November 03, 2010
I hid away from a storm in Nazare, which is well protected from the Atlantic. Only when the wind comes round to the north does the fetch in the harbour increase and J-L was pinned to the hammerhead pontoon in choppy water. I had all the fenders in place, some looked rather squashed but everything survived.
I planned to leave for an overnight passage down to Cascais and was afraid I might not be able to spring J-L off the pontoon. My luck was in, as 19:00 approached – my planned departure time, the wind died completely, so I had no difficulty leaving. I thought I would have to motor the whole twelve to fourteen hours in the remains of the waves and swell but again luck was on my side. The wind picked up again to fifteen to twenty knots and I had a broad reach to Peniche then a gybe and a broad reach to Capo Raso. An uneventful sail, if you ignore the constant danger of the invisible fishing buoys and a lumpy sea. Then there was a fishing boat incognito. It’s the second time I have seen this in Portuguese waters. Something on the radar but nothing to be seen in the dark, then suddenly on come a set of navigation lights and a boat storms off. The Nazare harbour master told me that there is a lot of illegal fishing, so maybe that was one of them.
Most of the way I was followed by sailing yacht Burnout. He was gaining on me slowly and continued his way south when I turned east towards Cascais. For a long time he was invisible to vision or radar, but he carried AIS, so I could watch his progress precisely as well as know his name. At about 1.5 miles, his navigation light started to appear intermittently over the swell.
After Capo Raso, the the wind died again, so I motored the remainder towards Cascais marina. Perverse again at last, the wind started up energetically on the nose this time, just to make the entry into Cascais difficult. I was early arriving, so waited until nine for the reception to open. Then moored in berth M23. I was surprised to see all the boats moving in their berths in response to the surge created by the swell outside. There are several knots of current in and out of the narrow entrance channel
Cascais is an attractive holiday town and its marina is large and well equipped. The marina charges have dropped to the winter rate, which makes it quite attractive place to stay. However, I shall be moving up river to Alcantara in Lisboa, as the Atlantic swell that I arrived with was bursting above the seawall when it was only 2 or 3 metres high. Next week the swell is predicted to reach 10.8 metres and will certainly come over the seawall.
Sorry, no pictures, Photobucket has locked up my Album, I guess because it exceeds their free entries limit of 500 MB and I still have not cracked the problem with Tripsailor.