Continuing South

Sat 24 Jul 2021 17:59
40:08.84N 08:51.66W

A rather more leisurely pace than planned due to lack of wind but also taking Morocco off our itinerary as Covid restrictions look like it’s going to be off limits. We’d also intended to go from Gibraltar to Ceuta, a Spanish territory that borders the northern tip of Morocco and just a short hop almost directly opposite Gibraltar, but Ceuta currently has her borders closed. The revised plan is directly from Gibraltar to Lanzarote, giving more time to explore as we head south.

Having left Bayona at night to avoid the heat of the sun, we’ve mainly had grey and ‘mizzle’ since, somewhat ironic given we read the UK has a heatwave. Although we’re getting the expected northerly winds, they’ve been a little too light to make for a good sail.

From Povoa de Varzim, we left just as the fog was lifting, which closed in again once out at sea, making looking out for fishing pots and avoiding them a full time occupation.

Fortunately the fog dispersed following our short motor sail ahead of mooring up in Douro marina opposite Porto. The fishing village was just five minutes walk away, where fish grilled over charcoals in the streets and served at outside tables was excellent and definitely the highlight of our visit.

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The ferry from Douro to Porto wasn’t running due to Covid and the marina cafe were keen to remind customers to wear makeup!

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As the wind was due to be promising for a long day sail to Figueira de Foz, we departed the following morning.

The fickle wind didn’t quite live up to the forecast, so a lot of the day spent motor sailing. Despite the engine running, there were no shortage of dolphins wanting to play.

We have frequently seen fish in various marinas but here there seems to be an epidemic! Not sure what type these are, or why they're here (any ideas anyone?). Guess nobody catches them as the water in the marina is probably pretty rank.

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Definitely some challenging seafood at the marina bar! These are locally known as Perceve and are barnacles which are boiled for a couple of minutes and served chilled. Only the inner is edible and somewhat chewy, but not unpleasant.

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The sun is now shining and we’re staying put until Monday, when there’s plenty of wind in the forecast…