Cruising in Greece

Sailing TB from the Villaine River in 2009 and now cruising Greece in 2011.

Vessel Name: Tobin Bronze
Vessel Make/Model: 35ft cold moulded plywood sloop
Hailing Port: Bristol
Crew: Peter and Judy Ward
Launched in 1985. After one year sailing in the Bristol Channel, TB has been sailed for 17,700 plus miles by Peter, Judy, Charlotte, Ben and Sofie - firstly based in Dartmouth and then in South Brittany. [...]
03 July 2016 | Agmar Marine Boatyard. Partheni, Island of Leros
30 October 2015
01 October 2014 | Kilada to Orei
25 November 2013
19 July 2013
26 June 2013 | Koilada
01 December 2012
01 November 2012 | Koilada
29 September 2011
10 September 2011
15 June 2011 | British Columbia, Canada
20 August 2010 | Ria de Vigo
28 October 2009 | Cangas
17 September 2009
Recent Blog Posts
21 June 2017

Dodecanese Islands - Spring 2017

Judy and I arrived back at Leros airport at 08:15hrs on Wed 10 May 2017. We had a three and a half hour wait at Athens for the small commuter plane to Leros. A long wait but we enjoyed the views of various islands on the one hour flight to Leros. The boatyard had arranged for a hire car to be waiting [...]

03 July 2016 | Agmar Marine Boatyard. Partheni, Island of Leros

Orei to Leros, Summer 2016

Judy and I returned to Greece on 17 April 2016. Sofie and one year old Edith met up with us at Heathrow and we flew off together. We picked up a hire car at Athens airport and drove to Orei on Evia Island, crossing on the Arkitsas to Edipsos ferry.

01 October 2014 | Kilada to Orei

Summer 2014

19 July 2013

An Island Too Far.

For the first trip of the summer, I planned a nice little cruise down the west side of the Argolic Gulf, past Cape Maleas to north west Crete and along the coast to Iraklion. We were to meet up with Kevin and Lesley there and then continue the loop back to Koilada via Thira (Santorini) and Milos in the [...]

Vigo, Spain to Faro, Portugal. Sept 2010.

25 September 2010
On Wed 25 August, I returned to Vigo with Air Europe via Madrid. Tobin Bronze was in good condition as the marina staff had tended lines and obviously had looked after the boat. Yolande from the office said the boat was "tranquil." As good an adjective as any! The weather was warm to hot with the wind picking up as usual for Galicia in the afternoons.

The next day was overcast but warm with variable winds. Motored to Real Club Nautico, Vigo. Stern to mooring was a bit nerve wracking in 15kts of wind and I was very relieved when it went quite smoothly. No damage to Peter's pride or other boats! Woody arrived on train from Madrid at 21:30hrs. He had used up some of his air-miles to fly over from New Zealand to come sailing.

Sat 29/8. Visited Isla Cies for lunch. Hot and sunny. Moved on to Baiona where we encountered the only arrogant, rude Marinero to cross our path in all of Spain and Portugal. Even though I had phoned ahead and was told that there was a berth available for us in the Monte Real Club, the officious Marinero told us that we could not have make a reservation and that the marina was full, Which was a blatant lie as there were plenty of empty berths overnight. Anyway, 200 metres away, we were greeted with the usual friendly efficient welcome at Baiona Sports Marina and enjoyed a pleasant night there. The town was full of people and we had to wander around for a while to get into a restaurant.

Sun 30/8. After replentishing supplies, we took off for Lisbon about 215 nautical miles south. No hurry as we were scheduled to met John Quinlan on the Monday a week later.

Winds were prodominately westerly to northerly and generally pretty light. We spent most of the time motoring but squeezed in a couple of good sails when the wind was right. Very rarely was the wind forward of the beam which is sailing as it should be.

Sunset in the Minho River between Spain and Portugal. Caminha anchorage.
Sunset in the Minho River between Spain and Portugal
Look in the Photo Album 'Vigo to Faro, Sept 2010' for an enlarged image.

We spent one night at anchor in the Minho River where we lowered the Spanish courtesy flag and raised the Portuguese flag. The entrance to this river gave us an introduction to the hazards of swell along the Atlantic coast. Going in was not too bad - at half tide on the flood there were 1.5 to 2.0 metre waves even though it looked absolutely beneign from offshore. Coming out on the ebb was a different story although it was also half tide and wind conditions much the same. The 1 to 2 knot ebb current against the swell created waves that were twice as bad. Even though we knew there was enough water, it was still a white knuckle ride. Next time, do it a high water and slack current. Still it was worth it as it is a wonderful anchorage.

Monday and Tuesday nights were in the marina at Leixeos, the port for Oporto.

Wednesday night we found an excellent restaurant in Figueiro do Foz. As we wandered around the town, we noticed people hurrying into the Cacarola Restaurant near the Casino. In spite of it being very busy we got a table inside. Excellent meal, including wine, for 40 Euros. Woody gave it his "Top Spot" award.

Thursday night in Nazare. Small marina at bottom of fishing port, a long way from the town.

On Friday we had a good sail to Ilha Berlenga but did not stop as the anchorage is very open and there was a considerable swell running. We sailed on to Perniche where we anchored in the main harbour as the visitors' berths in the marina were closed due to work being carried out in the marina. We didn't bother going ashore as we arrived late afternoon and it was a long way across to the slipway.

We carried on down the coast around Cabo Raso and then east into the Tagus River to Lisbon. It was a beautiful Saturday evening as we crawled up the river against the ebb current and into Doca do Alcantara Marine which is just in behind the main passenger liner terminal. Lisbon is a lovely city and we enjoyed being tourists on Sunday and Monday.

River Tagus
River Tagus leading to Lisboa.
Look in the Photo Album 'Vigo to Faro, Sept 2010' for an enlarged image.

John arrived at 22:15hrs on Monday evening. Our excuse for the rather noisy welcome on his arrival at the marina was that he was late and we had been drinking on empty stomachs!

The Imperial Guard parading outside the Maretime Museum.
The Imperial Guard parading outside the Maretime Museum and Cathedral.
Look in the Photo Album 'Vigo to Faro, Sept 2010' for an enlarged image.

On Tuesday morning we sent John around Lisbon on the tourist bus, which Woody and I went on a couple of days earlier, while we went to the Maretime Museum. Portugal does have an amazing naval history and the museum is fascinating. We left the marina at 14:00hrs and had a good sail down to the small fishing port of Siesembra where we were allocated the last free berth in the marina. There were no other transit yachts there. It is a very smart, club run marina and was pretty expensive when compared with other marinas.

Siesembra Harbour
Inshore fishing boat returnibg to Siesembra Harbour.
Look in the Photo Album 'Vigo to Faro, Sept 2010' for an enlarged image.

Next day we had a great spinnaker run down to Sines which is another newish marina with excellent facilities and a friendly atmosphere. We were greeted by a helpful Welsh yachtsman who has been there for three years. On his recommendation we dined cheaply at a restaurant near the fort in the town. We also chatted to John and Wendy off the Kiwi sloop "Beyond". They are on their way back to NZ after wintering at St Katherine's Dock in London.

We had now logged 365Nm from Vigo.
A chilly afternoon.
One of the few times when the wind was a bit cool!
Look in the Photo Album 'Vigo to Faro, Sept 2010' for an enlarged image.

We decided to sail on Thursday evening for the next leg which was approximately 85Nm around Cape St Vincent, the most SW point of Europe. Basking in the reflected glory of his "Basque Fish Stew", which he had made earlier in the summer, John prepared a stew before we left. If he had a recipe to work from, he must have thrown it away as there seemed to be a lot of improvisation involved.

There was a fresh northerly wind blowing at 15kts as we left at 17:00hrs on a southerly course. With one reef in the main and six wraps in the genoa we had some fast sailing in a lumpy sea and 2.5 metre swell. With a bit of help from the current we had hourly log readings of 7.0kts, 7.1kts, 6.6kts, 6.6kts, 6.6kts and then 5.8kts as the wind veered and died on us.

At 22:30hrs we picked up the Cape St Vincent from over 20 miles away but by 23:00hrs the wind had died and it was back on with the motor. Without the wind in the sails to steady the motion of the boat, we rolled considerably for the next 3 hours until we were around the Cape.

A few comments from the log: "Venus very bright. Clear sky. The Plough constellation getting closer to the horizon in the north. Steering towards where the Milky Way met the ocean to the south. Orion and Siries rising from the SE. Sirius reflecting on a calm sea after Cape St Vincent.."

It really was a spectacular sail.

As were had made such good time we had to dawdle along the western Algarve coast to arrive at Lagos at sunrise. We tied up at the waiting pontoon outside the marina at 07:00hrs. Sunrise was at 07:12hrs. We now had 448 nautical miles on the log.

Canal leading up to Lagos Marina.
Canal leading up to the lifting bridge at Lagos Marina.
Look in the Photo Album 'Vigo to Faro, Sept 2010' for an enlarged image.

We met Gail and Stephen from Darwin on their catamaran "Gone Troppo". They have recorded theirr adventures on

Sat 11 Sept saw us motoring in hot sunshine to Culatara Island in the approaches to Faro. We anchored for the night in the protected anchorage north of the Island. We enjoyed lunch ashore after exploring the island in the morning. That evening we moved up the channel in the lagoon to Olhao. Visitors are not allowed into the marina but we squeezed into the tiny anchorage outside the fish market. John Q. departed on Monday morning and Judy arrived Monday evening.

Beach on side side og Culatara Island.
John Q. inspecting the beach on the south of Culatara Island.
Look in the Photo Album 'Vigo to Faro, Sept 2010' for an enlarged image.

Over the next week we sailed down the coast and 20 miles up the Guadiana River to Alcoutim where we stayed a couple of days. At Alcoutim, we met up with John and Wendy on "Beyond" and also with Andy and Pam on "Felice". We first met Andy last year at the propellor replacing party in Caraminas. Pam remembered it very clearly as Andy had fallen in the water on the way back to "Felice" after the party.

Kiwi boat 'Beyond' Along the river
Kiwi boat 'Beyond'. Enjoying Spain before heading off across the Atlantic on their way back to NZ.
Look in the Photo Album 'Vigo to Faro, Sept 2010' for an enlarged image.

We returned to Faro and dispatched Judy back to Bristol while Woody and I cleaned up TB prior to lift-out in Bruce's Boatyard in Faro. The yard can only be reached at high tide as the channel dries out at low water.

Peter & Judy Channel to boatyard Lift out
In Faro for laying TB up for the winter.
Look in the Photo Album 'Vigo to Faro, Sept 2010' for enlarged images.

The voyage from Vigo had taken 628 nautical miles and we had run the engine for nearly 100 hours.
Sunset in the boat yard
Sunset in Faro.
Look in the Photo Album 'Vigo to Faro, Sept 2010' for an enlarged image.
Tobin Bronze's Photos - Main
Photos 1 to 3 of 3
Tobin Bronze going out in the 1967 Melbourne Cup.
Sept 2017. Dodecanese Islands
17 Photos
Created 20 October 2017
Dodecanese Islands
23 Photos
Created 24 June 2017
Cruising from Orei. Evia to Leros in the Dodcanese in May, June
18 Photos
Created 30 October 2016
Launch from Orei, sail north to Thessaloniki, around the Khalkidhiki paninsula and Mt Athos to Nea Peramos.
17 Photos
Created 14 December 2015
22 Photos
Created 15 October 2014
Re-launch in Kilada to Orei, Evia in early July
16 Photos
Created 22 July 2014
13 Photos
Created 18 May 2014
A late summer cruise to the northern Cyclades
18 Photos
Created 20 January 2014
Cruise to Crete
11 Photos
Created 19 July 2013
Visits to Koilada May & june 2013
11 Photos
Created 9 June 2013
From Kalamata to the Argolic Gulf in July 2012
57 Photos
Created 12 January 2013
From Messolonghi to Kalamata May 2012
45 Photos
Created 10 January 2013
Italy to Zakinthos and Messolonghi
15 Photos
Created 24 November 2011
Lipari, Vulcano and Stromboli - three of the Aeolian Islands
30 Photos
Created 24 November 2011
Sardinia and Sicily Sept 2011
19 Photos
Created 24 November 2011
Sailing from Cartagena to Sardinia
24 Photos
Created 24 November 2011
Sailing TB from Faro to Cartagena in June and July 2011
64 Photos
Created 9 August 2011
Sailing on John's boat 'Derby Lass'
20 Photos
Created 6 August 2011
Delivery trip with Woody from Vigo to Lisbon when John Q. met us. Then to Ohao where Judy replaced John for a trip up the Guardina River.
41 Photos
Created 1 October 2010
June - July in the Rias Baixas, Galicia
26 Photos
Created 8 August 2010
Six days on the "Dunmow Flitch" between Braunston and Market Harborough in April 2010.
26 Photos
Created 1 June 2010
Lay up for winter in Cangas
17 Photos
Created 27 October 2009
Newport R.I.,Cuttyhunk Island, Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket
48 Photos
Created 17 September 2009
Highlights of the trip from Viveiro to Ria de Vigo.
34 Photos
Created 2 August 2009
Hugh pod of dolphins encountered 10:30hrs 04 June at approx 44º24'N; 006º32'W
18 Photos
Created 23 June 2009
Between 02 June and 04 June 2009 from La Roche Bernard to Ribadeo in Galicia, Spain
11 Photos | 1 Sub-Album
Created 18 June 2009
Port de Foleux is about 15 miles up the Villaine River, 6 miles upstream from La Roche Bernard
4 Photos
Created 18 June 2009