Up early for a walk out of town that the tourist office had told us about. Not that long, but very pretty along a stream with old mills. The final mill we came to – Fausto’s – produced a miller who arrived about 5 seconds after us & proceeded to do a complete demonstration of the milling process (all at no charge) for just the 2 of us.
Back at the boat about lunchtime we left Cangas with just the genny for the 7nm to the Cies anchorage again. Very lovely with its silver sand beaches. We took the canoes to the beach & had a swim – water still coolish. Plastic legs, or his cousin, came back to see us again, he still seems to like apple cores!
Mid evening the Customs (3 of them) arrived in a rib to check our papers! Before they departed they also said we should have obtained permission prior to anchoring in the area, but it was not up to them to enforce. After they had gone we rechecked the pilotage information we had but could find no reference to this, even on up to date Pilots. We & the other foreign yacht in the anchorage stayed put for the night.
We left the Cies anchorage with the islands looking particularly idyllic with their rocky hills & golden beaches, motoring as no wind, & did the 8nm to Baiona marina for fuel & provisions.
After a paella lunch we walked the walls of the old fort which guards the entrance to the harbour & which now houses a modern Pousada. Then for good measure we did it again, but on a lower path outside the walls & closer to the sea & various little rocky coves.
Left Baiona mid morning for a pleasant sail down
the coast & crossing the Spanish/Portugese
border. We saw the occasional fishing boat, & the dolphins came & checked
us out a couple of times. The wind did
its regular thing of picking up in the afternoons, so taking the main down
becomes somewhat exciting especially as when we turned into our next port of Viana do Castelo, wind & kite
surfers were blasting off the beach, across the harbour mouth, & our path!
Very brave, if foolhardy on their part! Arrived unscathed however, (36nm) &
switched time zones again – 1hr earlier than Spanish – same as
BST. The marina & river are spanned
by a bridge built by the same Eiffel as a certain famous tower in
Checked out the Town & walked up the hill to the basilica of Monte Santa Lucia, with its magnificent view, over the coast & river. We took the funicular back down, & explored the Town. Nice squares & old buildings, but an awful lot of road works with the resulting chaos, still a very nice place.
Set off back up Monte Santa Lucia, using the funicular, for a walk we had gleaned from an information board, that started from the top. All seemed fine until we missed a waymark & found ourselves in a village in the street of barking dogs. When we finally decided we had to retrace our steps through barking dog street a local took pity & gave us directions. We needed to walk along a paved over water chanel (like a Madeiran levada) for about 40 minutes. Once set on our way it was a nice walk through eucalyptus & pine forest, a pretty village, good views & just before we completed the loop at the funicular, lead to a walkway overlooking an extensive Celtic citania – pre roman, round stone houses & streets.
Went out for a meal that included the Portugese bacalhau (dried salted cod).
Early start, motoring in no wind to leave Vianna do Castelo. The wind soon filled in astern so we poled
out the genny.
There were lots of lobster pots, & it was very rolly
because of a large swell. Around midday
our dolphin escort arrived & stayed for about an hour doing all sorts of
antics. Early afternoon we arrived at Lexicoes Marina – this is the most convenient to
Caught the Metro to the centre of
Prompt departure from Lexicoes with wind on the quarter. By midday we’d had an inspection visit from the dolphins & put a reef in as the wind rose to a N5/6. Soon that became a 6/7 & the second, & then third reef went in, as we were broaching on a big swell. More dolphins arrived about 6pm & stayed for a couple of hours. They were having a ball, surfing on, & leaping out of the waves, riding our bow wave & diving underneath the boat. I felt exhausted just watching, & hanging on as we careered along. The wind eased a bit as night fell.
We had a spell motor sailing to charge batteries, & around 6am with the
wind down to N3/4 re-hoisted the full main, only to find the 2nd
reefing pennant chafed through. Doug
managed to rethread this when the wind went lighter still. He says some dolphins supervised in the
bloggers absence (catching zzzzz…s). After a brief spell motoring (no wind) we
were able to pole out the genny in a 4, then early
evening it went to a 5 & the first reef went in again. Then we rounded Cape Sao Vincente,
just after midnight we dropped anchor behind Pont
Woke to a lovely sunny day – tempted to jump in for swim, but nobody on the beach was in the water, so gave it a miss.
Left anchorage mid morning for a motor, then a
‘drifting’ sail in at most a force 2. There were fishermen
on the cliffs, using rods & I reckoned they were at least 60ft up. A porpoise passed us going the opposite way
& Doug tried fishing. No success although the gannets seemed to be catching
round Ponta da Piedade with
its grottos & strange rock formations & arrived in
Lots of people about when we went to explore, but no shops or chandlery open. Then we discovered it was a Spanish Saints day (bank holiday) which we hadn’t looked up.
(We had visited
In & around
There were storks flying over the marina & nesting – large untidy heaps of sticks - on roofs, chimneys & electricity pylons, all sites kindly supplied by man!
On the thursday Andrew
& Sandie Firebrace came
to lunch on board. They were long time
members of HPYC & having spent time in
We took their advice in the evening & went to a little fish resturant that the locals use, for a sardine supper.
Late morning departure from
Motored along the Ponta da Piedade
coast (to west of
Early morning start (to catch rising tide at destination) from Portimao anchorage. Wind non existent in patches so alternating between sail & motor. Just past Faro we caught up with a racing fleet, all under spinnaker, & saw what we thought were 2 flying fish. Our objective was the islands to the east of Faro, rather reminiscent of the Friesians. We turned into the channel behind them & anchored in Praca Larga, N of Culatra Isla, at about lunchtime. 38nm. We had been expecting a very quiet anchorage akin to the Alde, & instead there were wetbikes & various speed boats ferrying people about, music & shoreside cafes, well I suppose it was the weekend. So it was an afternoon people watching, not wildlife! To our surprise the noise subsided early in the evening.
Departed the Culatra anchorage about 9.30am &
despite crowds of small fishing boats got the main hoisted just inside the
river mouth. Once out there was a melee
of fishing boats, various types of bird (gulls, young gannets, shearwaters)
& dolphins. Obviously the place to be fishing.
With a westerly 4 we poled out the genny,
& about midday (portugese time) crossed into
Spanish waters again. Predictably the
wind increased in the afternoon & we needed a reef. Arrived in Mazagon marina near
Morning departure from Mazagon
under full sail. Again the breeze
picked up & we needed a reef, then extra rolls in the genny. As we neared
The marina is a bit of a step from the City along one of the harbour moles. This had nice views over the sea & City, & potentially nice gardens, but was very in need of some tlc. A shame as we, & presumably others, walked it a good few times during our visit, starting that evening when we strolled in to find a tapas supper in a café.
Early start & another walk along the mole to do some chores & provisioning.
Then into the City again to walk the walls & narrow shady streets, wander through the gardens & squares with their flowers & fountains, & generally be a tourist. We had been here before, but were still able to find new sites, while revisiting other favorites.
A prompt departure from
Within an hour it had died & the excitement was spotting & avoiding
long strings of fishing lines being laid by small boats working with a larger
fishing vessel. Then there were some
loud explosions from a military practise area.
It didn’t seem to be a prohibited area & the fishing boats
were unperturbed. We continued motoring
until midday when there was enough of a S.Easterly to sail on. Within 10mins it had risen another force & the first reef went in, soon
followed by the second as the wind continued to rise. With a big swell left from the weeks of westerlies this made for a very character building beat
around Cape Trafalgar, but we were passing other yachts motoring, & I
imagine some turned back. We arrived at Barbate marina, dodging the tuny
nets at the harbour entrance, at about teatime after 49nm. After the formalities (always time consuming
Early start from Barbate, to beat the wind, motoring with
no wind. Then it arrived, on the
nose force 5, with a very nasty sea so we motorsailed . Just before Tarifa we watched a plane scooping
water from the sea to bomb a fire high on the hills – I imagine because
it was threatening a line of wind turbines.
After Tarifa island
we entered the Straits of Gibraltar, although the Rock itself was shrouded in
haze. We threaded our way across the Bay
between anchored ships, & tied up in
A ‘reminder’ stroll around the town
Then a cable car trip to the Upper Rock to visit the cousins (apes), who seem totally unfazed by all the cameras clicking away at them.
Strolled down to the middle station to pick up the cable car down, & then had a walk round the Botanic Gardens near the base station. In one shady pool the ‘stepping stones’ turned out to be terrapins. No wonder the stepping stones were odd sizes.
Saturday more round tuits, & more strolling.
Departed Gib via the fuel berth, on a full sail
beat. On the East side of the Rock we
had several forays from dolphins, & another early afternoon visit as we
carried on up the coast. Tea time the
wind went light, the engine on & we got into Fuengirola
mid evening after 61nm.
Made our number with the Port, then a motoring start in very little wind & a hazy day. About lunch time it filled in enough for us to hoist the kite for virtually the rest of the day.
Tea time a first for us – a swordfish jumped out of the water abeam of us, & then obligingly jumped several more times so we had a really good view – a real silver sword about a metre long, coming clear of the water in a gleaming arc.
Mid evening & 58nm we anchored off the little town of
It looked a very nice town, & we later discovered (as it went dark) that it was a local fiesta day when the villages light bonfires along the shore. I counted at least 14 & these were large piles of wood so they flamed high for a long time, & the locals stayed up too.
Early departure, although the people of Calahonda were already tidying their beach, as despite there again being virtually no wind a nasty swell had developed which made the anchorage uncomfortable. It was hazy again, a great pity as this stretch of coast would be pretty spectacular with its dramatic headlands & the Andalucian mountains behind. The wind played with us, & we had short spells when we could sail, then it would die & we motorsailed again. We saw a few fishing boats & some dolphins passed us ‘on a mission’ – the nearest fishing boat! A small ferry popped up out of the haze, & further out some large rig or cable vessel was being escorted by several guard vessels. Early evening we got to the anchorage at Cabo Gato, even in time for a swim. 66nm.
Depart the anchorage, for a light airs full sail beat, staying a bit closer to the coast so we could see the coast. The day’s interest was seeing, in close succession 2 turtles. No idea of the species, the first was about 60cm, the second about half the size. As far as we know turtles are not likely to be swimming in company, so it was a coincidence seeing 2. Tea time the wind dropped & we motored for a spell, saw another swordfish jump, & arrived at an anchorage at El Hornilla, Puerto Aguilas. 63nm & 2 attempts to get the anchor to bite because of weed.
This anchorage was in a very enclosed bay with a small islet, home to gulls sheltering one end, & part occupied by numerous lobster pots. We were surprised no one else was anchored there.
In the morning diggers were working reshaping the hill above the bay at El Hornillo. There is
apparently a mammoth development underway so in a few years time it will not bea secluded anchorage, a
currently it is not a daytime one because of the dust from the work. We motored away & soon were able to beat
along the coast in a F3, predictably on the nose. As we rounded Cabo Timosa it went light & variable & we motored into
After a sort & tidy we went out to look around & have supper. It was another round of the football, but
seemed much more subdued even though
Part chores & part explore. After walking through the town centre we took a lift to the Citadel up on a hill overlooking port & waterfront.
In the mirador there we found a gang of peacocks, the source of a lot screechy noise the previous night. Still, one of the chaps did display beautifully for us.
Another day in & around Cartegena. Watching the waterfront was a constant source of activity, with its wide promenades & looked especially good at night with all the floodlit buildings reflecting across the harbour. The variety of noise was interesting too, with opera competing with discos, & all with the peacocks!
Departed Cartegena nearly catching one of the stern mooring lines. It had hooked over the bottom rung of our boarding ladder which we hadn’t spotted when we dropped them. Fortunately a boat opposite had & called out, so another lesson learned, luckily no harm done.
We had a beat along the coast passing wild rocky headlands with cliffs to
deserted beaches, until we rounded Cabo de Palos
& were surprised by the legoland & rubiks cubes of La Manga &
other resorts stretching away northwards. We were able to crack sheets for
Puerto Tomas Maestre & the entrance to the Mar Menor, a large inland sea( about
12m by 6m) which is separated from the
We stayed put, swam, took the canoes round the island upsetting the gulls, watched people come & go, & had a thoroughly relaxing day.
This time we didn’t have the place to ourselves overnight as several other British boats arrived together & anchored in a raft.
There was a spell of thunder & lightening overnight, but it only brought spits of rain & luckily no wind.