From now on we sail on a part of the Portuguese coast with long distances between the few safe harbours. Some of the harbour entries can be dangerous due to the Atlantic swell. It can even happen that a harbour is closed when the entry becomes dangerous. An overview about the situation of all harbours – made for commercial ships – can be found on the following website:
On August 18 we start from Bayona heading for Porto.
The winds are farourable and we can sail the whole distance, except at the start from Bayona. The swell is quite high at the beginning, the waves somehow confused, but the more we go south, the better it is. We finally enjoy the visit of dolphins, which stay with us for some time.
Bayona to Leixões
After 12 hours and 62 nm we enter the harbour of Leixões, the industrial harbour of Porto which has a marina integrated. The new marina in the river to Porto has the disadvantage to be exposed to the current of the river, and it is often overcrowded. We could follow on VHF that the entry of a sailing vessel of 13m lengths was refused because there was no more space available in the marina. The advantage of Leixões is further that you can anchor directly besides the marina in a very protected area. The connection between Leixões and Porto with public transportation is very easy., if a visit of Porto is planned.
We skip a visit of Porto because we want to continue and use the prevailing favorable winds. In addition, we have not enough time left.
Next morning we start early towards Figueira da Foz.
The winds are favourable and we can sail wing-to-wing. Again we have dolphins which stay longer with us and play around the ship.
Leixões to Figueira da Foz
After 62nm we reach Figueira da Foz at 19h . Like in most harbours in Portugal, we stop at the reception gate, get registered and get a berth assigned.
Figueira da Foz
Figueira da Foz has a very nice market hall just opposite the harbour, where you can get perfectly fresh food. This market hall is worth a visit and of course we have made our provisions with all we needed.
Market in Figueira da Foz
Next day we have only a short distance to go to Nazaré – again under sails. Mario is waiting for us in the harbour together with his son Vito. We are lucky that they could convince the harbour master to give us a berth, since the marina is full. But Mario is a member of the local sailing club which manages the marina, and so it could somehow be arranged. Mario is living nearby and we spent the evening together is his garden. We enjoyed a perfect barbecue and have a wonderful evening together. A very nice surprise.
Vito spontaneously decides to join us for a certain time to sail the Portuguese coast, which is a very good idea, so that we are 3 on board now. Next morning we leave early to sail the long leg to Cascais. In the morning we have thick fog, but after an hour it is clearing up. During the first part to Peniche we have no wind that we are forced to us the engine again, but from there on we can set sails. Again we enjoy the visit of dolphins.
Some 6nm before Cabo da Roca we reef down as a prevention, since the wind often increases spontaneously nearby the cape. So we are prepared which points out to be the right strategy. The wind suddenly increases and stays strong until Cascais.
For us it was important to arrive during daylight because of the numerous fisher buoys around the cape. We can see them early enough and need to change our course quite often to avoid them.
While rounding the cape we suddenly feel very warm air coming to us. From now on we really have reached the South – what a nice feeling. We drop our anchor in the bay of Cascais nearby the marina. Short time later it gets dark.
To anchor the night of arrival seems somehow logical to us, since the harbour is quite expensive. The first night is therefore for free, and anyway there is nothing really to be done in a harbour during the night. The ambiance on the anchorage is very nice, and there is a live music festival on the beach which delivers free music for half of the night.
Next day we enter the harbour since we want to visit Lisbon.
There is a direct train connection between Cascais and Lisbon. In Lisbon we walk or take the historic tram in the old town. A very nice stopover and interesting visit of this beautiful town.
We want to arrive some days earlier in Portimao, because the boat needs a serious clean-up and we need some rest. Unfortunately, the wind is predicted to calm down next week but we will somehow manage that. We have still one week left…