Oporto to Lisbon

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August 14th 2010
Published: January 26th 2011
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A week of sailing extremes this week. We went from having no wind at all early in the week further north to having a Force 6 and tearing a sail!

We spent a night anchored off in Sao Martinho that was terrible. The wind coming from the North and the swell coming from the west was full on rock and roll. Having so many people sea sick on board made it all so much worse. Thomas epitomised it with “the worst night of his life”. OK, so he’s a young 15 and is likely to have much worse in his years to come, but still, it was pretty awful.

As no one was particularly resting we set out early to go towards the Berlingas islands. The advice is to approach these only in the most settled weather. With strong northerlies we didn’t have the wind on our side. With the strength of the wind we thought we’d go past our original destination and continue on to Cascais, a suburb of Lisbon. This would ensure that everyone would get a better night’s sleep in a marina berth.

Somewhere along the run we noticed a tear in the main sail, mid height close to the luff. We dropped the main and sailed on a poled out genoa for the rest of way to Cascais. With the winds we had, we were still able to sail around 7 knots, reaching more than 9 knots around the headland.

I think we all felt relieved when we arrived in Cascais and were able to get off the boat and spend some time mooching.

The next week was spent in Lisbon, soaking up the atmosphere, trying to stay out or the intense heat and waiting for sail repairs.

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