruit and veg’ on sale. Dozens of small counters, and almost 100% women who work there. There is a real buzz about the place. We managed to  find virtually everything we needed there, and after a good rest planned to head for Povoa De Varzim. Whilst the marina in F d F is clean, well organised and has a good Bar cum Restaurant, the finger pontoons are very short, making  berthing something of a challenge to say the lest. As the attached picture demonstrates.


Yesterday was quite a day. We motored into a short steep to sea with waves in 2.5 to 3 metre  range, for most of the 77nm. All 13 hours of it! The foredeck of Zipadedoda resembled a washing machine for most of the day. Most of this in brilliant sunshine. It felt quite strange having to wear foul weather gear with shorts!


Due to the large number of fishing nets and lobster pot buoys, we had to be vidulant all the time, which meant a regular “car wash” experience for both of us.

As we passed the entrance to Porto, with its spectacular bridges we were amazed at the unsavoury looking colour of the water around us. On checking the pilot books it turns out that most of the sewage for Porto is just discharged, raw, into the river Douro.  The up side of this was that for a few miles we were given a rest bite from the nets and lobster pot buoys.


On arrival in Povoa de Varzim, we found two eager marina staff waiting to take our lines. The other point of note for those who have previously been to Povoa de Varzim, is that the submerged rock in the middle of the approach to the marina berths is now marked by a westerly cardinal mark.


Checking in was a joy, simple polite and efficient. We were also given a pass for two complementary drinks at the Club Nautico Restaurant. We had originally planed to eat a pre-cooked chicken on the boat, last night. But crew were tired after a long hard day, so we decided to “risk” visiting the scene of the infamous “Pegs Party”, which took place the last time we were here with the Rally Portugal. Just the thought of that night still brings a smile to my face, even whilst writing this missive.


As soon as we entered the bar area, Eduardo, gave us one of those looks of recognition, “but where have I seen you before looks!” I smiled at him and invited him to remember!! After a while I said Rally Portugal. He immediately beamed at us and simply said “that was a fantastic party. But my God the next day. What a hangover”. We all agreed and had a good reminisce about the party and especially the part Mark Frost AKA Big Man had to play in making it such a fun evening and memorable.


Crew had set her heart on steak. It was not to be, Eduardo insisted on showing us some fresh Sea Bass that had just arrived. Court by a scuba diver with a spear gun. The one he showed us was 5.5 kilos’. The biggest Sea Bass I have ever seen. I declined that one but we did agree to share a whole BIG, sea bass, to be washed down by the house recommended dry white wine. We had a fantastic meal. One of the best Sea Bass meals I have ever had. This was rounded off by two complementary glasses of Port. For part of the evening we were looked after by Eduardo’s son. He has recently moved back from Lincoln. Really interesting and charming young man who we are sure must be playing havoc with the local young ladies…………..The meal was great, fantastic value for money and we were made to feel like family. What a wonderful and appropriate way to end our time in Portugal. It truly sums up the whole Portuguese experience.


Checked out this morning, for the princely fee of Euro 21, the lowest cost of any marina we have stayed at in Portugal. Nice sunny breeze, on the nose (where else), and a slight sea. Hope to be tied up in the Marina in Bayona by 1800 tonight. (That is the boat tied up to a berth. Then again……………)






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