Emerald Tales

Currently in Portugal after 7 years in the Mediterranean

23 February 2024 | Porto Santo
22 January 2024 | Madeira
15 December 2023 | Porto Santo
13 October 2023 | Porto Santo
15 September 2023 | Porto Santo
09 August 2023 | Porto Santo, Madeira
28 July 2023 | Porto Santo, Madeira
23 June 2023 | Porto Santo
15 January 2023 | Porto Santo
15 September 2022 | Porto Santo
19 August 2022 | Porto Santo
29 July 2022 | Porto Santo, Madeira
02 October 2021 | Faro, Portugal
06 June 2021 | Alcoutim

Stat time!

12 November 2013 | Lagos, Portugal
Nichola / hot and sunny
Emerald sailing around Cape Finisterre. Credit: Bregt and Lynn on Boxing Kangaroo

Stat-tastic time
This years stats are in! I've started counting from when we left Burnham-on-Crouch on 17th May to arriving in Lagos on 28th October.

The biggie.... miles travelled: 1601nm
This brings our total distance travelled in Emerald to: 6647nm
Of which, miles sailed: 768nm
and miles motored: 833nm
Longest passage: Falmouth to Cedeira - 426nm

That gives us a motoring to sailing ratio 52% of our distance travelled. Although if we remove all our trips trundling up and down the Fal (79nm) we get to a 50/50 ratio of motor to sail. Better than our previous 6 month trips.

Nights at anchor: 84
Nights on mooring buoy: 8
Nights in marina: 47
Nights on pontoons not attached to shore: 22
Nights on passage: 4

Diesel used (includes for battery charging and making hot water): 650 litres (very approximate)
Propane burnt: 20kg
Paraffin burnt (stat specially requested by Colin): 12 litres

Cheapest marina: Povoa de Varzim, €18 a night
Most expensive marina: Premier Marinas, Falmouth at £38 a night. If we hadn't had the Cruising Association membership discount then it would have been La Coruna.
Countries visited: 3 - England, Spain, Portugal

Favourite places and experiences:
Favourite place to stay: Cedeira, Spain. Huge, safe anchorage, fabulous weather and great scenery. As a visiting boat, the provision of a dinghy pontoon made us feel welcome; in many other places it's been difficult to find somewhere to easily leave the dinghy which seems daft when we're trying to get ashore usually to spend money.
Favourite place to visit: hard choice between Santiago de Compostela and Porto. Tourism mixed well with history with plenty to see and do.
Social life: it's been great to meet lots of new people doing the same as us and meeting up again with boats we've met in other places. The availability of good, cheap wine also helps add to the social life.
Food: Spanish tapas and seafood, reasonably priced and plentiful. Oh yes and did I mention lots of cheap wine?
Local people: the Galicians and Portuguese have a great outlook, friendly and smily.
Weather: so much sunny and warm weather. Even in England we had weeks of sunshine and once we arrived in Spain we had only a few hours of rain in a month.

Worst experiences:
The night sail from Povoa to Peniche was really grim and definitely not fun. We were never really in danger but the big, confused sea meant we got no sleep and the autopilot kept getting knocked off course as a large wave spun us around. The only positive was that we were able to sail a fair way so saving lots of diesel.
The swell on the Atlantic coast was monotonously rolly, but thankfully mostly from the stern quarter.
Languages: I'm trying with Portuguese but the pronunciation is a nightmare!
Having to make our first (and hopefully last) call out to the RNLI. Thank you again to these amazing volunteers. Read the blog here.
Unseasonable southerly winds that trapped us in Lisbon in a marina for nearly 2 weeks. We liked Lisbon but would have been happy with less than a week there.

~The fridge hasn't been working properly since we left (most likely wasn't working for a long time before that),
~The staysail strop got released from it's furling drum during the Biscay crossing due to the headsail sheet catching on the release pin,
~The hydrovane popped off its lower bracket due to extra weight in the dinghy pressing on it, a fitting on the stainless steel rail supporting the side solar panels broke,
~Some chafe points on main halyard need sorting,
~Engine starting battery needs replacing,
~Reverse gear on the outboard is graunching (great word though not sure about my spelling),
~Split pins on guardwires coming loose.
~Oh yes and the liferaft - it caused us a 6 week delay when it went off by itself in the Fal. But if that hadn't happened we wouldn't have had 6 lovely weeks in the Fal or have met the great people we have met and most likely wouldn't be in Lagos so it has turned out to have been a super shiny silver lining to a very dark cloud of frustration at the time.
Vessel Name: Emerald
Vessel Make/Model: Kelly Peterson 44
Hailing Port: No fixed abode
Crew: Colin 'Skip' Wright, Nichola Wright
About: One from Northern Ireland, one from Yorkshire, UK
Extra: Emerald has been our home since 2004. We've sailed around the UK, the western Baltic and have spent 7 years in the Med. We're currently in Portugal, planning a refit. Lot's more information about us and the boat can be found at www.yachtemerald.com
Home Page: https://www.yachtemerald.com/