10th to 18th August 2017
We arrived in Leixoes which is not the prettiest of marinas as it is situated in a large commercial port. It was quite windy on arrival and the wind was pushing us off the pontoon as we tried to moor up, this is where two engines come into their own.
As I’ve mentioned in various blogs the weather has been quite unsettled to this point (was assuming that would be the end of it and we would be in for more settled weather – more on that later) but the forecast for the next day was hot so it had to be a beach day. It may have been hot but the ocean was freezing and I do mean freezing.
Whilst sitting on the boat looking out we saw 49er dinghies on the pontoon opposite all with different national flags on their sails. It appears that the World Championships is being held there at the end of August.
We were not far from Porto, the home of Port, so on Saturday 12th August 2107 we took a walk 20 minutes over the bridge into the next town where we took the tram into Porto. Porto is the second city of Portugal.
We visited the Sao Francisco Church which is completed covered in gold and very elaborate.
The Cemetery is in the vaults of the church these are known as catacombs. From what we could make out the graves are numbered on the floor and these are doorways down to the lower burial tombs and along the walls relates to who the graves belongs to, generally those who were well off. There is also a large number of bones which can be seen through a grate these are of common people.
Porto as well as the home of Port is also the economic/financial city of Portugal. The Palasol de Bolsa is the old Stock Exchange. It was built to impress and to earn credibility with European investors. It has an “Arab Room” which is very ornate. One of the rooms looks like it is wood panelling when in fact it is plaster painted to look like wood.
We had a stroll around the streets of Porto and we came across a barbeque in one of the narrow back streets which had fish and potatoes being grilled. As we walked along we realised it belonged to a restaurant just along the way. They had a menu of two courses for 10€, which was soup and a meat or fish dish. We wandered further on, as we have a habit of jumping straight into the first place we see. Further on was so crowded so we decided to go back. The food was delicious.
There are so many port houses to visit here which are on the other side of the river. We decided to visit the oldest port house, Taylor’s. Very interesting tour followed by a taster of white and red port. It was suggested for a long drink to mix white port with tonic and we can vouch it’s very nice!
This is a fishing port and the town of Aveiro is about six miles down the river, so we went on down to the pontoon in the Canal de Veia which is run by a local association. The moorings are all alongside so we don’t take up any more space than a boat the same length. However, as soon as they see you are a catamaran they add extra on the price, so as a result we only stayed the one night here. The surrounding area was quite flat and is made up of salt marshes so it was reminiscent of the East coast of England. Would you have thought this was Portugal?
It was an overcast day (another one) and the local town of Aveiro was just five minutes on the bike. This was a lovely little town that had a canals running through it, the “Venice of Portugal”. We decided not to take a gondolier ride.
We visited the Cathedral and a church as you do in these place and they are not as ornate as those we’ve seen before.
We spent the next night in an anchorage in the Bao de Sao Jacinto which was nearer to the entrance as we had a long journey to our next stop which was Nazare about 65 miles, so nearly 11 hours journey. We set off in the fog and apart from about an hour it stayed with us for the rest of the day. The fog didn’t put off the small boats fishing in the entrance. We did eventually get some wind to enable us to sail but it didn’t last all day. We did get to see dolphins twice this day. The second time we saw them there were lots of them, so much so we saw dolphins for half an hour, we couldn’t see anything else with the fog though! As we approached the harbour entrance to Nazare the fog started to lift and we saw the sun.
NAZARE & SAO MARTINHO DO PORTO
We only stayed overnight in Nazare, a big tourist beach resort. In Portugal you have to pay light dues and if you don’t have the relevant piece of paper you can be fined. So off we went to find the local Maritime Police and pay our dues. The tax was 2€. The cost of the administration doesn’t seem worth it but I guess it could be worse the tax could be higher.
The following day was a lovely hot sunny day so we decided to go to Sao Martinho do Porto which is Portugal’s answer to Lulworth Cove albeit bigger which was about six miles along the coast. There wasn’t much wind but we weren’t in any rush so we sailed round averaging about 3 knots.
We thought we would stay a second day here but, yes you’ve guessed it, we got up the following day (17th August 2017) and it was foggy! So off we went to Peniche, which was just 18 miles along the coast.
We left Peniche the next day (18th August 2017) for Lisbon. Another lovely foggy and rainy day too.
22nd August 2017