10th & 11th Oct – Albufiera to Ilha de Culatra to Vila Real de Santo Antonio

10th Oct – Albufiera to Ilha de Culatra

Next morning was raining too, but the forecast was for it to stop raining by 10 and then sunshine. Away from the marina there was a deceptively nasty little swell which threw the boat about all which ways. There were wrong about the sun too it never appeared all day. Eventually we got a little wind and we got to the entrance to the lagoons of Faro and Olhao, which was a couple of stone moles sticking out from the sand dunes. The book warned of a strong set across the entrance and they were not wrong and once between the moles the flood tide accelerated me down the channel. Once the lagoons opened out the tide eased off and I went and anchored in the lee of the island of Culatra. It was a popular anchorage, there was probably 20 or so boats anchored up.

The final cap of a not particularly enjoyable day was the cooker stopping working hallway through cooking tea and despite my efforts refusing to work.

11th Oct – Ilha de Culatra to Vila Real de Santo Antonio

In the morning there was nothing for it but to empty the cooker tank and clean everything out. Taking out the tank didn’t prove to such a difficult task as I feared. I cleaned the crud from the tank and unblocked the fuel valve and viola I could have my morning cup of tea.

Mindfull of the tide experienced through the channel yesterday I planned my departure for low water slack so departure was less stressful. It was another grey and dismal day though and it wasn’t long before the rain started accompaigned by peals of thunder. This went on all day until about 1 hour short of the entrance to the river Guardiana, when the sun came out for a while. The river  marks the border between Portugal and Spain. By the bar buoys I handed the main and ran in over the bar under the yankee alone. Fortuitously I arrived at the marina in Vila Real de Santo Antonio at slack water. The marina is just built stuck out into the river so the speak and the tide runs strongly through it so berthing at slack water is less traumatic than at other times. Ashore there was a market in full swing so I went for a wander. Pots and pans, crookery, knives, sheepskin slippers, were the main items on offer but there was a van selling the Portuguese version of hot fresh doughnuts. Later  it rained again torrentially.