We left Oeiras at 9.45 on a beautiful sunny morning. The wind was perfect and we averaged 6.5 knots with a maximum of 9.2 knots. Unfortunately the wind disappeared at 1400 but as we had made such good headway we decided to head for Sines. We arrived at 1800 and anchored just inside the harbour entrance.
At 7.25 the following morning we continued our journey. This part of our journey had been talked about many times! Cape St Vincent was familiar to both of us from land but not sea. We had stood on the cliff top and looked down on sailing boats battling against wind and waves far below us on many occasions – we were approaching with trepidation. We had approximately 64 Miles to sail today and again the direction and speed of the wind was perfect, however, as we drew closer to our destination we realised that we could be rounding the Cape in darkness! At 17..20, in semi darkness, we finally sailed around the Cape. The sea and wind were kind to us and we wondered what all the fuss had been about!
Anchoring in the dark in Sagres was another issue! By the time we arrived in the bay it was ‘black’, the wind had increased substantially and we were extremely tired. Ideally we would have been better continuing our journey to Lagos (14 miles along the coast), but the threat of numerous lobster pots and the darkness made our decision to anchor easy! We tried two or three times and eventually the anchor ‘caught’. We could now relax and try and get some sleep. Caught what? We found that out in the morning after hardly any sleep due to the heavy swell! We had ‘attached’ our anchor to the ground chain of a nearby mooring! At least we hadn’t dragged across the bay! We were lucky to recover the anchor.
The direction of the wind for our 14 mile trip to Lagos was not so favourable and we were hoping for some sunshine and calm water to take in the coastline that was so familiar to Judith. Her parents had owned a house in this area of the Algarve for a period of 20 years. After 4 hours under engine we made our way into the channel leading to Lagos Marina. This entrance is guarded by a lifting footbridge which connects the town to the marina and local train station.
We arrived at 12.30 and having moored to the waiting pontoon, reported to the office. We were then told that the bridge would not open again until after 2pm. Lunch it was then!
A young French couple came across to us asking if we were going across the Atlantic. They were looking for a passage. This happened a number of times whilst we were in the Marina at Lagos.
The day after our arrival in Lagos was Judith’s birthday. Mark & Noemia, our good friends who live in the Algarve, joined us for birthday celebrations. Over the next 10 days we met a number of expats with common links to the UK, watched the Autumn international Rugby matches with fellow Welsh supporters and the highlight was Friday night in the Marina Bar…….Friday Night is Music Night! The expats met for a ‘jamming’ session bringing whatever instruments they could (or could not!) play. Words were provided for those of us whose voice was our instrument!!!
Matthew & Charlie (Judith’s son and grandson) arrived for a brief visit and a great time was had by all including a December swim for Alistair and Charlie!
We would have loved to have remained in Lagos for the rest of the winter months but the price was just too high. Eventually we left the town behind and headed for Albufeira.