SV Songbird

Nazare to Peniche

28 June 2014
Stu & Shar
Dropped lines and left early, straight into a reefed main and headsail as it was blowing a consistent 18+kts from the South. We were heading for Peniche a distance of some 22nm as the crow flies and hoped to cover this by midday. This turned into quite a hard beat in a choppy sea and 2-2.5m swell, not a pleasant days sailing and a bit rough....Shar wasn't feeling to well, so we cracked off and ran wide tacks to seaward as we had started to lift off waves and punch into the next, if it was kept on a hard beat......because of the wave to wind angle it was fine on the port tack, just the starboard tack had to be widened to cater for the sea state.....when we rounded 'Cabo Cavoeiro' the wind dropped to just about dead calm so we dropped sails to stop the flogging and motored in a very confused sea state ,rocking and rolling from gunnel to gunnel at times.......We arrived in Peniche around 14:00, thinking that was a hard sail....we thought it would be a quick easy run down the coast..... how quickly things can change....the 'never turn you back on the sea' comes to mind......We pulled alongside the pontoon....directly opposite the 'Guarda Nacional Republicana', as I stepped off Songbird I asked "are you Customs"...."Yes" was the reply....we were still flying our Q-Flag so after we settled ourselves in and checked in with the harbour master, they did a 'cursory check' and gave us some advice about Portugal as there had been a spate of tourists being ripped off and mugged if they looked too affluent....normal travel stuff in a country with many people living in poverty. They were good guys, very helpful and our 'personal guard' for the night in Peniche. As it happened, we walked in on quite a big event in the town, an annual running race which attracted a huge crowd, with what would have had to been between 2500-3000 runners, with some very serious contenders indeed...the race started at 21:30 (about 15km run), with another party that carried on well into the night after the race had been run.....this has been party week for us....great stuff, but ear plugs mandatory to get any sleep. Peniche was a pretty little town, but has a bit of history with the 'Fortelaza de Peniche' (Peniche Fortress) this started in 1557, when by order of King John IV of Portugal the fortress was constructed and was a very formidable fortress for over 250 years. Later on it was used to house Boer refugees in the late 1800's, German and Austrian POWs in the First world war, but in 1938 until 1974 became a political prison during the dictatorship of Antonio Oliviera-Salazar who set up a formal 'Estado Novo' regime and ran the country for three and a half decades until the military coup in 1974.
Vessel Name: Songbird
Vessel Make/Model: Dufour 40E
Hailing Port: Fremantle - Australia
Crew: Stuart & Sharanne


Who: Stuart & Sharanne
Port: Fremantle - Australia