Again we left early in the morning. About 70 miles to sail today. We would round the most southern tip of Europe! It was a perfect sailing day again. The Portuguese coastline is very variable. Huge rock formations, cliffs, beaches in between and lots of windmills along the coast. And the colour of the coast always seems to be sort of bleu-ish what you also can see in the pictures. We set the mainsail and the red beast, enjoyed the warm weather and the easy going sailing. Accompanied by dolphins and this time it was a lot of them. Dancing the hulls is what they love to do. The Atlantic Portuguese coast though is quite unpredictable we find. The wind is acting very capricious. From 3 knots to 23 in like 5 minutes. That’s what we experienced today. We were sitting upstairs relaxing in the sun and the wind picked up very quickly. So we had to take the gennaker down in quite some wind, take the jib out en reef the main …. we managed very well but it was some sort of stressful. This was the first time we came into a situation like this and from that moment we knew we had to be careful. And keep an eye on the wind all the time!
At about 13.00 we rounded the most southwestern point of Portugal, Cape St. Vincent or Cabo de São Vicente. Jippie! We did it! But before rounding the Cape, Captain already said to be prepared that the wind would pick up. Rounding that corner sailing east, the wind blew again quite a lot but this time we were ready for some rocking. This is how quick you learn when sailing together haha! When you are prepared and have an idea what will happen is so much better than that you are overtaken just like that!
Anchorage Enseada de Sagres
Enseada de Sagres is our anchorage for the night. The beach is called Praia de Mareta Beach. It has good protection from northerly winds and is open to the south and southeast. Sandy bottom anchorage ground. At the beach, there are I think 2 small restaurants but this time of year everything is already closed. We stayed at EIGHT to enjoy a beautiful evening after quite an eventful and windy day. Just a few miles more to go and we would arrive at our next stop. It felt really good that we had accomplished this together, just the 2 of us. We made it to the Algarve!
Cabo de São Vicente
This is the most south-western point in Europe. Before they found out that the earth was round, they thought that this was the end of the world. It is not so much the beauty of the site that attracts many visitors. Rather the thought behind the place. You must have been at the end of the world. On top of meters high cliffs is a lighthouse that can also be visited. You can see the coastal strips of the western and southern parts of the Algarve from the lighthouse. Both left and right of the lighthouse you can walk around the cliffs. In the spring, the plants on the rock plateau are in bloom which makes the site even more beautiful. The cape is also a landmark for ships travelling to or from the Mediterranean. The cliffs rise nearly vertically from the Atlantic to a height of 75 meters and is a site of abundant marine life with a high concentration of birds nesting on the cliffs.
Lighthouse of Cabo de São Vicente (Portuguese: Farol do Cabo de São Vicente) is a beacon/lighthouse located along the coastal peninsula of Sagres Point in the Portuguese municipality of the Vila do Bispo. Not to be confused with the Lighthouse of Ponta de Sagres, which is the located further to the edge of the extreme southwest Cape, southwest of the Fortress of Sagres. One of the most powerful lighthouses in Europe (the most powerful being Phare du Creach on the French island of Ushant, off the coast of Brittany); its two 1,000 W lamps can be seen as far as 60 km (37 mi) away. The 28-metre (92 ft) round cylindrical stone tower, with lantern and gallery, rises from a 2-/3-story keeper’s complex. The beacon itself has operated with a hyper-radiant Fresnel lens (larger than 1st order) since 1908, with a focal plane of 86 metres (282 ft) and demonstrating one quick white flash every 5 seconds. The unpainted lighthouse tower includes red-painted lantern and the keeper’s white-painted house with red roof. A fog horn has given two 5-second blasts every 30 seconds. Its position at land’s end attracts visitors annually, and the Portuguese navy constructed a visitor centre and museum on the site. The lighthouse and museum open are open to the public on Wednesday afternoons.