29 Oct: A long stretch today and we weren’t sure how far we would get. Set off before sunrise, just as it was getting light, and the sun shone all day. Rather than the 10+ knots of wind that was forecast, we had less than 6, so had to motor for the first 4 hours. However, the wind picked up in the afternoon and with an average 16-18 knots, gusting to over 22 knots, we sped along and rounded Cape St. Vincent at about 5pm. We actually saw another yacht at about lunchtime today (a very welcome change from the usually empty sea!)….it was further out, on the horizon, and gradually caught up with us as we rounded the Cape, finally overtaking us shortly after sunset. We arrived in Portimao harbour in the dark and dropped anchor at about 9.15pm – 81 nautical miles in 13 hours 40 minutes and a great day’s sailing.
30 Oct: Ferragudo. We woke to find ourselves anchored off Ferragudo’s lovely sandy beach, across the estuary from Portimao, with a castle at one end of the beach. After a leisurely morning on board, we kayaked ashore and explored Ferragudo old town before settling down at a seafront restaurant to eat freshly caught sardines, grilled on the outside barbecue, washed down with a glass of wine – what better way to spend a Sunday afternoon?
On Monday we moved across into Portimao marina. It’s a busy place with cruise ships coming in and a ferry that runs from here to Madeira and the Canary Islands. Portimao is a good place to leave the boat for the winter so we’ve decided to come back to the UK for two or three months to catch up with family and friends. We’ll be sorting things out over the next few days and then coming back in early November. So, if anyone (preferably in the London area) is going away and would like house-sitters or knows of a furnished flat for rent, please let us know!