Today’s destination, Portmâo, is about 40 miles from Sagres. Time enough to take it easy. No wind at all in the morning. So we motored for a few hours, had a great relaxed lunch and worked on the tan. After lunch, the wind picked up a little and we could hoist the main and gennaker. We also set the fishing rods, as usual, but we have not been very lucky with fishing jet … The south-facing coastline consists of bold headlands and high cliffs interrupted by bay beaches, small river mouths, and numerous white coloured settlements. There are many picturesque anchorages and the weather is nice and warm. The winds are quite light so an easy stretch to sail in the direction of Gibraltar. There is quite a significant change in the weather compared to the Atlantic coast side. Although we have been very lucky that we only once had those real sudden strong winds and once the suddenly upcoming fog. Noy bad at all! We arrived at Portimâo at around 16.00.
Marina de Portmâ0
The entrance to the port faces south and is about 250m wide. Ponta do Altar with a lighthouse of the same name is located to the east. Because of the height of this cliff, the entrance to the port is obscured to those approaching from the east almost until the entrance to the moles. Before sailing to the marina there is a big anchorage area where we found a lovely place to stay for the night. In this film made by Andrelnacio, you can clearly see how the entrance of the marina looks like!
As the weather is so nice and a lot of people were swimming Robbert wanted to try out his Beauchat dive set. The Beuchat Boat Safety Diving System is designed for underwater emergency operations or routine maintenance checks below the waterline. This compact system is ideal for clearing fouled propellers and stern gear, anode inspection and hull maintenance. The kit includes mask & snorkel, 2-litre tank, regulator (1st and 2nd stages, pressure gauge), stabilising harness with weight pockets, shock-resistant storage bag with internal padded compartments. You can dive approx. 20 minutes at 3 metres depth. Remaining air in the tank can be checked at all times with the incorporated pressure gauge. The air cylinder can be filled using a standard diving compressor. Ideal gadget!
So Robbert went down and inspected and cleaned the hull a bit, and everything looked fine! The Coppercoat coating did a good job for us. And after this, we would meet with another Saona owner for the first time! So we took the dinghy out and went to the marina to meet with Renato Laves. A Brazilian gentleman who is living on his boat. So nice to meet other fellow-sailors! We had a look at his boat and at our boat, had a few drinks and went up for dinner at the yacht club of the Marina. The next morning we would go sailing to Ayamonte! The last stretch of the Portuguese Algarve coastline to enter Spain.
To be honest we would have loved to stay a lot longer at the Algarve side of Portugal. In the close surroundings of the area, there are a lot of things to do. Visit the caves, beaches, the lighthouse and the amazing views are worth staying a few days. And sometimes is nice just to chill! But our planning did not allow us to. We had to go back to Holland businesswise and we did not want to leave the boat in Portugal. Marina’s are quite expensive and it’s said that in Spain it would be much better …. NOT really ….
There are many things to do in summertime in Portimâo and in the surroundings of Portimâo. The endless stretches of beaches, the Zoomarina park, The Sardine Festival. From the 3rd to 10th of August During the festival, you will see other highlights of the delicious Portuguese cuisine and a good range of wines. The event is organized along the waterfront, and during the days you can enjoy concerts. At the final countdown of the event, there is an impressing fire show. The Marchas Populares. Celebration of the Popular Saints. Dancing, barbecues and grilled sardines; a bit of everything will happen during this event. It takes place between the 9th and 29th of June. The traditional Marches are held over 18 days at four places: 9th of June: Riverside Area Portimâo 16th of June: Triathlon Figueira 23rd of June: Riverside Area Alvor 29th of June: Praia da Rocha. LIghthouses, museums and so on! We were there way too short. And on our way back out of the MED we hope to spent some more time on this beautiful Portuguese coast!