Lagos sign off

Would you believe that after my last missive off Cape St. Vincent, as we rounded the corner, the wind picked up and we had a short sail in flat water to cap off our cruise in the nicest possible way. We filled with diesel (for the nerds in the readership (?), we had used exactly... Continue Reading →

Balancing act

There is only the one practical port of refuge with a marina to break up the passage from Lisbon to the Algarve Coast and that is the shipping port of Sines. Thankfully, within the main arms of the port, EU funding has built a leisure harbour with an under-used marina. We were to be the... Continue Reading →

Remembering Lisbon…….

Our ‘lay day’ in Cascais was very welcome after relentless daily passages down the Iberian coastline. An unhurried reveille was followed by an amble through the pretty streets to the train station. There is a feeling of affluence to the town which appears to have an active fishing fleet while being a destination for the... Continue Reading →


While France was quite relaxed about paperwork (in contrast to 15 years ago), Spain and Portugal have been excessively bureaucratic, demanding ships details and copying the passports of the crew members – in every port. It has been conceded by several marina managers, when challenged, that it is an exercise in ‘jobs for the boys’.... Continue Reading →

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... Continue Reading →

A slow slog

The fact that yesterday was the longest day passed us by but, in terms of seeming to be the longest day, today is likely to ‘take the biscuit’. We have a brisk wind on the nose and we are motoring into a lumpy sea which keeps knocking us back. We are not likely to reach... Continue Reading →

Port in Porto

Our passage from Viana do Castelo to Porto started in a promising fashion with good sailing in 14kts of wind – for 20 minutes! This was followed by a period of motoring on a glassy smooth sea. The clear water and smooth surface provided visibility as if through a pane of glass and this revealed... Continue Reading →

Portugal surprises

With no wind, we had to accept that the passage to Viana do Castelo would be made under engine alone. Crossing into Portuguese waters, we changed the Spanish courtesy flag for the Portuguese flag and, perversely, changed the clocks back an hour to Portuguese time. With no (obvious) offshore hazards, we could just run down... Continue Reading →

What a mess

Sailing along this coast is quite challenging with a capricious wind which can be blowing a gale one minute and dead calm the next. On passage to Bayona we put reefs in, shook reefs out and ended up ghosting along but we were relaxed and pleased to be just sailing on the level for a... Continue Reading →


The morning started with a lively sail which even required a reef as we creamed along, touching 9 knots, bound for Bayona. When the wind disappeared completely, we reached for the engine switch to be greeted by silence. With not enough wind for even steerage and surrounded by reefs we decided to deploy the emergency... Continue Reading →

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