Our first stop in Portugal was the small town of Viano do Castelo. There was a lot of wind but it was coming from the opposite direction so again, we had to use the engine 😬. We had no idea what to see there but it turned out to be a very pleasant surprise because it was a beautiful town.
We had dinner out with new friends, a Norwegian couple Lasse and Bente who we met in several ports before since they sailed the same route we did with their Beneteau 40 and were heading to the Canary Islands. The next day we walked up the mountain to the church which looked like the Sacre Coure of Paris and had a magnificent view of the town and the bay.
We noticed that the majority of the boats we saw traveling long distances to the south were Scandinavian. The Scandinavians said it’s because they are descendants of vikings but we think they just want to escape the long, cold and dark winter in the north.
The next town was Porto which we certainly did not want to miss. This time, we did not have any wind so we had to use the engine again 😬😬. Porto was really worth the trip with the narrow streets and beautiful tiled buildings. It was like a huge open air museum with something nice and interesting to see in every corner. You would have to be physically fit to wander the streets because the roads were very steep. We also visited the famous Calem port house which was very interesting.
The next port we planned to visit was Oieras which was just a few miles from Lisbon. We sailed the whole night and were pleasantly greeted by a group of dolphins the next morning. Erwin knew how much I enjoy visiting cities so the plan was to travel by train to Lisbon the next day. However, I told him that we didn’t have to go to Lisbon since we were there on a city trip three years ago. So at the last moment, we decided to anchor in a bay where twenty other boats were anchored. That was quite exciting for us since it was the first time for us to anchor. It went well and it was very easy although Erwin probably did not have a very good night’s sleep since he was worried if the anchor would hold. When we anchored, we felt that we were fully self supporting. We had a shower on board, enough food, water and electricity. The only thing we didn’t have was internet to check the weather but no problem, all we had to do was to look out the window the next day to see how the weather was like.
The next stop was Sines which was a day sailing. It was a beautiful, warm and sunny day but absolutely no wind. The sea was so flat it looked like you could ice skate on it. We had to motor the whole way but when we reached our destination and were moored at the marina, that’s when the wind finally came. 😬
Erwin was reading a book titled “De wereld is rond” about Jean Heylbroeck, a Belgian who sailed around the world solo for five years on his 9 meter boat called the “Chartist Lady”. When we were in Sines, there was a boat anchored there named the Chartist Lady with a Belgian flag. Erwin wondered if it was the same boat from the book. The next morning, we saw Jean Heylbroeck so we walked up to meet him. It is definitely a small world after all.
By the way, I would like to retract my comment earlier regarding majority of the boats heading to the south were from Scandinavia. We were surrounded by 6 Dutch boats in Sines and so for a short while it felt like we were back in Holland 😜.