38:41.8N 9:24.7W Cascais Anchorage
Tue 15 Sep 2015 17:00
Au Revoir Seixal and I hope there will be one. The day dawned bright and peaceful with curlews calling and commuters crawling to their ferry while cockle fishers waist high in water shoved their rakes and nets back and forth. The ground floor of the nearest tide mill was home to cockle fishing squatters and their tail wagging black dog. The old feller had slept outside under a tree but as the sun rose and the squatters prepared to leave on a scooter they locked him inside in the dark shade to keep him safe.
Ashore we thanked Carlos for saving our motor and went to pay for the extra night we had spent languishing on the mooring in this darling of a place. But the marina lady spoke by phone to Carlos and decided we needn’t pay more, so the money went on two coffees and pastis de nata. The centre of old Seixal is child oriented, the very young playing in a secure park under watchful eyes while their older friends, in school uniform, await their trip on the local sailing barge.
Back aboard we await the rising tide to stop and turn so we can float down the Tagus on the ebb. Temporarily the issue of the tender, to replace or not to replace it, is at rest since Rob has effected another good repair and this morning it held up just fine. I had a feeling the debate was not yet over though. A diver was underwater beside us, revealing himself with rhythmic bubbles, as he gathered clams from the rocks beneath 20 feet of water.
A cruise ship, tug, passenger ferry and sailing ship replica all accompanied us down the mighty Tagus and another view of all the shoreside attractions and history was very welcome. We anchored just outside Cascais Marina (the most expensive in Europe) not needing any of its facilities and had a comfortable night.
10th September To another favourite place from last year, Sines (cinch). We had thought of stopping at Sesimbra to break up the 50 mile trip but as Zoonie was sailing so well in a fine wind we pressed on. We made the identical decision last year when returning home from the Azores. Having left Dartmouth we intended to stop the night at Portland but the steady off the beam wind and following sea convinced us to continue until we let go the anchor and chain in Studland Bay just before midnight! Magic.
This time we had the sea directly behind and the Atlantic rollers were sizeable. Standing amidships at the helm, for the slow reacting autopilot could cause Zoonie to run amok in these conditions, I felt her stern lift as a wave took her. The water pressure on her hull warned me what alteration in course if any she needed. As the surging wave moved forward Zoonie rose and gained speed. The speedo reads 6.4 – 7.1 – 8.3 knots . Her bow is steady at right angles to the wave when from her beam all around is white breaking, boiling water and a wild hissing and sizzling. She wears her white lace skirt well at 8.4 – 8.5 knots. Goodness, how much faster can she go? Then the exhausted wave sinks down and so does Zoonie as she sighs with regret and drops back to 7.1 knots.
There was still an hour of daylight left as we anchored in the inner harbour at Sines, just outside the marina, which looked sadly empty. I felt a little guilty, avoiding their dues and was releived when Rob said they do charge for anchoring and using the marina facilities. Fair enough. At least they allow anchoring unlike greedy Figuera. The marinero was ready to help us in but was good natured about our pointing to the beach where the holding was again good over sand. As we rested aboard the clicking fish we remembered from last year, set to work cleaning up the hull.