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Against the Portuguese Trades

Portimao was a brief, enjoyable and valuable stop. The anchorage behind the harbour breakwater is large, sheltered and next to several lovely beaches. It was straightforward checking into Portugal at the marina office and the Capitania’s office is conveniently located just up river for paying the ‘Lights Tax’. In one day we managed to restitch to bimini, refill two 4.5kg bottles of butane, get a new battery for the RIB and still find time for a fabulous fresh fish lunch on the quay in Ferragudo and a evening swim at the beach. Weighing anchor at 10am the next day, we headed for Cabo de São Vincente.

The anchorage in the bay off Sagres was exposed to the SE swell coming from the recent high easterly winds blowing through the Gibraltar Strait. So we carried on round to Enseada de Belixe and settled at anchor under the loom of the São Vincente light. Rare conditions at one of the most exposed headlands in Europe. This made a perfect starting point for the early rise to Sines. A spell of benign conditions meant motorsailing was going to be the order of the next day. With the reputation of the Nortada, or Portuguese Trades, that was just fine with us.


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