Round the Cape to the Bottom of Portugal

We left Sines at the crack of dawn, which was quite a sight with the red light on the colourful fishing fleet. We had another big day ahead, wanting to get round Cabo De Sao Vincente and into the Algarve, on the south coast of Portugal.

It was another lovely sail down the coast with the winds and waves behind us. As we got near the cape the winds started to build. We had the geneker down by that stage and through in a couple of reefs.

It was an amazing transformation from the Alantic swells to the flat water of the Algarve. The wind picked up to 30kts and was were speeding along on a nice reach, a much better angle now we had turned the corner.

We decided we would strikeout for Lago, making it a long 75nm day, but we had had great winds all day and had made excellent progress.

As we neared Lagos, we could see a thunder storm developing in the distance. Stan suggested we drop some speed so we could time our arrival into Lagos after the storm had passed southwards.

As we got closer we dropped the main as the winds freshened. Remarkably the seas remained completely flat, but the wind kept climbing as we neared the storm. It peeked with a short gust at 77kts (a new record) but it felt like about 30.

That was its last hoorah as we passed safely to the north of it, missing all those nasty looking lightening bolts. We found out later one of the yachts in the marina was hit by lightening. Youch!

It was a nice motor into Lagos,past a spectacular coastline, soft sandstone chisled by the weather into grottos, honeycomb columns sticking out of the water, interspersed by nice looking beaches. Much of Lagos tourist trade involves boats taking hoards of people out swimming, kayaking and sightseeing amongst these formations.

We found the anchorage just off the beach and dropped the pick in 4m of water. What a lovely spot to anchor – the view once again spectacular.

We’d booked in with the sailmaker at Lagos (Fofo’s), recommended by Jorge, to tidy up our geneker that had taken a bit of a battering coming bck from Sesimbra. The geneker now gets put away religiously after each use. We packed up the geneker into its sail bag and popped it in the dingy, for the ride into town.

We tied up at the collector jetty and asked at the marina if we needed to check in with the authorities, which according to the cruising guide is a particular requirement for Portugal if you are a non-EU boat. But the guy at the marina office said it was not necessary. So there you go once again.

After dropping off the sail at the sailmaker, Stan andJudy took off for a mammoth 4 hour walk along the cliff tops, which they highly recommended. I stayed around town to do some chores. Everyone I ran into seemed to be from England. There were english living here, both in the marina and in town and plenty of english tourists. The pubs all sold Guiness and everyone at the phone shops and chanderlies spoke good english to cater for their clientele.
After lunch, we had a wander around town, picked up the sail and headed back to La Mischief.

Net morning, we headed out early in the dingy to do our own spot of Grotto touring. With cameras clicking, we leisuring weaved our way around, between and sometimes through the rocky formations.

Dingy tour over, it was time to up anchor and head East.

For photos see

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