Speedwell of Rhu Ship's Log

10 th to 15 th of August 2017 - Portugal

Crew : Andy and Helen
Destinations : Ensenada de Limens, Port of Leixões, Marina Porto Atlântico and Marina Porto Atlantico.
Distance : 69 miles

We had intended to depart Spain from Baiona but the winds were still fairly strong from the north so we decided to head up to a bay on the north side of the Ria, Ensenada de Limens. This was a protected small bay with a beach, protected by numerous viveiros. It wasn't mentioned in our pilot book, but we could see one other yacht at anchor and we didn't fancy going back to Barra which looked full of masts as we headed across the Ria. We were anchored by 11.30 and were surrounded by learner windsurfers for the morning and then more experienced windsurfers in the afternoon. After lunch we went ashore briefly. Although it was a swimming beach there were not as many people swimming as usual and the odd person had on a wetsuit. We soon discovered the sea was significantly colder that it had been further north. Our boat thermometer indicated it had gone to around 17 degrees, much the same as it had been in Ireland. I had a brief plunge and Andy paddled, before we headed back to the boat. The wind picked up but it was sunny.

We spent a significant amount of time watching a very large British motor boat slowly drift out to sea. This boat had come in at some speed and anchored close to the beach, fortunately changing their mind about anchoring in front of us. After a short while the boat gradually got further away from the beach drifted past us and the other yacht. We tried to raise them on VHF but there was no response. Eventually someone onboard noticed they were no longer in the place where they started. However, for some reason they didn't do anything about it. One man kept walking to the bow to look at the anchor and scratch his head. They ended up after about 3 hours very close to the Viveiros. We had images of the boat getting stuck on a viveiro or drifting out to sea but just at the last moment they started the engine and weighed their anchor. It was all very strange.

The following morning we were awake by 0600. It was light enough to navigate around the viveiros by 0700 and we headed out of the bay and south past Baiona. The wind was from the north around Force 4 for the whole day. We were able to make about 4-5 knots under sail, occasionally motor sailing to pick up our speed to make sure we arrived in Leixöes in good time. It was quite cold out at sea which, given the water temperature, wasn't surprising. It seems the Gulf Stream is starting to have little effect this far south. We were joined by dolphins a few times. We arrived in the harbour around 1900. Unfortunately the marina was full so we anchored just outside. It was a surprisingly quiet anchorage, despite the big ship movements and the arrival of a cruise ship the following morning.



The following morning space was made for us in the marina and we headed on the metro into Porto. We had two lovely days exploring this very interesting and attractive city. We obviously had to visit a port cave and eat some custard tarts. On our last day we went for a cycle in the fog only to discover that cycling was by far the most direct route into Porto. We obviously had to bear in mind that the cycle paths were more suitable for mountain bikes than Bromptons. We headed inland to a fab contemporary art gallery and Art Deco house with garden which was a beautiful tranquil escape from the busyness of Porto and the roads.



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