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The Voyage of 'S/V Röde Orm' - Sweden
Come on board and take part in our adventures while exploring the world at the slow pace of a sailing boat. We left in June 2009, heading south to escape the northern winter... to start with. Currently in Algarve/Portugal taking it one day at a time.
The Life at the Marina
N 41,11 W 08,42
10/07/2009, Leixoes/Porto

Among sailors a k a 'harbour rot' is a phenomenon that I guess affects all of us. For good and for bad. We took shelter here from a frontal passage that was connected with a nasty low that provided storm force winds over southern Sweden and elsewhere further north. Here, the winds have been in the 30 knot range for 2-3 days now and LOTS of rain. As opposed to the higher latitudes I (Magnus) am used to, it's still warm though. Around 20 degrees so still shorts and t-shirts mostly.

Needless to say the laundry does not dry in these conditions, making the boat look like an alley in southern Italy or maybe an old style gypsy camp. We have been able to take advantage of shore power (for our tools) to rebuild the navigation table. Will post a few pictures in the 'Photo Gallery'.

Functionally, we are satisfied with it, but since we had to reuse the old teak pieces the finish wasn't 100 %, but that can be dealt with later with some teak trim...

We've also explored Porto - a very charming city- and in the middle of the city, on the river, we found 'Zephyr' from Jersey again and reunited with Steve and Colin. We did the day trip to Porto (by bus) with Alistair, an English single-hander in a Tradewind 35 and had a very nice evening in the cockpit of 'Zephyr' over a glass of wine, or erhhh, maybe two ;-)

As it seems they will sail to Cascais before us since they will have friends flying in who are supposed to sleep onboard. We do not envy them the 170 miles beating to windward....but wish tehm good luck.

Being on a schedule is always what makes you end up in the 'bad stuff' when sailing.

We also visitied Croft's, one of the many usually English own Port wine caves here. A guided tour through the cellar with all it's casks and barrels sharing their special smell with us. After the tour a sample was offered us for free consisting of one white Port and a Ruby. We decided to add to the experience with a Vintage 1995. Cream of the crop to say the least.

Tomorrow the wind will calm down a bit and turn NW, so we'll do the 1,5 day passageto Cascais then as it seems now

The Waiting Game
today's picture from the internet
10/01/2009, Ria de Vigo

We have been here for a few days now. Nice and sunny but no wind to take us anywhere. By now we are getting a bit itchy to move south though. Being in Lisboa before the end of September was ib our plans. It's 230 M or thereabout to Lisboa and motoring for 48 hours simply is not a very attractive proposition.

We will leave this afternoon anyway. Firstly to Bayona (just across the Ria) to fill up the fuel and water tanks, and then during the night the 68 or so miles to Leixoes. Leixoes is a not so charming commercial man-made port just north of the city of Porto n the Douro river. Porto is said to be very nice, and of course it's famous wines could be experienced. Add to this that from now on we are in low season, which means that marina fees are reduced sometimes as much as 50%.

We need to deal with some everyday practcalities. Laundry is one. Another is that we have come up with another little project on teh boat. We are going to rebuild the navigation station completely to fit the 'modern style' navigatn better. I e a dedicated and sheltered slot for the computer and other electronic 'toys' that seem to enter the boat either you want it or not.

Southerly winds (unusual statistically) are predicted for the nex weekend a couple of days more, and after finishing our project and exploring Porto we hope for the famous northerly 'Portuguese Trade Wind' to finally show up and provide us with a nice downwind sail to Cascais and Lisboa.

Back soon!

The High Pressure System
09/26/2009, Ria de Vigo

is staying. Warm and sunny, wonderful weather, but very light air. We took off in the morning on abreeze that just made some tiny wave patterns in the water. Hoisted the Main and weighed anchor. The genou went up seconds later and pushed us eastwards, close hauled for ten minutes or thereabout before the wind died again. We kept on for an hour maybe at enough speed to get steeerage, but later motored the last three miles to a bay on the northern shore ov Ria de Vigo. We hope to get more shelter from the swell here. No point in going to Bayona since these winds won't get us to Portugal anyway, we can aswell enjoy it here. It's Saturday, so plenty of local boats around including a passengerferry that gose to the restaurant opposite to our las anchorage.

We spent a lazy afternoon in the cockpit, reading and watching the local kids having a dinghy race around the anchored boats. Kids are the same everywhere, and parents too, who don't take their responsibility too seriously at times. No life vests either.

At last we found a Wifi here we could hook up to in the evening, so a bunch of blog posts can get published again, together with e-mails and updates.

Taking Advantage of the Calm
09/25/2009, Islas de Cies - Ria de Vigo

We moved on a bit further south in the afternoon with Bayona, on the southern mouth of the Ria de Vigo as the chosen goal. We want to get internet for weather forecast of several days ahead and also bunker diesel and water before leaving for the 80 miles sail to Leixoes in Portugal. Leixoes is the harbour just west of the city of Porto in the river Duro.

Yes,Porto means harbour/port of course (even if they don't seem to have a proper one) but what's more interesting for us a tleast is the fact that it's the home of 'the Port' the sweet, strong wine that has gotten it's name from this city. The fact that it is a convenient stop en route to Lisbon doesn't make it less attractive at all. Roughly 150 miles more to Lisbon, a leg we certainly would like to negotiate in favourable weather. The Portuguese coast is not a nice one to be cought out in heavy weather. Better to be at least 50 miles to seaward then. We are really looking orward to our stay in Lisbon though, so we will tke the coastal route.

Anyway,while we slowly motored towards Bayona trailing a fishing line, we passed the lovely islands 'Cies' in the very mouth of the Ria. We then got an impulse to anchor off them for the night, just because the weather allows it. We were not alone, some ten or so other boats were anchored in the bay already, among them a Dutch, a couple of British and a Swedish!.

I hope the pictures to some degree can show how nice it was here. The only downside, was that the wind pciked up to Force 3-4 during the night, from NE, making the anchorage quite choppy. It was worth it though

A Little Step to the South
N 42,23 W 08,48
09/24/2009, Porto Novo - Ria de Pontevedra

Yet another hot, sunny day almost without wind. We stayed until after lunch, hoping for a little breeze in the afternoon for us to sail the 15 miles or thereabout to the next of the Rias; Ria de Pontevedra.

In the morning hours I studied Ann Hammicks's pilot; 'The Atlantic Islands', Madeira, the Canaries and Cape Verde are on our not so fixed itinerary, but first we'll explore the Portuguese coast and above all, Porto and Lisboa. We may go to take a closer look at the Algarve Coast as well, but we feel it is important to be able tp improvise, to go one step at the time. For us, a fixed schedule or itinerary would seriosly hamper the whole experience of cruisong.

Around 3PM a just about noticeable breeze made pattern in the water of the anchorage. Despite NE were forecasted (as usual since we came here) it seemed like SW. A headwind. We weighed anchor anyway, hoping that the wind would be favourable once we came out of the Ria. That was not to happen so we motored once again and anchored just opposite a long sandy beach in the centre of the town of Sanxenxo a few hundred meters east of Porto Novo. They both have marinas, but we do not feel that paying some 15-20 ' in a marina adds anything useful to our quality of life. we have three solarpanels on board, and when the weather is as sunny as it is now, they produce more power than we consume. We also carry six batteries, so we can keep running computer, radar and navigation lights for four daays i a row without any sun or having to run the engine for charging the batteries. In our opinion, this is the key to happy and self-sufficient crusing.

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Who: Magnus & Isabelle
Port: Falsterbo -Sweden
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