The Boatist

Sailboat Ownership, Translation Work and Tales of Minor Adventure

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

Monday, September 29, 2014

Sailing North along the Portuguese Coast

The title should read "motoring north...." Everybody knows that sailors motor a lot.

In Sagres we hauled anchor and left before sunrise.
sailing near Sagres
That's me delivering a Bavaria 32, photo taken by a buddy boat.
You need to get up early to motor 65 miles to Sines and to arrive on time for dinner at the "Adega de Sines" taverna.
Photograph kindly stolen from Iberimage. Taking pictures everywhere I go isn't my thing.
Manuel actually sailed part of the way, tacking back forth just for fun.
Manuel on "Mil Milhas" which means One Thousand Miles, since he likes to log at least 1,000 miles per season. Notice how he straps his RIB on the transom. Very handy.
I unfurled the genoa (as I said in the last post, the furling mainsail sucks) to get a bit of pull. According to my calculations, I didn't have enough diesel to reach Sines. Even when bearing off 10 degrees the genoa mostly fluttered in the headwind, so I furled it tight and swore not to play with it again until the wind changed direction or I ran out of fuel.

These modern boats kill me; they come with such tiny fuel tanks. When I fill up Jakatar, I have enough diesel for a year.

Anyway, I opened the lazaret and sure enough I saw a 20-liter jug the owner had failed to mention. I also found a funky manual fuel transfer pump that sort of worked but splattered diesel all over the place. So now I had enough diesel and didn't have to worry about arriving at midnight after a long series of tacks.

dolphin watching in Portugal
A large dolphin pod swam with me for a long time. No matter how hard I tried, I could never photograph more than 3 or 4 surfacing at a time.
We hit the marina in Sines (only about 14 euros per nigh for the Bavaria), checked in, showered and hurried up the steps on the cliff-side stairway but were too late to eat at our favorite taverna. They were dousing the coals as we arrived; we went to another place that was even better and almost as cheap.

Port of Sines
Leaving Sines before lunch time with the anchorage in the background. Next stop: a 30-mile hop to Sesimbra where Jakatar and I battled the devil not long ago.
Once in Sesimbra, the plan was to anchor, sleep, get up fairly early and search for my Rocna and chain with both dinghies by dragging small hook anchors back and forth. Nothing came of it. But I'm planning on going back with a better drag hook.

Anchoring in Sesimbra
Arriving in Sesimbra as the sun sets.
In the morning we also had breakfast in town: a huge plate of toast floating in melted butter plus coffee.
Then we went for more diesel. Oh yeah I forgot, I already ranted about small diesel tanks.

Diesel in Sesimbra
Manuel loading his diesel jug. Notice the freshly baked bread on the dinghy seat. 
After all these tasks - that make cruising so much fun - we motored 22 miles to Cascais where we anchored.
Cascais anchorage, another night, another taverna (real restaurant here).
Bought more diesel and the next day we MOTORED to Peniche, and that's it. Delivery accomplished.

Sort of felt strange motoring by Jakatar into the marina. A thought occurred to me, "Jakatar, you've got the best fuel tanks in town."


  1. If if wasn't for buddy boats, we'd never have proof of are self's sailing along (a bit like sitting in the back seat of your car).
    I did not see one dolphin this year! (sad)
    As for diesel, I went through over 160liters (200lt tanks) after motoring 80+ hours! If you wanna anchor at a reasonable hour, there is just no other way. Isn't the taverna just about the best part of cruising all day!

    1. I didn't know you had Greek dolphins...dolphins are usually associated with the Atlantic. But then, what do I know.
      That's pretty good fuel mileage, a clean bottom and prop does the trick.