A Postcard From Portugal

Welcome back Boatbloggers,

We spent a fabulous few days in Baiona. It is a charming little town, full of cobbled streets too small to get a car down, though somehow the Spanish manage, and we spent the days wandering from one tapas bar to the next. Our regular readers will probably notice us getting bigger and bigger in the photos as the journey progresses. The puddings in particular are something to write home about (which is what I’m doing) and the hot chocolate is quite literally, well… hot chocolate.



But first let me tell you about lobster pots. They are the bane of the cruising boat’s life along the Spanish and Portuguese coast, turning what should be a nice easy sail into a slow motion slalom. They carpet the whole area, up to ten miles off the coast, and if one got caught in your propellor that would really spoil your day.



…so Ju decided to get his own back. Now those of you who know how much he doesn’t like sea food will appreciate what a rare piece of footage this next photo is.



Before long we were ready to head off to Portugal. Which we did on Tuesday.

It wasn’t long before we crossed the Spanish & Portuguese border, raising the courtesy flag as required by naval tradition.

Raising The Portuguese Flag


IMG 0076

Just for the record, and for those of you who are big on naval etiquette, (I have since been told by a French Euro-commissioner who happens to be moored up next to us right now, and knows about these things) that I am hoisting it on the wrong side. Apparently courtesy flags must go to starboard. Owner’s flags go to port.

There wasn’t much wind, so we motored most of the way, and by the evening arrived in Povoa de Varzim. We planned to spend the night there, and head further south in the morning.

But we hadn’t allowed for THE FOG!!!

Overnight, the fog came in. And this isn’t fog like we get in England. This is proper Jack the Ripper fog. The first we knew about it was when the foghorn went off. Not the usual BRRRRRRRR! BRRRRRRRR! that we get back home. This was more like a World War II air raid siren. And LOUD! The nice Swedish couple in the boat next to us thought it was some sort of industrial accident, and came on deck in military gas masks. I am not kidding. Unfortunately, it seems that the gas mask has a filter inside, and they hadn’t taken the protective paper off the filter, so they both started to suffocate and had to take them off again. It was like watching Buzz Lightyear remove his helmet for the first time. Anyway, it all calmed down once they realised it was just fog, and that the Russians hadn’t in fact invaded.

It’s hard to get a good photo of fog. It just looks like you’ve breathed on the lens, but here it is anyway. It doesn’t really do it justice. You could barely see about ten yards, and it completely drenches everything.



And so we were fogbound in Povoa de Varzim. Which may sound romantic, but Povoa de Varzim is a bit like Acton without the posh shops.  Very nice, but a day is enough.

We mooched about, and the next day the fog was gone, the forecast was good, and so we set sail for Nazare, just over a hundred miles down the coast.

Coastal Fog smaller file


It was a nice sunny day, so time to get the washing dry.

The New Flag


The night watch was busy on this leg of our journey, and we were dodging fishing boats as well as the omnipresent lobster pots. It was about 2am that The Fog came down again. It only lasted about three hours, but even with radar and AIS it’s still a pretty nerve-racking experience, peering into the gloom, only just able to see the front of the boat.

We arrived in Nazare just as the sun came up. We spent a pleasant enough day there, though the town is a bit like a Portuguese Margate, and the marina is a little bleak. We were berthed opposite the fish processing plant. 

So the next day (Saturday) it was onwards to Cascais, arriving just after dark because the wind wasn’t as strong as had been predicted. Cascais is absolutely delightful.Very different from our other stops. The place is full of super yachts, and millionaire playboys with their pretty young girlfriends. So we fit in pretty well.

All in all, a great place to spend Lyn’s birthday.

 Happy Birthday Lyn



Champagne On Deck


Beach Poser


Well, that’s it for now. We’ll probably spend a few days here, and then head on to the Algarve.

Adios for now, boatbloggers.


Ju & Lyn



Grafiti Cascais


4 thoughts on “A Postcard From Portugal”

  1. Great Blog Ju and the part about the gas masks made me howl with laughter 🙂 I do have a question for you though – what has happened to the fearsome waves and the bleak desolation of the cruel sea that you have to fight your way across? It’s clear to me that you and Lynne are just on some kind of Sunsail holiday around Portugal and the most dangerous thing seems to be the desserts! Keep up the good work, happy birthday Lynne and may the winds stay fair xx

  2. Great Blog – felt like I was there with you for a moment (which was the best part of my day). You both look extremely well, so clearly you are working off the desserts.
    Keep up the good work, have fun, and keep adventuring!
    Look forward to the next installment

  3. Great instalment!! Happy Birthday Lyn. You need to lay off the pudds if want to avoid avastbehind. This fog malarki is funny. We have had a lot around this neck of the woods too. Not being able to see more than ten yards from our terrace isn’t particularly hazardous mindya. Being familiar with International Maritime Signalling as I am, I am able to tell you that the drying washing hung on your poop also happened to read “Kilroy was here”.
    Vernon and Helga flew back to Vienna this morning and we cooked a paella on the roof last night, didn’t look quite as nice as the one you were eating.
    looking forward to the next instalment. Buano cruseo!!

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