Arrived here via a series of day sails.
24th Sept – Leixos to Aveiro
Out to sea and there was a surprisingly large swell, considering how calm the weather. The morning started with gentle SE winds then later there is a calm and in the afternoon the wind returns from the NW gradually getting stronger as the afternoon progressed. I rigged the big red and white cruising chute and when the wing was about 8 knots it was pulling like the proverbial steam train. Later as the wind increased to about 13 knots I decided enough of such nonsense, this would seem like about the upper limit for this huge sail so I handed it, Thanks to it’s snuffer a relatively easy task.
The coast here is just an endless line of sandiness and beaches on which even 2- 3 mile out you can hear the surf roar. Navigation is straightforward, you just get far enough off shore to find the 20 m depth contour and then turn south.
The intention was to enter Ria Averio but the pilot gives dire warnings of the effects of swell so I was a little uncertain whether to attempt an entry but I closed with it to have a look. Some big ships were coming out and some smaller fishing boats too and then I saw a yacht about to enter so I followed at a discreet distance and it turned out there was no problem. I motored up the river and anchored of the little town of St Jacino. The area is one of lagoons, sand dunes and salt marsh but is very developed industrially.
25th Sept – Aveiro to Figuera da Foz
In the mooring I headed out through the harbour moles. There was a bad swell breaking to the S so I headed W to clear it, an outgoing small fishing boat also pointed me out the way. Once again out to the 20 m depth contour and turn south for more endless mile of sand dunes and beaches. Early afternoon saw the NW breeze kick in again so out with the cruising chute. Not far behind me was Jean Michelle and his Wharram cat who I had meet earlier in Spain. They had been catching me until I hoisted the chute but now we could just stay ahead. Past Cabo de Monego I handed the chute and gybed towards the port of Figuera da Fox which I entered and found a berth in the marina for the night.
26th Sept – Figuera da Foz to Nazare
Yesterday the log had not worked all day so after taking out the paddle wheel and cleaning it I hoped it would be back in business. More of the same sort of coast until the early afternoon when we passed the lighthouse of Penedo da Saudade. Here the coast was a little higher and more rocky in nature. On the whole though it is not an inspiring coast to cruise along.
This afternoon the wind failed so we motored to round Pontal da Nazare and entered the harbour of Nazare where I berthed in the marina.
27th Sept – Nazare to Peniche
The marina staff had told me today would be bad weather in the sense of rain,so I was a little undecided whether to stay or press on. I walked into town in the morning which it seems has developed into quite a tourist town but there were still signs of the old way of life with racks of brine soaked fish put out to dry in the sun on the beach. Back at the boat the weather didn’t look bad so I left.
About and hour later I wished I hadn’t. The sky was black, riven by lightning flashes and there was a torrential rain. From what I could see though it would pass and indeed the worst was over fairly soon and although still overcast the rain was just light. Whilst all this is going on I just sheltered under the spray hood keeping a watch and the boat steers herself, I didn’t even get wet.
Later visibility improved and I could see the Os Farihoes, a group of islands of the coast. I was aiming to pass between the mainland, Cabo Carvoeiro and the island of Berlenga.
The weather further improved and I rounded Cabo Carvoeiro in bright sunlight and from there it was just a little way to the port of Peniche. I was moored by 4pm so a nice short day, just a pity that the marina office was closed so no key for the gate. I could have got out of course but not back in. Still I borrowed a card and key from a couple on an English boat which I had seen anchored at Baiona so could have a shower.