Isla Canela to Tavira

Tavira anchorage

My run of “bad luck” extended into the next leg of my journey as I sailed from Isla Canela in Spain to Tavira Portugal just 16 NM away.

Sailing along the 10m contour I had my fishing lure catch on a poorly marked lobster pot (just a scrap of blue foam no larger than a paperback novel with a line running to the bottom). I made valiant attempts to retrieve it, even managing to have it break free from the entanglement, but in the short swell and without a net or other means to fetch items from the water, I could not retrieve the now drifting lure.

I was devastated by the loss of my lucky blue fishing lure. Perhaps devastated is too strong a term, how about extremely annoyed, or perhaps extensively miffed? Purchased in Calabria Italy, it was this lure that had hooked me numerous tuna, two dorado and a small swordfish. Life without it might be severely lacking in fresh seafood!

Four hours later I was anchoring to the side of the marked channel west of the ferry docks in Tavira.

Being a warm sunny Saturday, large queues had formed and the ferries worked frantically returning day trippers to the mainland. It was all very amusing to watch.

My guide suggest two anchors (both tied to the bow), as the tide runs strongly here. The same guide also refers to Tavira as spectacularly unspoiled anchorage, but I’m not one to really appreciate the questionable beauty of salt marches. For me, they fall into the same category as mosquito infested swamps and bogs, but with the wind blowing at a good 20kts, it would take one tough mosquito to verify the validity of my insect laden prejudices to marshlands.

I set my main anchor on the flood (in 4m), and paid out the usual scope before dropping my danforth from the stern and running a similar length of rode to the samson post. I wasn’t too comfortable about the arrangement and set my alarm to wake me at the turn of the tide. I’d thoroughly checked the almanacs tables but as an added precaution I left my depth sounder on and set its alarm to 1m.

After having anchors drag, I’ve grown accustomed to taking extra precautions while asleep. For good measure and for the first time in months, I also took the trouble to hang out my dusty anchor ball and display an anchor light.