Lisbon and back to Spain
23 August 2015
If you're reading this Adrian then we are visiting every marina/quay side bar we can find.
Thursday 13th August - Lisbon
Well there really was fresh bread left in the cockpit when we woke up in Oeiras marina.
A nice (hot) walk along the shore,past forts, beaches, rock pools, swimming pools, the posh McDonalds and we board the train to Lisbon for the day.
About a 15 min train journey into the city along the coast with views of the museum buildings, the bridge, the statue of Jesus and then a nice leisurely stroll towards the old city past stalls selling mojitos and expresso's. Neither of us knows anything about Lisbon but we discover the grand square and then hop on an old tram tour to discover the city. About 2 hours later, after we've gotten away from the hoard of tourists we're sitting in a tiny cafe off the beaten track having a 50 cent expresso in the shade and then it's back to Oeiras.
After dinner, we join John and Sandra aboard their Discovery 55 for a few drinks and meet the youngest couple we've met so far, Theresa and Nick. Absolutely beautiful boat. We know we're mixing with an entirely different class all together when the conversation goes onto brands of cooking pots and chats about cast iron griddles.
Friday 14th August - Sesimbra
Bit of a dry mouth in the morning thanks to the wine. We're ready to go in the morning and I'm in the office trying to argue that we're in the ARC for our 50% discount, despite not flying the flag as Liam's taken it down for departure before I've managed to pay our bill. Quick chat with Heather next door who's following the Cornell rally across the Atlantic so we may well see them again as well.
So now we're actually sailing for a change under the Genoa and doing a pleasant 5/6 knots around Capo Espichel heading for an anchorage for the night.
We anchor off a beach, Enseada de Sesimbra, east of the marina as I can't face going to another marina bar and drinking another bottle of wine which will happen if we go in. Power boats are streaming past us with attached inflatable banana passengers screaming.
Dinner in the cockpit where the town is lit up and there is a brilliant pink sky. When it gets darker we're gazing up at the sky, looking out for shooting stars as the Perseid meteor shower is underway, taking a hint from Jayne of Delphinus.
Saturday 15th August - Sines
A fractured sleep, punctured by the howling 30 knots winds coming down the valley and then the anchor alarm going off as the wind changed direction, eventually dying down.
We motor off at 7:30am heading for Sines. The morning is clear, only a couple of shandy's last night.
We get into Sines, where Liam got off from his first trip as a cadet about 20 years ago. There is a fishing festival going on and all the boats are dressed with their flags, even the police boat. There are boats packed with people enjoying themselves. The priest is singing over a loud speaker.
Very friendly marina staff. Meet a retired Welshman who's been here for seven years. A wander through town and Liam has his picture taken in front of the explorer/adventurer/discoverer Vasco da Gama, after the Filipino sailors have had their photos.
An early night due to an early rising so after a dinner of chicken and spuds, complementing the mashed spuds we had for lunch, we're off to bed at 9pm.
Sunday 16th August - Sagres
Waking a bit later than expected as forgot to snooze the alarm, but we're off at 6:30am. A chilly start as the fog is closing in and I'm donning the Musto jacket for the first time since leaving Coruna, whilst Liam is attempting his fog dance. Radar and lights are on.
It clears up later on. Whales, dolphins, tuna and various birds are spotted and we eventually get sailing by 2/3pm around Cabo de Sáo Vincente and then into anchor around Ponta de Sagres, off Praia da Marela. Eupraxia, our Discovery 55 ARC buddies are anchored nearby.
Monday 17th August - Albufeira
Some French toast for breakfast with the last of the eggs and we sail off the anchorage eastbound. Two reefs in the main and we're sailing at 6/7 knots in force 5/6 winds. We skirt the Algarve Coast, caves, beaches, fishing pots, illegal fishing pots poorly marked.
We have a good sailing day and only turn the engine on as we round the breakwater around Albufeira. We anchor East of the breakwater where there is a huddle of mainly motor boats at anchor having a great time and I take the opportunity to jump into the sea as it's been a sweltering day.
All around, there are people on jet skis, jet boats, booze cruise catamarans, and guys on a fly board, whizzing around and doing backflips in the air with his water powered boots.
Thankfully, all the motor powered fun eventually dies down as the moon comes up and we are now the only ones anchored. Our anchor day ball has finally given up and cracked down the middle, leaving the spinnaker halyard wrapped around the shroud. Running low on fresh produce now so we'll have to shop soon so it's a dinner made up of all the fresh stuff we have left.
Tuesday 18th August - Villa Real St. António
Some paracetamol for Liam this morning after a good helping of port from Augustos port house last night. We take advantage of the land breeze and sail off our anchorage at around 9am.
A nice, if slow, sail with about an hour of motoring when we got down to doing one knot. A bit of sea breeze in the afternoon as we pass Faro and we're heading to the river Guidiana with Portugual on one side, Spain on the other and a hour time difference in between.
We get into Villa Real St António in the evening and decide to eat out at a seafood restaurant Cuca, recommended by marina staff. Delicious fish with salad and potatoes.
Thursday 20th August - Mazagon
A quaint little town, we decide to stay on another night to get some jobs done and get some provisions in. Liam's changing the oil filters and doing some painting while I get some fresh fruit and veg in before servicing a winch. An afternoon stroll when the temperature gets a bit cooler and we have a cold beer in a little cafe before going back to the shops for some beer. A while later Liam emerges with 6 bottles of wine, a bottle of port, beer, 6 cans of hot dogs and some Haribo. Good job he is not in charge of the provisioning.
The next day we leave the Marina by 9am, motor back down the river and then add an hour onto the clocks. Outside there are fishing/lobster pots every 50/100 metres over the artificial reef. It's flat calm with only light airs so we're doing a bit of motoring whilst charging up the laptop, drill battery and grinding coffee beans since there was an extra charge for electricity in the marina that I didn't want to pay.
I've now finished all 7 Harry Potter books in the time it's taken us to get from Coruna to Mazagon. Liam's on his 4th of 20 master and commander series.
Friday 21st August - Chipiona
We're back in Spain and with it, free 3G on Three mobile, so take the opportunity to order things from Force 4 chandlery. Not a huge amount of exploring in Mazagon apart from the immediate complex, the bar mainly.
Another sweltering day. The days are starting later and it's definitely getting dark earlier in the day now further south.
Saturday 22nd August - Chipiona
Michael Collins was shot on this day in 1922, Liam reminds me. In other news, it's Rhona's wedding day. Congratulations to Rhona and Ildo.
A lovely old town in Chipiona so we stay another day, mainly as it's cloudy when we wake up, which enables Liam to walk around in the day without melting in the heat.