SV Songbird

Povoa de Varzim to Aveiro

26 June 2014
Stu & Shar
Up earlier than we thought, Portugal is on UK time one hour behind the rest of Europe. We set reefed main and heady in a good NW breeze and quickly caught Acapulco a 17m sloop that left half an hour before us heading south, they pulled out of the 'race' at Porto. Even though we are 'cruising', everyone knows when there are two yachts on the water going the same way, no doubt about it we are 'racing' :o)...What started as a cold overcast day brightened up as we approached Aveiro...the coast line was flat & featureless, quite a bit like sailing from Fremantle to Bunbury at home. We sailed into harbour and dropped sails inside in the large turning area for commercial ships and started the 6 mile motor along the 'Canal Principal de Navegacdo' up to the local yacht club......We had a few anxious moments as we got to the club to go under some power lines near the pontoons. The power lines noted in the 'Reeds Almanac' said there was 21m clearance. After guidance from the locals and creeping along the southern shore of the canal in what was a very strong current of about 4 knots we slipped under the line with 2m to spare, no problems. We were close to low water on a 2.5m tide when we went under, this said the lines were set around 18m on high water, so we could hit this...could be a different story if you came in at night!!! on a high would be a shocking result :o) ........I'll contact Reeds this is very dangerous....When we pulled up on the Pontoon and looked across at the yacht club we thought....this will be interesting !!....the place looked like a derelict industrial site, covered in graffiti with one exception....a nicely painted club room located on the corner of the building. The 'Avela Yacht Club' turned out to be an absolute diamond, a true old style yacht club run by volunteers and the most hospitable place we have been in. They couldn't do enough to help us, we were driven around to pick up food, gas and supplies, invited on board a yacht to watch Portugal play Guana in the world cup, given two bottles of the local wine so we could sample the 'best wine in Portugal', I felt embarrassed and tried to refuse but they said it will offend them if I didn't accept the wine......The town also had a great atmosphere and quite a vibrant buzz to it...really glad we stayed here.
Vessel Name: Songbird
Vessel Make/Model: Dufour 40E
Hailing Port: Fremantle - Australia
Crew: Stuart & Sharanne


Who: Stuart & Sharanne
Port: Fremantle - Australia