Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Passage to Cascais, Portugal

Staysail is up. We're sailing along at about 8 knots. 

We departed from Leixoes at a leisurely pace having calculated that it would take us about 27 hours or more to get there. So if we left at 9 am, we'd be arriving at about noon the next day, a Sunday. Perfect. Nothing much gets going in Portugal before 10 am especially on a Sunday. We would be spending about two weeks there getting our standing rigging replaced, a big job. A really big job. We'd be assigned a berth near the yard.

Daria keeping an eye on Otto, the autopilot.
The weather forecast was for light air all day, picking up a little in the afternoon then dying down overnight. We hoisted the sails in hope that there might be enough wind to sail. After the first hour of motor sailing, the wind built up into a nice 13-15 knots breeze from the NW - perfect for a reach down the coast. We unfurled the yankee and hoisted the smaller staysail on the inner stay. We were sailing - doing about 8 knots in 13 knots of breeze. Not too shabby. Yippe, yahoo! The silence when we turn off the engine is so comforting. The wind in our hair, the boat slipping along the waves, all happiness, like pink crinoline for a little girl these days. The swell was much less than the day before and the ride was quite smooth. The skies were perfectly blue.

Cloud bank coming in from the West
We both had colds. Alex had gotten it first shortly after our hectic flight to Vigo. Sore throat, cough, congestion, lethargy. He kindly passed it on to me the next day. Can't breath, ribs hurt from coughing. But fortunately, it held off with the worst symptoms until after we arrived in Cascais. At least offshore, I was still okay on watch duty.
Fog bank obliterating the shore to the east

I had the early (9-12) and late (3-6) watches but Alex stayed on till 4 so I did 4-7. The sun rises at 7:15 here - very late compared to what we are used to. Unfortunately, because a heavy cloud bank had come in, I had no sunset and no sunrise, nor any moon. Just darkness and a layer of fog obscuring the coast so I couldn't see a thing. I was relying on AIS which was flaky (turning on and off) and radar. But I knew from experience that it would go fine and soon it would be morning and we'd be approaching Cascais. In the last hour of my second watch, it started to mist heavily so it was more akin to a cold rain. I wasn't properly dressed but I didn't feel comfortable leaving my watch station with fishing vessels nearby. I got quite chilled even though I sat under a blanket.
When cloud bank meets fog bank. No shades, just one grayness.

When Alex took over, I climbed into the nice bed he had kindly warmed for me and promptly fell asleep. When I awoke, we were approaching Cascais and it was time to douse the sails. Alex said he had seen a pod of harbour porpoises who were swimming at enormous speed alongside. Lucky him. I didn't see any wildlife on this transit. Not even birds. The spacious anchorage from which we had last sailed off to the Madeira Islands had quite a few boats but plenty of room. The entrance to the harbour was pretty straightforward except for three unmarked red buoys equally spaced across the port side. Alex thought they were moorings; I thought they were navigation marks identifying a shoal. Alex followed my advice for the first time in memory and I was right. They have shoaling and the harbourmaster was watching us in case we went the wrong way and got stuck.
I spy Cascais. 

It was about 10 am and there was room at the reception dock for us. A mariniero came out to help with the lines and we were secured in Portugal. Alex checked in but we had to wait until the other marinieros arrived to help us into our slip, which did not happen until noon. I took a shower at the office but learned that our access cards only work in the zone in which we are moored. We had to pay €50 deposit on the cards. Ugh. The marinieros came and helped us into a slip between two Russian power boats. Two American boats are across from us, and lots of opportunity to recruit new OCC members as they had all just crossed the Atlantic.
On the reception pontoon as Cascais Marina, with fuel dock behind us. 

We walked into town, more like crawled, which was jam packed with tourists with a festival underway. Our first reaction was that Cascais is a tourist trap. There was nothing residential anywhere near the waterfront. We had a light lunch alongside French and American bus tour travelers, then returned to Aleria for comfort. We had work to do and took off the main, mizzen and staysail. We left the yankee as it was too windy to take it down safely.

Cascais from the reception building and helipad.

The main marina concessions building.

The fort. 


Leftovers of wiener schnitzel and spaghetti washed down with a lovely rioja and to bed for rest. The guys were possibly coming in the morning to assess the rigging. We needed to be awake when they did. Welcome to Cascais.

Kayaking, ziplining, bouncy castles, games, food, festival. 

Concert on the waterfront

The main food square

Beautiful carousel in the park.

Interesting statue. Merman and turtle.

Made me want to walk up. So we did. 

View over the anchorage.

Band from the Cape Verdes.
Was angry with me for not buying his CD. 

Exceptional statue mime.

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