Viana do Costelo to Lisbon
13 August 2015
Wednesday 5th August - Viana do Costelo
Thank the heavens we have all of those 12 volt fans, the bimini over the cockpit and even the wind scoops over the hatches as it was roasting. How will we survive the heat in the Carribean?
We spend a day catching up on our jobs whilst the winds are too strong outside. Get a load of washing done and hung up all over the boat so we really are looking like a gypsy camp. Manage to get the sail mail working after using the cafe's wifi in exchange for a cappuccino and pastry. We (Liam) has cleaned the bilges again. I've done the food shop after a good mime for a cut of meat at the butcher counter.
We decide to go take in some culture and are set to get up the funicular up the mountain although we, having obviously not planned anything, get lost/don't know where it is and by the time we've found it, it's shut. But anyway we enjoy the walk around the town, magnificent view from the hill and back down the plaza for a €1.70 large glass of wine and free wifi.
We're now berthed between a steel 50ft 1930's Russian ketch and a 50ft Danish yacht being delivered back and Liam is in awe of the Russian boat. The streaks of rust stains down it gives me a bit more comfort in our own 1998 steel at least.
Thursday 6th August - Lexiões
There's fog outside so we're waiting for it to clear whilst having tea and biscuits in the cockpit, watching the hundreds of scouts cross Eiffel's bridge, possibly on the cameno pilgrimage up to Santiago de Costello.
Motored all the way to Lexiões. Fog patches in places so the radar is on whilst Liz promptly falls asleep in the cockpit for her mid morning nap. The fog lifts as we near Lexiões and we're shown to a short finger pontoon next to yet another British Halberg Rassey, who's cleaning his winches.
Very friendly marina guy takes our details, €35 for 2 nights. A short stroll to the beach full of sun worshippers and the bar. We have some splendid sushi, first sushi since Cork, whilst Liam is flirting with the waitress.
Friday 7th August - Porto
We take a couple days off the sailing/motoring as it is gusting 30 knots of wind so we take the 507 bus into Porto.
Wandering the cobbled streets, we visit a couple of the obligatory port houses, have a few samples and take a €5 tour of Crofts. A little light headed, trying to avoid the mass of tourists and melting in the heat, we end up in a cafe off the beaten track for some sautéed squid and beer before heading back to the boat.
Back at Lexiões and we wander down the beach to the lighthouse and back via the supermarket so we end the day trying to stuff 7 more bottles of various port and vino tinto into the bilges.
Monday 10th August - Figueira da Foz
Saturday's 60 mile journey to Fig Foz takes us 12 hours, a mixture of sailing and motoring. As we leave the breakwater of Lexiões we encounter gusts of 30 knots from the land at 6am and we have a good sail for all of an hour when it dies to no wind in the space of a couple of minutes. We're doing an hour on, hour off rota of watch keeping, letting one of us off to read and nap in between keeping a sharp eye for lobster pots, passing/avoiding about 100 on this run.
As we near Fig Foz, we crank up the engine to try and beat a catamaran in, to no avail. Check in at marina reception before picking a finger pontoon near to the cat that beat us, who turn out to be a Danish couple also doing the ARC+. Part way through a cool beer and we help take up the lines of yet another cat, a British one this time, Salila, who kindly invite us onboard for a drink, after we help some more Danes next to us. A bottle of wine and beers later, we have a quick dinner on board Odyssey before going for an evening stroll through the town, a bit of a touristy resort.
Liam's on the paracetamol the next morning, but we get up eventually and go do a spot of shopping at the immense covered market opposite the marina whilst waiting for the fog to clear. 80 cents for a coffee.
We're a bit late to get fuel now as the guy has knocked off half hour early for his 3 hour siesta, got to love this country. So we get chatting to another British boat, the wooden Akka of Tjorn and then decide to just head off to the next place.
On advice of a French guy on the pontoon and also the Cruising association, we ring up the marina at Nazaré in advance to get a berth. A bit of a motor job again so we get in at 8pm where the marina manager, a tanned, multi-lingual guy, helps us with our ropes, checks us in with no hassle, explains the fuel pontoon system, and tells us where is good to go. Possibly the friendliest welcome we've yet come across. Needless to say Liz was swooning with him!!
Steak from the market for dinner and then the marina bar/restaurant for €1.10 beers.
Tuesday 11th August - Nazaré to Peniche
A grey morning and fog as expected. Wander through yet another tourist town. Looks a bit different than it does from sea, 30 miles of beaches, locals selling their dried salt cod on the side.
The fog lifts and we prepare to go, straight after the French sun odyssey next to us. A quick stop at the fuel pontoon, almost every inch covered in bird crap, and the lady at the service station keeps me hostage in the shop whilst Liam fills up the diesel. We then anti-bacterial wipe all the bird crap that's worked it's way into the boat via Liam's deck shoes and then we're off.
Another journey, motoring for 5 hours, playing bird or buoy after being told that there are many illegal pots, not well marked, which indeed turns out to be the case.
We get into Peniche after going around the distinct headland and the towering sea-stack that looks like the liquorice man and manage to get the last spot on the visitor pontoon, right at the end. As the books and forums say, there aren't enough cleats and you really do have to have all your fenders out as you get a good roll every time anyone flys past. So we have every single fender out and we're the last of a row of visitors consisting of; a yacht from Gosport who reiterate not to bother with Cascais but to go onto Oeiros where they give you fresh croissants in the morning; the Danes from Fig Foz; the Danish cat; and British Salila, minus Cathy who has now flown back to the UK.
A few beers and free wifi in the bar after check in and a catch up on the news. Hope you're healing well Charlotte. We are joined by Peter and Adrian of Salila and have a few more cervasas and we head to the Sardinha restaurant, recommended by the GDR policeman earlier who checked our papers. Fish, two bottles of wine and the standard European pre packed desserts and we're having a great ole time chatting away. We make sure to down a pint of water before bed.
Thankfully it's foggy in the morning although we're still the last to leave. Worth a visit, Peniche, full of historical forts, scenery and bars.
A bit of cloud that clears in the day whilst we're trying/failing to keep up with the cats. The sea is a lot calmer now and it's a lot easier to prepare lunch when everything is not rolling around and you're bracing yourself in the galley whilst trying not to scold yourself making tea.
Still motoring away and we have radio contact with Salila and agree to meet at Oeiros so another night of drinking it is.
A strong current as you enter Oerios, but it's true what they say about the place, friendly, way cheaper than the other marina (50% ARC discount, 20% for CA members), a welcome pack, a swimming pool, shuttles to the supermarket, a quick train into Lisbon, free wine on arrival and fresh bread delivered to the boat in the morning.
We get help with the lines and another ARC boat comes and says hello almost immediately, and invites us for drinks the following evening with another ARC boat.
We meet up with Peter and Adrian for drinks again and find some more links in common. Having only met each other not long beforehand, they seem to have turned into a great yachting couple.