Bye Bye Bayona and Hello Porto
12 August 2007 | Leixoes, Portugal
We awoke at 5:00 a.m. to the alarm clock's shrill. It seemed pitch dark in the anchorage, but the stars were bright and the sliver of a moon was just up over the horizon. After breakfast and coffee, Bonnie made sandwiches for the passage and we were underway for Porto at 6:30 a.m. The forecast called for force 4-5 and up to 7 but it was calm here with 5 knots of breeze from the north. There were lots of fishing boats around, we could see their nav lights as we pulled up the anchor. Even in the dark it was a charming anchorage and we were sorry to leave. We motored out into the channel between the islands of Faro and S martin and then turned to port to head to sea. Behind us the lights of Vigo and Bayona were twinkling in the distance. Shortly after that the view behind was one of those where there is a haze and the islands were dark in the foreground and the mountains behind them were lighter shades of gray and behind that the sun was lighting up the sky displaying colours of orange and violet. The early mornings really are a special time when aboard. We cruised out under power to about 6 miles off the coast and turned south. The wind was from behind and only 5-6 knots so we were using the iron jenny only. I put out the fishing line and started to read my book. It was shortly after that that I decided to download the weather and I thought I would try and see if the wireless keyboard would work from the cockpit. It does!! So here I sit typing this journal up top as I watch the hazy shore of Rio Minho and look out for fish traps. Life is good.
The last 2-3 hours of the passage were in thick fog with fish traps every 3-4 minutes on our path-we were pretty tired when we arrived in Leixoes at about 4:00pm. The next day we headed into Porto to tour the city. Downtown Porto is about one hour by metro from Leixoes. Porto is a delight and a World Heritage designated city. It was easy to see why. The city twists and turns up and down very steep hills and everywhere you look there is more baroque architecture from the 12th century on. We went to the chamber of commerce palace and it was just incredible. It was built to impress by Porto's merchants in the mid 1800s and they succeeded. On our way out the door I noticed a room full of wine and inside met Joao, who gave us a tasting of five different ports as well as a detailed explanation of Port viticulture. It was great! We bought two bottles. As we were leaving, Joao gave us his card and his cell phone number (in case, as he told us his father always said, "Shit Happens") The Portuguese people we have met are very thoughtful!
After that we wandered through a few churches and then downtown to the Ribiera district. Lots of tourists here! Bonnie will fill you in later with more detail on our visit. Check out our location on Google Earth, I'm waving in the inside west corner of the marina! :-) Regards Rick
All the best from Aisling I
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