Portugal – Part 3

We left Sines and had a long day ahead. There was no more anchorages or marinas along the west coast of Portugal, so we had to round the corner, “Cape St. Vincent”, which also meant that we would start sailing east – instead of south. It was a lovely sunny day, but not much wind. Around noon the wind picked up and we had a fantastic and fast sail down the coast and round Cape St. Vincent and its distinctive 28 meters high lighthouse. The coastline was impressive with tall red cliffs dropping off directly into the ocean. After 62 nm and 9 hours of sailing we found an anchorage in Enseada da Baleeira.

Dinghy shopping in Lagos

The next day we left at sunrise, as we had big plans for the day. We were going shopping for a new dinghy. We had been talking about it for a while and in Lagos, just 15 nm from our anchorage, there was a store which had exactly the one we wanted. We wanted a lighter model (old dinghy: 52 kg, new: 32 kg) with a hard bottom, so there was no danger of deflating it when dragging it onto shore.

In Largos we tied up to the marinas waiting pontoon. We were allowed to stay there for one hour for a small fie. The marina store, SOPROMAR, was right next to the marina. It was a huge store with everything you could possibly need. We hadn’t been able to find a prober marina store since Brest in France.

The staff unpacked the dinghy and inflated it, so it was ready to use. We moved Idéfix to their pontoon where they helped us to get the dinghy onto the boat. The whole thing took 2 hours and we were off again, sailing towards Faro, with one dinghy hanging in the davits and one on deck. We were really sad that we couldn’t stay here. The cliffs and beaches around Lagos looked amazing and would have been an exciting place to explore by SUP and/or dinghy. Oh well – maybe next time.

We arrived late in the afternoon and anchored in the river/lagoon along with Cherie and many other boats. This was a very popular place and we could see why. Although the current was strong in the entrance, once you were inside, you were very protected and there was plenty of room and good holding.

Goodbye Portugal – Hello Spain

Faro was our last stop in Portugal and we would now enter Spain again. We had 56 nm to our next destination in Mazagon. It was a very warm day and once again we got company of lots of dolphins. Unfortunately we had no wind, so we had to motor the whole way. We found a nice place to anchor just outside the marina. We went for a swim to cool down after a long and warm day and we got to try out our new dinghy. The sea temperature was just around 20 degrees – which was the warmest we had seen so far. The water along the Atlantic coast is cold – even in the summer. So we were really looking forward to enter the Mediterranean where the water would hopefully be warmer.

The next day we continued to Cadiz.  We were making good progress towards making our deadline in Gibratar, so we wanted to stay a day in Cadiz to explore the city. We had been sailing long days, every day, since Lisbon and could use a small break and go sightseeing.

But more about Cadiz and our arrival in Gibraltar next time.