Speedwell of Rhu Ship's Log

27 th of March to 4 th of April 2018 - The Algarve

Crew : Andy and Helen
Destinations : Ferragudo and Portimão Marina.
Distance : 45 miles

We had a leisurely wake up call and weighed anchor at 1015. The tide was flooding in through the harbour entrance and the water swirled around the breakwater. There were lots of small fishing boats where the shallow water meets deeper water. Fortunately they left a nice channel so we didn't need to dodge around them. They waved to us as we went by. 

There was a small amount of wind allowing us to sail slowly westward. When our speed reduced to 1.5 knots we decided to motor briefly as our ETA was for the following day. We did have all day however so, as soon as the wind picked up again, we were able to tack toward Portimão. We anchored inside the breakwater with just two other yachts. The last time we were here there were getting on for 50 other boats. The following day we went ashore at Ferraguda and walked around to Portimao across the road bridge so that we could pay our €2 light dues at the Capitainarie. We explored the old town, a far cry from the area we later discovered around the marina. The old canning factories all had stork nests on the the tops of the chimneys with babies. The storks flew overhead looking enormous. The weather was very warm so when we returned to the boat I put on my swimming costume and we went across to the beach. It was lovely and warm but only a few young children were braving the water which was 18 degrees. We met a Canadian couple and I was joined for a dip by the woman, leaving the two men chatting on the shore. This was my first swim of the year and it was exhilarating.

The following day we went ashore into the village for some shopping. We discovered a fantastic little art/sculpture gallery. On returning to the boat the wind picked up and there was a slight swell coming into the harbour. By the early hours of the morning this swell had become quite uncomfortable as the wind increased and changed direction so we had the swell on our beam. It had settled slightly by the morning but we were both left a bit crabby and headachy from the excessive rolling of the boat. Although the wind was forecast to reduce it was going to start coming from the south so we decided to head into the marina. We stayed in Portimão marina for a few days to catch up with laundry and explore the cliffs and town on foot and by bike. The marina was very quiet as were the few cafes around the hotels and holiday apartments. But the cafes still charged holiday prices.


After 3 days in the marina we were itching to get out to anchor. There was quite a bit of swell coming into the anchorage again but we decided that putting up with this was preferable to staying in the marina. We made sure anything that could squeak or bang over night was secured and we slept reasonably well. The following day we rowed ashore. There was still a fair bit of swell so as we got close to the beach the waves were quite big. Andy was perched on the back of the boat when I saw a wave building nicely ready to break over his head. Fortunately he leapt forward just in time to avoid a complete soaking, though the tender took on a fair amount of water and Andy's trousers took a bit of drying. After a few coffees and lunch we made the trip back to Speedwell. The waves had calmed down slightly but it took some careful timing and fast rowing to get us out of the way of the breaking waves. 


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