Turn left for the Med: The Algarve (24th May…)

We left Lisbon at Lunchtime on May 23rd with a favourable weather window for getting round Cape St Vincent. We started off with not enough wind to sail by and 2 hours later were sailing at 5.5 knots with a reefed Genoa in a F4/5 NW wind. The waves were pretty big and I was very glad we were not beating. We had a motor sailor pass us heading north into the big seas under engine, not something we fancied at all. It looked horrible bouncing up and down with the sea breaking over the bows every 10-15 secs.

 

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After a nice sunset it was a dark night, with the sliver of moon not rising until 0230, but Andy managed to sail until I took over on the 12-2am shift! I did not feel comfortable sailing without being able to see the sail and with waves breaking behind us. So on went the engine and the genoa was furled. After that I managed to steer by Scorpio (once my eyes had fully adjusted to the dark) with no problems until Andy took over again at 2am. Luckily there were very few fishing boats out.

The night continued with 2 hour watches and Cape St Vincent was in sight by 6am. I stayed up as I did not want to miss the rounding of the Cape and the sun came up to oblige just as we were going round.

 

 

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Rounding Cape St. Vincent at sunrise

Not the most impressive of Capes but very iconic as it’s the SW corner of Europe and we were now sailing east into the Med! As we turned, we hoisted both sails (quite a novelty) and had a lovely close reach sail all the way to Lagos.  The coastal scenery round this part of the coast was very impressive with stacks and arches all in yellow and ochre colours, interspersed with white sand beaches.

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We spent the next day recovering from the overnight sail, exploring a bit of the town and going to see the hotel where my mum will be staying for a week. The weather was lovely and warm and bright and so the next day we caught the local bus to Luz and walked back to Lagos along the cliff tops.  It was a steep pull up to the Obelisk overlooking Luz and then a flat walk along the cliffs for a couple of miles. The cliff top path was well marked and well-trodden but was very exposed and sometimes perilously close to the edge! The views were stunning, green and blue sea and those amazing mudstone/sandstone cliffs.Photos can’t really do it justice.

 

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Kayackers enjoying the scenery

About ¾ of the way back to Lagos the path got washed away some years ago and we had to strike inland. It was difficult to find our way through the housing and streets as there were no signposts but after a few dead ends we managed to find the path again towards the lighthouse on the point south of Lagos. This stretch of coast was where the most impressive rock features were and it was wonderful to see them without the bus tour crowds that were around the lighthouse. After that it was a bit of a weary trudge back through the town, however I did manage to find a wee beach and I braved the cold water for a swim. It was so refreshing. Andy wimped out!!

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We were surprisingly tired the next day after our walk and spent the day doing a few chores and shopping for some food. The weather was not so good unfortunately with a very brisk northerly wind (the “Nortada”). My mum was arriving the next day, so we were hoping that the weather would improve.

I took the train and airport bus to Faro on Wednesday 28 May and met my mum, Helga. The Ryanair flight had been good and the assistance through the airport had all been excellent. We got a shuttle taxi back to Lagos and Mum got settled into her Hotel (The Tivoli).

 

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My mum and I in front of Vaila at Lagos Marina

The cold north wind has continued to blow but the temperature has increased steadily and Mum has settled in to life here. She has spent a bit of time on the boat at the marina watching all the comings and goings and relaxing and enjoying the sun.

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Helga relaxing on Vaila

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Church in Lagos old town

We have found a lovely restaurant where we have eaten delicious grilled fish and meat, washed down with the local wine and we are working our way through all the flavours at the Italian ice cream parlour at the Marina! Today (1st June) we took a boat trip to see the cliffs, stacks and arches round the point. The weather was very warm and there was a gentle SW wind to start with, however by mid-afternoon the wind was back to North with a bit of a swell! Mum loved the scenery and managed to hang on to her lunch!

 

 

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 Our trip boat

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 A view of Lagos old town from the boat 

 

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 The captains dog

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Through the arches

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Helga flies back to Scotland on Wednesday and we will set off eastwards on Friday for our next date with Kirsty and Chris in Ibiza in July. Cant wait to get into the Med! 

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