Monday, July 2, 2018

Next stop: Portimao and the Algarve

Cabo da S Vicente

We left Cascais after 28 days in the marina, staring at the harbour wall every evening. We are finally in Portimao at anchor, the place I love most. We plan to anchor out a lot from now on. Hopefully go into marinas only when we need to take on water and fuel.

We topped up our provisions at Jumbo and checked out of the marina in Cascais in the morning. It took them forever to figure out our discounts. We got 25% off with the ANC membership for the 1st week, then 20% the remainder with our ICC membership. That has paid for our membership this year. I tried to negotiate the same for OCC but have received no response from the office. Will have to get our PO, John Duggan to follow up.

By the time we had Aleria set for offshore passagemaking, it was 1:30 and it took another half hour to return our key cards and get our €50 deposit back. But that was fine as we figured it would take us about 24 hours to sail from Cascais to Lagos or Portimao in the Algarve. At the office we met a guy who had been reading my blog about Galicia and he was heading up there to explore based on my recommendations. He had spent the last year toodling around the Algarve. What fun to know someone is actually looking at my work.

The wind was a gentle 10 knots and we set sail on a course almost perfect for our passage. We were close hauled but doing 4.5 knots without heeling. It was glorious. As we'd have nearly a full moon and the sky was moderately clear, I chose the midnight watch. With almost a full moon rising at about 11:00, that would be the watch to have.

Dolphins visited on my first watch between 6 and nine. When I came on deck at midnight, the moon was just to port of the mainsail and lighting up the sea ahead of us in silvery strands of longitude. It was sheer magic.

Alex went to sleep and I had the world to myself for that three hours. But just before my watch ended, the wind shifted and we were suddenly pointing toward the coast three miles distant. So when Alex came on watch we tacked and came on a new heading that was also perfect for making it around the next Cabo. But the wind wouldn't last. At about 5 am it died altogether and we had to motor most of the rest of the way, arriving in Portimao at about 4 pm - 26 hours after departing Cascais. Perfect.

The coast was uninteresting and we started to worry about spending time here. But as we turned the corner around Lagos, there were big foiling cats racing and the coast took a sudden change in feel - more interesting. We chose Portimao for its anchorage and the recommendations of Paul from Malaika in Cascais. He had spent many days at anchor there.

We dropped anchor in the lovely anchorage and got to work tidying the boat up. So happy to be swinging on the hook again. That gentle motion of rocking in the cradle. Cocktails in the cockpit with constantly changing view. No more marina wall. No more neighbors snooping. No more procession of boats passing by, in an out all day long.

But when the current shifted, our boat behaved differently from the little boat near us, so we moved a bit further out to be sure to be sure. BBQ steak dinner and oblivion in slumber in our cozy carriage on the sea. This is what I live for.

We'll be here for a few days. More notes to come as we explore.

Bye bye Cascais

Bye bye Lisboa 

Mainsail up

Cabo Espichel

Setting sun

Clouds advancing


86% full moon ,lighting the way

The lights of Sines 

Change of wind direction


Sunrise brings rain

Sun burning off the clouds

Alex is happy

Anchored in Portimao
BBQ back in action

Dawn in the anchorage

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