Nothing to declare

Figueira da Foz was a very welcome destination after a pretty unpleasant, overcast day of motoring for over 60 miles into a headwind. The coastline south of Porto is just one long sandy beach and un-remittingly boring when you are just slowly plugging on. This was alleviated to some extent by a couple of episodes of Ed Reardon’s week and a Sharpe talking book. Having prepared and pressure cooked a chicken and lentil casserole prior to our arrival, it was a case of moor up, square up, quick dirty beer, food & bed. Eating on board, I produced (rather gingerly) a 5litre box of red wine which had cost 7.49 Euros. My hesitation was compounded by the fact that Mike, my only crew on this leg, qualified as a sommelier after his retirement. At only 10% alcohol content, I am not sure that it even qualifies as wine – loads left as you can imagine.

An early start and we are on passage to Peniche. It is another overcast day but with a light westerly, we have an angle to at least fill the mainsail and without the chop, we are making good progress with some assistance from Mr. Yanmar. The coast is continuous beach again but today, although initially low lying, it is backed by what looks like pine forest. We had some relief from the tedium when we were intercepted by a Coastguard Patrol vessel. After an exchange of details on VHF, they wished us safe passage and made off at speed.


Peniche has one long visitor pontoon and it was partially taken up with what looked like a semi derelict French yacht. We were beaten into the harbour by a 55 foot Swiss X-Yacht which clearly had a mission to get in first and the limited space justified his haste. We did however grab the last slot and thereafter, it was what has become the usual format…………


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