5th Oct – Sines to Enseada de Sagres
The next leg was gonna be a long one. It was 56 n miles from Sines to Cabo de Sao Vincente, a coast with no intermediate harbours and then another 5 or so to an anchorage. It would be touch and go whether I could do the whole thing in daylight, which at the moment is from 7.30 to 19.30. The forecast was for quite strong winds with a 2.7 m swell and Cabo de Sao Vincente has a reputation for roughish seas so I was in two minds whether to go . On the other hand I needed good winds to stand a chance of making it in daylight.
Out from the shelter of the harbour it was certainly a little rolly, but then you can’t have wind without waves. With 1 reef in the main a staysail and a partly furled yankee Sea Bear started to pick up her pace. The dolphins certainly seemed to revell in the conditions and you could see them clearly in the waves appearing to surf them. I watched them for ages from the foredeck whilst sweet Martha looked after the steering. Martha is the self steering gear.
The wind later picked up a little, we had 20 knots apparent wind and since we were running at about 5 to 6 knots the real wind was about 26 knots. Go Sea Bear go. There were lots of white horses and you could hear the roar as crests break behind you. Sometimes it is better not to look. Still she is such a good sea boat that we stayed dry, not so much as a splash in the cockpit all day. Late in the afternoon I could see Cabo de Sao Vincente, we were making good time. Of course the last few miles always seem to take ages even though the GPS was recording Sea Bear as touching 7 knots at times. 18.30 saw us almost up with the Cape and Pta de Sabres was starting to open up beyond. It was a position were we could gybe towards Pta de Sagres. We were round Cabo de Sao Vincente in daylight and rounding Pta de Sagres dark was failing but there lay the anchorage. It was a question of creeping carefully into the beach in the dark, there was a moon but also clouds. Finally I could let the anchor go in 9 m off the beach and once assured it was properly set I could relax.
6th Oct – Enseada de Sagres to Lagos
In the morning I could appreciate what a pretty little bay and beach it was. Here we are at the start of the Algarve. Sailing along the coast was spoilt a little by a nightmare of fishing nets. They were all highly visible and well buoyed and so simple to avoid but it meant keeping out by the 50nm depth contour and it was a bit far out. It looked such an interesting coast I would have like to have been able to sail closer in. Hey but the sea was flat, such a contrast to yesterday.
Turning Pointa de Piedade, a lovely stretch of cliffs with pinnacles coves and caves I arrived at Lagos and anchored off the beach. It was mid afternoon but I awarded myself a short day on account of yesterday.