The Algarve at Last but a Disappointing ……..
Our final sail to the southern Algarve was for us a key moment in our trip this summer but the sail itself was a disappointment. We left Sines just after 6am before sunrise as it was a trip of 63 miles to Sagres, just around the corner from Cape St Vincent and I for one did not want to arrive late or in the dark. There was no wind. We had to motor sail all the way and it would of been nice to have the view of the changing shore line to watch (it gets higher and more impressive the further south) but no, no view either. Initially it looked like it was covered by a heat haze then we had thick cloud above with still a haze and then when we were about 13miles off the Cape it started to look decidedly like fog. It was fog, though weird. It looked as though it was rising from the sea as in a couple of places, you could see the middle of the cliff between a rising sea fog and the thick cloud above. As we were a mile or so off the Cape we just started to get glimpses of the lighthouse which looked like it was floating in the fog. As we neared to within 1/2 mile the view was much clearer and we rounded the Cape.
If the weather had been better and our mood a bit lighter, I would of opened a glass of sparkly but although we were pleased to have got round, it didn’t feel like the milestone we thought it would as we were sailing round. However, we anchored just off the beach in Sagres bay beneath the castle and had a celebratory hug. We’ve done it. We are in the Algarve, our winter home, and we will be seeing places that we know by land from the sea as we sail along the coast before we head to Lagos for the winter.
We were the only boat (until later that night) and there was no fog which was good. A couple of pedalos on the water and the speedboat with the banana but fairly quiet. We arrived just after 5pm and by the time we had sorted the boat and had tea, the wind started to blow hard from the North. Where was that during the day? In fact, it blew hard all night and is still blowing as I write this 18 hours later and is due to blow for another 24 hours. Friends Garry and June on their catamaran Friendship have been following us down the coast a few stops behind but are due to catch us up this evening here. Hope their trip isn’t too exciting as they get near the cape with this wind. They arrived about 5.30pm and came over with a few beers and Sangria and we had a good catch up. June had crocheted me a blanket as a thank you for all the information I have been sending up to them about marinas, anchorages etc. Thanks June.
We saw a guy (assume it is a guy) on a kite surf be rescued. Neil called me up and said that he’d seen a kite surfer come round the corner but then his kite dipped into the sea and he hasn’t been able to raise it. Neil was just about to call it in when the speedboat (minus the banana) from Sagres beach went out to pick him up. There were lots of tourists on top of the cliffs at Sagres Castle who would have had a birds eye view of his difficulty and you hope it was one, well more than one, that called for help. It could be one of those situations where people think someone else will of called and it ends up with no-one calling. Thankfully not in this case.
Our plan is to head for the river anchorage in Alvor, about 18miles along the coast, and settle up there for a good few days. It will be very sheltered and there are all the amenities in Alvor town for shopping etc. It is sinking in, that we are here and again Cape St Vincent is a place where Neil and I and Maria and I stood on the top of the cliffs looking down saying one day that will be Gleda coming around there – and it was.
(That sounds like an ending, but it’s not there will be more adventures and soon)!