The Boatist

Sailboat Ownership, Translation Work and Tales of Minor Adventure

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

Monday, September 23, 2013

Culatra to Portimão and Sagres

At 6:45 I worked up a sweat on the manual windlass to raise 45 m of chain. The Rocna anchor emerged from the bottom like a huge shovel filled with black mud. Since there was no wind I took my time cleaning it with a broom stick before bringing it all the way up.
Then I motored out in the falling tide to the fast-flowing channel, into the turbulent waters near the entrance and out into the open ocean where I set a course between the sandbanks and the fish farm. 
The Naked Boat
I'm all set. Got my logbook, line-handling gloves, coffee, harness (yellow) and knee pads. Sometimes I use knee pads because I use my knees a lot to gain leverage. Look a bit funny with tanned legs and white knees!
Motored for a while, then sailed for a few hours until speed fell to 2.5 kt, at which time the motor was summoned to do its job. I don't mind sailing slow, but I wanted to reach Portimão before dark, which I did.
Grottos in Portimão
Plenty of amazing cliffs and grottos near Portimão.
I threaded my way through the anchorage and then settled on a spot about 70 m from a Dutch boat.
As the chain rattled, I saw the Dutch skipper pop his head out. I couldn't see his face clearly, but I knew he was frowning. And to prove me right, he immediately jumped into his dinghy and zipped over.

"Do you speak English?"

"Yes I do."

"OK, a little bit, good."

"Ah...I have 50 meters of chain and the current makes boats go all over, not the same understand," he said slowly drawing circles with his arms. 

I had already seen that, that's why I was 70 from him. "Where is your anchor?" I asked.

"I don't know, the boat goes everywhere," he said repeating the swirling gestures.

"OK, I'll move some more," I told him. He smiled and left.

At slack tide the wind aligned the boats with their anchors and I was so far from the Dutch guy it was embarrassing. 

The problem with anchoring near the port entrance when you have a dinghy with 2 hp is the distance to town and the fast boat traffic at night. In all these years I have never discovered a good place to dock the dinghy anyway, except way upriver. Don't really care, Portimão is not on my favorites list anyway.

More mud on the anchor the next morning before I set sail in a stiff easterly wind.

Large genoa
It's only 20 miles to Sagres so I unfurled the genoa and got 5 to 6+ knots from that. Why bother with more sails to get there a bit earlier when you're having fun.
Towing a dinghy
My new HonWave T20 dinghy towed with a bridle (according to instructions).
The easterly wind was building substantial southeast waves that were rolling into the Port of Sagres and breaking on shore. The fishing fleet is tucked in the relatively protected southern corner of the port, but the anchorage, on the northeast side, is too exposed. 

The next anchorage - Praia da Mareta - was also a rolly mess so I headed for the last and very large Beliche bay that is nicely protected. 

I had my usual glass of wine after anchoring, which failed to appease my disappointment of being stuck on the boat for another day. My planned grocery shopping, walk about town and grilled fish for dinner were shot. At least the view was good. 
Anchoring in Beliche
Anchored in front of the Beliche beach.
Beliche anchorage
Soon I was joined by two and later three boats. Normally, nobody anchors here.


  1. Thoroughly enjoying the voyage on g. maps as I jealously sit in my office pretending to work.
    What knot winds did you get for 6knots with the genoa (broad reaching?)
    knee pads rule!

    1. Now that I'm back, I'm jealously sitting in my office working while you're pretending to work...just kidding.
      What was the wind speed? Good question, but I don't have a wind meter. Funny that you ask because I recall making an intelligent guess by adding the apparent wind (slightly under 10 knots) to my speed, for a real wind of probably about 15 knots. The waves were pushing me too.

  2. Mostly cabled instruments to measure weather condition,humidity,rain,wind and else about weather is used as official Weather Measuring Instruments . Official use needs more stronger network,precised information and correct details about weather and so it's more useful from every point.