We went to Portimao to visit our friends, Klaas and Carla who sailed from Holland to Portugal three years ago with their boat “Noorderzon”. Since their boat is now based in Portimao, they spend about half of the year cruising the Southern European coast.
Portimao is a clean and well maintained town with a lot of vacation houses and hotels. There is a very wide beach which is probably very busy during the summer. At the moment, majority of the people you see on the streets are retired (mainly) British people who reside here for the winter.
The day we arrived, Klaas and Carla invited us for drinks and dinner in the “Noorderzon”. Funny idea meeting friends all the way here in the south of Portugal.
The next day, we went to Ferragudo a quaint, old town across the river which was totally different from Portimao. We needed the dinghy (small rubber boat) to get to the other side, so we had to pump up our dinghy for the first time. We test “drove” our dinghy and were very satisfied with it. How to get in and out of the dinghy and not look clumsy but still manage to stay dry is still something we have to perfect.
Ferragudo was well worth visiting with the cobblestones, lively square and “antique” stores. In one of the streets there were neckties hanging all over the place and when we asked what the reason was they said it was just for the decoration. Next year, they will hang something else, who knows, maybe the next time it will be brassieres 😜.
Klaas and Carla had plans to go to Culatra the next day which was 38 miles further so we decided to join them. When we were anchoring at Culatra the remote controle of the anchor suddenly stopped working. Reeling in your anchor manually is something you would definitely not like to do and since it was important that the remote was working well, Erwin had to repair this first. Fortunately, it wasn’t anything serious. The remote stopped working because of the safety feature that automatically stops the controle when it is used heavily to prevent it from overheating. The anchorage where we anchored was normally quiet but that night there must have been a party across the river in a town called Olhae because you could hear the sounds of the house party and disco music all the way from the other side. Culatra was an interesting, small island and it looked more like a town somewhere in the Caribbean instead of Europe with the small, colorfully painted houses. A few of Klaas and Carla’s friends from Belgium and Germany were also anchored in Culatra so we all had lunch together in a typical Portugese restaurant the next day.
We had a wonderful time visiting friends and it was a pleasant way of saying farewell to Portugal and mainland Europe since we were going to sail to the Canary Islands the next day.