We spend 4 or 5 days in Porto, of which 4 or 5 were complete rain days. A great introduction to Portugal… Okay, okay, it was not that bad: The first night we joined the crew of Landkrabbene and Divina Remi to explore the city.
We joined a Portwine tasting and walked the narrow alleys of Porto. Even though Porto feels like a cute old city, the Tourists have taken over with all their downsides too.
The options were to sail into Aveiro, the “Venice of Portugal” and drop anchor or continue further south to Peniche or Cascais.
While Kristy was not feeling perfectly well we changed plans a 100 times and decided to give the river entrance to Aveiro a try at around 10pm and mid-tide. That turned out to be a challenging task. Right as we turned around the breakwater and into the river stream, we dropped speed to 0.8 knots and the GPS was displaying funny headings. The waves became uncomfortable and we soon decided to turn around, head back out into deeper water. Just as we turned around we made 8-9 knots over ground, those damn rivers!
Additionally the wind had died down, so we had to take turns motoring through the night. Without an autopilot: challanging. But we did it, took turns and shifts and the new day awoke with sunlight.
Our newest plan was to head into Peniche. Peniche marina is just one long pier that visiting yachts can tie up to. It was full when we arrived, but surprisingly spotted our friends from Mila and rafted up to them. At 5 in the morning the Swedes from Divina Remi arrived too and opened up the third row of rafting up.
Peniche was a fun little town, we got to know the two Norwegen ladies from Paloma better, that we had missed by a couple of hours in A Coruña and had some great all-you-can-eat Sushi.
After two nights in Peniche we left early in the morning to make it in one go into Cascais, a harbour in the Tejo river delta in front of Lisbon. A few hours after us, Mila left for the same destination.
Cascais turned out to be a posh town, with an expensive marina. Due to bad weather/wavestate…
… we stayed a few nights in Cascais, got a glimpse of Lisbon by train and made the decision to move to Oeiras together with Mila on a calmer day.
What looked like a 5 nautical mile sail (average speed: 5 knots = 5 nautical miles per hour) turned into two hours of beating against some very confused seas. Oerias is not far from Cascais and you can see both marinas, when you sail between the two, but it felt like an endless journey.
Things fell out of compartments inside Tuuli that have never moved before and waves were rolling in high and fast from two directions at times.
Since the waves were mostly rolling in from the south we had to motor south-east and then “gybe” into a north-east tack in order to reach Oeiras. Motoring directly east would have caused the waves to hit us on the beam and probably caused some major discomfort. This tactic turned out to be quite smart, since there was also a shallow area on direct course between Cascais and Oeiras that caused visible breaking waves. We motored around that automatically by following the wave pattern.
We arrived in Oeiras after a close encounter with a submarine after sundown and docked close the Rosanna that had been in Oeiras for a few days already. Close after us, Mila and surprisingly Landkrabbene arrived too. The fleet was almost complete again.
At the time of writing this, we are still in Oeiras and our current plan is to wait for the weather to turn to northerly winds (maybe next weekend).
We will then try to sail into Morocco and visit something off the beaten track. We are already very excited about this and will share more details about our passage planning for Morocco in the near future. We will be joined by Teresa and Lukas from Mila.
(Written by Thomas, all rights to typos and grammatical imperfections reserved)