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2008 Log
Page 5

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Our Route North. Click to enlarge.
Our Route North.

No trades yet, thank goodness.

We've had a week in Nazaré and its time to be moving North. Wind Guru promises all manner of westerlies
and we hope they are accurate.
We visit Figueira de Foz, Leixôes, Viana do Castela and the super little town of Bayona in Spain.

Figueira de Foz (2nd May, 48 Miles from Nazaré)

There has been quite some variety in Nazaré and all of it new to us but Fig de Foz we visited 2 yeas ago and were not impressed. We planned to leave early so as to get more time in Fig de Foz but silting just behind our berths meant it was mid tide or 0930 before we left. Luckily a friendly guy from Lwena told us of the silt minutes before we attempted to set off; phew just in time.

Click to enlarge.
Sapphire Voyager motors North.

The Passage to Figueira de Foz. We set off into a Northerly F1 and a 1m swell so we had to motor. Ten minutes out we were already dodging lobster pot buoys, but after 20 minutes, with the sea circa 100m deep, we came across a pod of dolphins. They were in a feeding frenzy so ignored us completely. Now come on guys, we've painted our bottom and polished our top-side so surely they could at least give us one leap. Clearly we ranked low on the dolphin's list of interests. So on we motored until after about two hours into the passage a Westerly F3 arrived and had us sailing for the next 4 hours. Wonderful, and really sunny.

We were helped into our berth by Keith and Jo of Sapphire Voyager, so allowing us all to voice our surprise at the charges. 42 Euros for Ruby Tuesday, and no WiFi or internet. We stayed only one night because of the price, so again seeing little of Fig de Foz.

Leixôes (3rd May, 68 Miles from Fig do Foz)
 Photo by Keith. Click to enlarge.
Ruby Tuesday motors North.

The Passage to Leixôes. We left the marina with a 2 knot tide under us so we were soon down the river and out at sea. During the following 9 hour passage we only had good sailing winds for 2 hours.

Whilst passing the River Douro (of Port wine fame) the strong ebb and the Westerly wind kicked up a nasty sea and also slowed us by a couple of knots. One to avoid next time. Arriving at Leixôes we called in and were granted immediate access if we got a move on. We did so and were in the berth by 1800.

We were charged 17.76 Euros for each of the 2 nights but offsetting this was the 2 marina access cards that Blue Elephant had given us whilst in Lagos. These had paid deposits of 10 Euros each which the marina staff happily refunded to us. Thanks Gavin & Cath.

The following morning we were awoken to rain drumming on the deck but by 1000 it was simply light drizzle; not enough to stop us venturing into town for a few supplies. They afternoon was a complete contrast; strong Northerly winds and bright sunshine. Janet and I cycled North along the new coastal roadway but after about 20kM we'd had enough so turned around and almost flew back home, this time the wind was our friend.

Viana do Castela (5th May, 37 Miles from Leixôes)

The Passage to Viana do Castela. Mid morning, and during the only 2 hours of sailing, Amy Rose sent us an SMS asking for a call on SSB. Roy had re-sited his ATU directly beneath a new 5m whip aerial and he was eager to try it. The 90M between us was no problem and so we chatted for 30 mins and agreed skeds on future days.

Bayona (6th May, 35 Miles from Viana do Castela)
Click to enlarge.
Looking down on the city, fort and marina.

The Passage to Bayona. Another early start and one with virtually zero wind so we motored steadily about half of a mile behind Sapphire Voyager. We had our usual 1000 chat with Amy Rose and they reported they were now only one day behind us. Soon after the SSB contact we saw a small pod of porpoise, maybe 10 of them. And, like the dolphins near Nazaré, they completely ignored us.

Nearing the Ria Vigo the sun came out so we had an impromptu photo shoot with Sapphire Voyager as neither of us have many photos of ourselves.

Click to enlarge.
Monte Real Yates Club de Baiona

We tied up on the pontoons of the Monte Real Yacht Cub.  Its setting is lovely and has very friendly helpful staff, just as well as its moorings to lazy lines. We choose to go bows-to so it was good to have some assistance from the staff.  After tying up we were adjusting the lines when Janet decided she could reach the pontoon without the ladder, oops, oh no she couldn't.  Unfortunately she slipped grazing both arms on the anchor and then hitting her rib cage and bum on the pontoon before making a  clean (9 points) entry into the water.  Luckily no lasting damage just some lovely multi-coloured  bruises. 

Click to enlarge.
A rest stop in the forest

Bayona is a nice place, and everything one needs is in close proximity to the marina.  One day we walked part of the GR58 footpath, which climbs the hill behind the town, takes in pretty little villages and a sizeable stretch of forest.  In a clearing in the forest we came across an area with rock drawings which, according to the touristico info, date back to the bronze age; all very interesting.  Shame we didn't have time to do more as the whole walk is 270 Km, obviously we only did a very small section but it was really enjoyable with lots of interesting flowers on route.

At the yacht club we asked if there was any chance of us watching the Grand Prix on the TV in the club lounge. They agreed and rolled out the TV for us. We made ourselves comfortable on the leather sofas and enjoyed tapas and a couple of drinks as we watched.  Great spot and not expensive.

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