Leixoes to Figueira da Foz via Aveiro

Edwardo processing Eileen's paperwork

I am traveling through a part of Portugal I now know relatively well. Most of the ports I’ve visited once before so I’m very relaxed while passage making. It’s always easier when you know what to expect. Especially when dealing with your paperwork in port.

I’m still sailing without company, but a yacht called ‘Summer Song’ with a young British crew heading for the ARC rally are not far behind. They tailed me from Leixoes and we shared the anchorage by the military base in Aveiro last night.

Nice to see some younger sailors for a change. They apparently quit their jobs to make an Atlantic circuit and are sailing a boat that cost no more than the average new car (they didn’t tell me how much exactly). Perhaps I will see them again tonight in Figueira da Foz and we can share a glass of Port together. For the curious, I’ll try and slip in the how much did it all cost question at some point. 🙂

Summer Song at anchor in Aveiro

The weather is fine but not hot. Sunny days with slight winds for the most part. We do seem to get quite an easterly breeze in the mornings (Force 4), but it dies down after a few hours and I’m left motoring for much of the day. By late afternoon it returns with a vengeance as a northerly Force 4 or greater, but this too is short lived. All local phenomenon and is the Portuguese equivalent of the land-sea breeze I’m used to elsewhere.

Catching birds instead of fish

Well, I’d better get back to my puttering along the coast at 4.5kts just a mile offshore, admiring the beaches and trolling for my next meal. I do wish those seagulls would leave my fishing lure alone…

So, what are you all up to?

PS I did have that glass of port in port, and the answer to my question was about 40,000 pounds! OK so it’s the cost of a more than average car. 😉

Nazare to Figueira da Foz

3-day Friends?

I was up early this morning and after checking the latest weather forecast I decided to leave immediately. Rain was forecast for Sunday and if I lingered another day, I had the impression I’d be stuck in Nazare for weeks!

Not that that was such a bad thing. The group of sailors sheltering in Nazare were a diverse and entertaining bunch. We’d spent all afternoon drinking beer at the small cafe (yes, the one with the gnats), and retired to a Belgian boat (no, not mine) for an evening of “La Grande Bouffe”.

I’m not sure how much more of this I would have been able to take!

I only regret that by leaving so early I was not able to say goodbye to my 3-day friends.

For those not into cruising, the “3-day friend” is quite a common phenomenon. You invariably end up stranded in a port somewhere with a mix of other yachtsmen of varying nationalities and walks of life. You may share drinks or a meal, recount sailing misadventures, tell jokes, and have a chipper time together, only to say farewell as soon as the weather improves. Despite a few exchanged email addresses and the best intentions, it’s rather unlikely that you keep in touch or cross paths again, but never mind, your new 3-day friends are but a port away.

Die Zwei Gebruder

Also leaving at the same time was the German registered vessel, “Die zwei Gebruder”, pictured here. A fine boat immaculately kept despite being nearly twenty years old.

The sailing (and the fishing) has been exceptional. April is definitely a great time to be heading north along the Portuguese coast. Weak low pressure systems off the coast have generated frequent easterlies and slight seas. Despite occasional rain storms, my journey north thus far, has certainly been easy on the stomach. I would not care to head north in July or August when the high pressure systems establish themselves.

What fish is this?

I caught four of these (anyone care to identify my catch?), and after arriving in Figueira da Foz, sat down to a wonderful baked fish dinner with the crew of “Die zwei Gebruder”, as the skies darkened with an approaching storm.

Figueira da Foz, Portugal