From Gibraltar we decided to sail back to Portimao again, prospect for good winds at start and by taking a wide curve out at sea there was also prospect for some good sailing most of the way. Taking a straight line the wind would have died out very quickly. The direct distance was 145 Nm but our way became 195 Nm. We started from Gibraltar at the same time as Zultana another Swedish boat, which was a bit faster than us at start and she took the straight line. We arrived Portimao a few hours earlier than Zultana, our choice of way was for ones the right one as we could sail most of the way, for Zultana the wind died away rather quickly.
A you-tube (7 min) movie in ”Swinglish” from our trip to Portimao/Ferragudo from Gibraltar, klick on it if would like to see it.
Portimao is just a few Nm from Lagos our hometown so we decided to make a short trip there to pick some delivery we had got at the marina office including the Furler the sail-maker forgot to include when delivering the sails. When docking at the reception pontoon the bowthruster started to give some strange noise and the motor increase in revs, not a good sign at all.
We have a retractable bowthruster that can be serviced when in water
A short video clip on how it looks from the inside with a large hole in the boat and how a retractable bow thruster looks like.
It was the gears inside that was worn after 20 years of service, so it did not pay off to dismantle the whole thing, just had to put it back and order a set of new gears. We were on our way to pick up my son and fiance in the neighborhood of Porto for a trip in Galicien so did not know were to have the parts shipped.
After putting the Bowthrsuet back in place to seal the hole in the bottom of our boat we sat sail towards Cascais a trip of about 130 Nm which go passed Cabo De Vicente the South West corner of Europe
Cabo de Vicente
We explore the posh suburb to Lissabon
The square by the seaside offers a nice café named Paul which we of course must visit
They have particularly good pastry that we enjoyed on Kerstins nameday
After Cascais the idea was to sail up to Galicia about 220 nM to meet my son. We made a try but after slamming into heavy seas and strong wind for half a day we gave up and headed back to the anchorage, where we a few days later had to ride out a few days with very strong northerly wind
A clip from the windy anchorage of Cascais
Instead we rented a car to pick up Kristofer and Karin at the Airport in Porto about 360 km one-way car ride. We had not meet each other for a while and had a lot to talk about so I forgot about petrol, suddenly on the way back to Cascais the car stopped on the motorway!!! There are usually 30-40 km between the petrol stations so this could be a major issue. Guess what? There was a station just 300 m in front of us, aren’t that luck?
My surprise to realise no petrol
It sat us back maximum 30 minutes so no big deal, but now my son has one up on me!
Back in Cascais we sat sails towards Lagos again. The crew was tiered after a very early morning and a long day so with a bit of seasickness they were soon knocked out in the cockpit.
Tiered and seasick crew
When in Lagos we anchored outside the beach Meia Praia for a nice barbecue lunch
We took a tour exploring the caves and the youngster also explore the town of Lagos. I picked up the spare part to my bow-thruster that I have ordered to the marina in Lagos, and then we continue the short way to Portimao
Kristoffer examine the anchorage when we entered into Portimao/Ferragudo
Portimao is the “larger” town on the west side of the river and Ferragudo is a very nice Village on the east side of the river
Portimao offers very nice and long beaches with bars and restaurants and is visited by many tourists
Ferragudo is a genuinely nice village well worth extensive visit.
Kalu beach bar offers nice and tasty burgers, The Sangria is also well worth to try
Walking along Praia Grande watching the anchorage
Or the small streets of Ferrgudo
Looking for street art that are quite common in Portugal
After that a sun-downer on deck
Or a wobbly tour on the SUP
Next stop Rio Formosa/Culatra
We had a nice gentle sail towards Culatra, when approaching the narrow inlet it was close to slack water but still some current, one should go in on a rising tide to get the current with and because it is patches of shallow water on the way to the anchorage. Just outside the inlet there was an alarm from the engine, it’s overheating, quickly shutoff the engine, I opened the hatch to the engine room to locate the problem. A bucket of saltwater below the engine. Soon I found the cause, a circulation hose to the water heater was worn just at where it connect to the stud, by adjusting the hose clamp, fill up the engine with water and glycol and we were soon on our way again to the anchorage for proper repair later. Luck again it would not have been fun to have the engine overheating in the narrow inlet with the current, much better a few 100 meters before.
Moment like this one is very happy of the easy access to the engine, it took maybe 5 minutes before we could start the engine again.
Rio Formosa offers a vast area to anchor at and many long and fantastic beaches and good restaurants
Kristoffer and Karin enjoyed the beaches and food for a few days. As well as some genuinely nice beautiful sun sets
We also visited Olhao
Where we took our guests to a traditional Portuguese fish restaurant, but not really their “cup of tea”
Times passes quickly when one has dear visits of the “kids” so home they went much to soon.
We stayed over a week more relaxing and repairing the Bow-thruster while at anchor, If you interested in how to do it you find a link to a video under Technical & equipment
Further we bought some Oysters from the local water-man selling water and oysters
Tasted wonderful with a glass of champaign
If you would like to see how an amateur open oyster have a look at the clip below, a wonder i did not cut my hand
After that we went back to Ferragudo anchorage enjoying hamburgers trying our new sails especially our new Code D
Us with our head set a very good tool when communicating over longer distances, now we are discussing how to set the Code sail. Must say we will be very pleased with the sail very easy to set, furl and unfurl, very versatile we have tried it from 80 degree to 170 degree apparent wind angle works great, sure it will be a good sail for our future trips. Now we are waiting to be hauled out at Sopromar in Lagos, I have ordered prismatic cells to convert to lithium 16×270 Ah cells all in all 540 Ah 24v. Guess we will have busy times with maintenance and improvements for out next trip.
The Plan is cross the Atlantic next year to Soure Brazil for a Rally ca 500 Nm in to The Amazon
After The Amazon we go north to French Guyana, Surinam, Tobago, but as they say a sailors plan is like a “love letter in the sand at low tide”
I will post about my LiFePO4 project for the one interested