The Boatist

Sailboat Ownership, Translation Work and Tales of Minor Adventure

Retire early, be passionate, don't worry, die poor

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Solo Sailing the Portuguese Coast

I ate a banana, raised anchor and then motored out of the Sines anchorage at 5:30 in the morning. Darkness was turning to dusk and an extremely loud rock band was still playing to a thinning crowd on the beachfront.

Don't ask me why I stayed two nights in this musical inferno, why I deprived my body of much needed sleep or why I drank copious amounts of wine to help me fall asleep.
Sailing the Portuguese Coast
Sailing past Cabo Espichel on the way to Sines.
Cutter rig
Genoa only 3/4 unfurled to keep it flat and just short of the spreaders, otherwise it would rub on them.
So here I was embarking on what turned out to be a 14-hour sail feeling kind of groggy, but happy to leave a town I really enjoy under normal conditions.

I motored out of the large harbor, past some anchored ships all lit up, according to maritime rules, and then got hit by the swell. The last two legs (Peniche to Cascais and Cascais to Sines) had been amazingly smooth, but now I was rolling in the northwesterly waves with absolutely no wind to raise sail and steady the boat.
Ships in Sines

Motored for a few hours, got tired of listening to the Kubota burning up my expensive diesel and then raised all sail - that's three sails and the task takes some effort without self-tailing winches. I have a 44 m2 genoa as heavy as circus tent canvas and I need a winch to unfurl it in light wind.

Started out doing about 2.5 kt but didn't care because nobody was waiting for me in Sagres and the boat stopped rolling, almost.

There's a minor misadventure to come later in Sagres, but for now enjoy the video. Hey, don't tell my mother I didn't use a harness. At this point the sea was flat, but that's still a poor excuse.


  1. I can't figure out which is better/worst. No wind or too much wind, cause that's all I'm getting, not to mention rolling waves
    Ditto on the harness
    Can't wait to see the video back home (won't show up on my phone)

    1. No wind is better than too much wind (+25 kt), unless you're low on diesel. 25 knots is OK sailing downwind with reefed sails, but it's a damn nuisance docking, pulling up anchor, etc.