Big Surf Country
Fortunately the surf has been down. The calm weather window has allowed us to make progress against the prevailing Nortada winds in world renowned big wave country. As many will know the largest recorded wave ever surfed is off a headland just north of Nazaré. In 2018 a 24m (80ft) wall of pure terror was successfully ridden by Brazilian Rodrigo Koxa. Thanks to autumn storms in the North Atlantic and a west/east deep water canyon, the Cana da Nazaré, acting like a giant funnel close in to shore, waves around Nazare can be freakishly huge.
Having stopped on anchor in Sines, Troia, Setubal, Cascais and Peniche we are now in the marina at Figueira da Foz, a pleasant, historical town with lovely indoor market and Big Break surf beaches on its west side. The north winds have stepped up a notch and we are enjoying good shelter and rest for a few days while the rigging clanks above us. It's been a combination of sailing, but mostly motorsailing and motoring, on the way north. The anchorage in the estuary opposite Troia was lovely. Picturesque below the pine forest and quiet beaches. We were hoping to meet up with Giles and Anna Wardle and family who had travelled out from the UK to their family farm and were due at the coast by the weekend. Unfortunately, after a visit to the local Setubal dentist for Jo's aggravated wisdom tooth, the break in the weather meant that we had to push on northwards before they arrived.
The radar and fog signals have been put to good use as we've had sea fog, <200m visibility, and damp overcast conditions at sea. Once near the coast again the skies clear, the sun warms the bones and pods of dolphins escort us on and off all the way to Figueira. Looks like we'll be here a few more days before heading on to Porto and the Douro.