Monthly Archives: September 2017

The Algarve – September 2017

We arrived in the Algarve at the beginning of September and have stayed for the whole of the month as we’ve had various visitors and this was a good place for people to fly in and out of.

We arrived in Vilamoura where Gary and Shelley left us (as I mentioned in the last blog).  We set off from Vilamoura back up the coast to Portimao, in south westerly winds of 14-16knots and so it took us five hours as it was on the nose.  We anchored off the beach at Ferragudo a very busy anchorage but not that comfortable a night as the fishing boats were backwards and forwards so lots of wash rocking us about.

A2. Ferragudo village 12.9.17.The following day we ventured up the river to the old town of Portimao which was much calmer.  We anchored up and the following day went ashore to be met by a guy from the marina there who told us we couldn’t anchor there even though the chart said we could.  After a bit of a discussion we decided to move back to Ferragudo but nearer to the village.  There is a Lidl’s just a 10/15 minute walk so gave us the opportunity to stock up.

Wednesday 13th September we headed back to Vilamoura to meet up with Paula and Paul.  Paul having already been in Vilamoura for a week playing golf, showed us where there were more restaurants and bars away from the marina, which we hadn’t found on our previous visit.  After a lovely meal Paul insisted (obviously he tied our hands behind our back and dragged us there) we visit an Irish bar which had a live band.  We left there at 2am, the band still in full swing to a packed bar with quite a lot of people still dancing on tables, something we definitely did not participate in.

B4. Paella - Faro - 14.9.17.

The following day back to our main base in the Algarve, Praia de Faro where we spent the night on anchor and Ian cooked his speciality “Paella”.  On Friday morning (15th Sept) we waved Paula and Paul goodbye literally as we are next to the runway.

We had a week before our next visitors would be arriving so we took the opportunity to move the boat to a shallower part of the river where it dried out so that we could have a look at the bottom of the boat.  We’d had Coppercoat put on before we left in May and wanted to see what was on the bottom of the boat.  The Coppercoat had done its job as there were no barnacles just a light covering of weed.  It was mainly sand here but we managed to settle in one of the two spots that was mud which you sank into very quickly.  The other spot our Mahe Mates, Karen and Ronnie found.  We both decided to put our stern anchors out so that we didn’t swing round so Ian and Ronnie walked out to dig the anchor in.  Ian and I decided to go ashore for dinner so we walked ashore through the mud and weed walking quickly so didn’t sink too far in and thankfully it was only knee deep.

The next day we decided to move along the channel so that we were in sand.  So we now have a nice clean bottom!

Dave and Deb arrived on Thursday 21st September and we spent a lovely few days with them mooching around the Faro area on anchor.

Dave is a keen West Ham fan and Ian is also a supporter, so wanted to watch the West Ham vs Tottenham game.  Vilamoura is full of sports bars but Faro is somewhat limited but we managed to find one, although the result of the game was not what he nor Ian wanted but they still managed a smile!  We finally ended up back in Vilamoura where Dave and Deb left us (Monday 25th Sept) and Jessica arrived later that day.

We ventured back to our “home spot” of Praia de Faro with Jessica and had a lovely few days with her.  All over so quickly before she was gone again.

Praia de Faro

Praia de Faro is our favourite spot on the Algarve.  It’s a little like home with little creeks but with the sun.  The river one side and then across a small strip of land a few hundred yards away is the beach and the Atlantic Ocean.  There are a few cafes, bars and restaurants.  It is very convenient for the airport.  We’ve been able to pickup/drop off people on the jetty that the ferry uses and then it’s a short five minute taxi ride to the airport.

The river is most suited for boats with a maximum 2m draft hence why very few boats come round to here.  The ferry runs into Faro at regular intervals during the day up to 11th September when it runs just twice a day.  There is a bus from the bridge but on the occasions we wanted to go into Faro we took Cuffysark and anchored up nearby to the town and went ashore in the dinghy.  We didn’t stay here overnight as the planes are directly overhead so we went back to our usual spot.  When the tide goes out the wildlife is more noticeable with storks, herons and various other birds.  This is also when people come out and dig for clams we think.


30TH September 2017

Sesimbra – Faro

28th August to 10th September 2017

We left Lisbon for our trip down to the Algarve in cloudy skies but very light winds.  First stop was Sesimbra where we anchored for the night which was quite rolly.  Next stop was Sines, which was a lovely sheltered harbour.  We anchored then spent a couple of nights in the marina.  There was a lovely beach but very few tourists.  We met up again here with our Mahe mates, Karen and Ronnie and had a lovely lunch where the locals ate.

A1. Sines - 31.8.17.

Next was our trip around Cape St Vincent and to an anchorage at Enseda de Sagra, a fairly long trip of nine hours.  Ronnie and Karen invited us for a BBQ off the back of their boat.  Typically it ended up quite windy so lighting the BBQ was quite a feat but Karen and Ronnie managed it.

We left the anchorage the following morning and headed to Alvor.  It was a hot sunny day with very little wind and as result when the dolphins arrived I managed to get the best video ever as the water so clear and calm.  (unfortunately I can’t post videos on this site but have posted a couple of stills).  On the way are some stunning rock formations and grottos.

Alvor is on a beautiful river which is sheltered by twin breakwaters, with many sand banks.  The town is quite touristy but quaint.  We only had one night here as we had people (Gary and Shelley) arriving later in the week and wanted to check out an anchorage in Faro and a place to pick them up.

D1. Sunset - Faro 3.9.17.We left Alvor for Faro at about 2.15pm, we couldn’t leave much earlier as we had to go in the entrance with the tide as the current is strong.  We didn’t get there until 8.30pm and it was nearly dark.  We only ventured a short way into the bay and dropped anchor for the night.


The following morning (Monday 4th September) we took ourselves off along the Canal de Faro to Praia de Faro.  We decided the anchorage nearest to Faro was quite busy with ferries and quite a way by dinghy to Faro itself plus it was directly underneath the flight path.  Praia de Faro was a small strip of land with the Canal on one side and the Atlantic Ocean on the other.  A lot of the Canal dried out so there was only a small channel where it stayed afloat and not very deep but we only draw 1.1m so this was fine.  Not many yachts ventured down here but we followed a ferry so we knew there had to be water all the time.

The runway at Faro airport was visible from the boat and we could see the planes landing but it didn’t cause us any problems with noise.

D4. Faro - airport runway - planes taking off 4.9.17.

Here there was a small jetty where the ferries picked up and dropped off passengers.  Gary and Shelley were arriving on Wednesday morning so we took the boat over to the jetty and they hopped on.  We had a nice day with a visit to the beach and we would be reminded of our visit over the next few days as, as you know, you can never give rid of the sand, but it was worth it.  On Thursday we had a trip on the ferry into Faro which was only 20 minutes.

Faro’s walled Cidade Velha, the old town has real character.  It is well known for the storks that nest in the buildings.  Below you can see the nests on the Arco de Vila.

We spent the following day mooching along the canal so that we would be nearer the entrance on Saturday when we were going off to Vilamoura.  We were hoping to see some dolphins on our trip to Vilamoura but it wasn’t to be.  We spent the night anchored at Ilha de Culatra, where I’ve never seen so many boats at anchor.

Vilamoura is a major purpose built tourist complex full of bars and restaurants much like any other big tourist development.  Visitors here appear to be in the main groups of guys who come for the golf.  We managed to find a Portuguese restaurant which was as far away from the boat as we could possibly be (on the other side of the marina) but it was worth it as the food was very good.  Sunday morning and Gary and Shelley left us for their flight back home.  It had been great to see people from home and we’d had a really good time.

We’d had plenty of jollity and fun over the last four days so now it was chores, cleaning, washing and shopping.  Yes I bet your hearts bleed for us.  We are not complaining it’s a pretty good life so far, this retirement lark!  Then setting sail again going back this time to Ferragudo which is opposite Portimao on the Rio Arade.

10th September 2017