This section takes us as far as the Rio Guadiana, the river that boarders The Algarve (Portugal) and Spain. To continue our journey please use the following link: Rio Guadiana
Log Entry Wednesday 18th June
We travel to the Rio Guadiana, the river which acts as the boarder between Portugal and Spain, the weather again is very hot, clear blue skies. Both vessels had agreed that the competitiveness was becoming a little too serious - we had our team briefing at 0800 hours, in the cockpit over breakfast! I was fearful that due to the types of vessels involved and the conditions, Ben and Lara would have the edge?
We began the short trip with the single aim of getting there first, to hell with the "participation rubbish!" it's winning that counts!
The winds were light and eventually, within a couple of hours dropped off completely, Ben & Lara had a gained a small lead. We declared our selves the winners as Ben suggested we started our engines first!
The rest of the journey to the mouth of the Rio Guadiana was under taken with the engine running, noisy but required some what to make the tide.
Log Entry Tuesday 17th June
We leave Olhao today for Tavira, an anchorage further along the coast, details or the anchorage are a little unclear but worth look. We had a good sail with Ben & Lara (Rosina) a little bit of competitiveness developed during the trip.
The winds were light and the weather very hot, we kept our selves busy during the trip - Mum with all of her jobs took it easy down below in the shade for a while. We waited for Ben & Lara before entering the Ria Tavira (i.e., we won, not that it really mattered it's the participation that is important, not the winning!).
The anchorage was a little disappointing, smaller and a lot shallower than described, the only area for us to stay afloat was very close to the busy channel leading up to Santa Lucia. The water way, beaches and shore line were all busy, storks fed along the water line at low water. We did not visit Tavira, it was too far up the shallow creek, we decided to stay only one night, we were clearly a problem to the local traffic.
Log Entry Sunday 15th June
We traveled today to Olhao, a short motor from the anchorage in Praca Larga off IIha da Culatra through the narrow channels in the salt marshes. We had intended to anchor but the locations were not suitable, too busy with local ferries and pleasure craft. We check into the marina, a much better option especially as the wind was building considerably. Ann's mum was a great help with the navigation through the narrow shallow channels, holding the pilotage and spotting for buoys, although she declared later that she was looking for "boys in shorts!" Never mind we got there safely.
The town is very pretty and quaint, people use boats and ferries as we would use cars. The town is well kept - Monday is a holiday to celebrate the opening of a new town library? As we sit and enjoy the weather in a waterside cafe we watch a large fishing boat come in about low water, made our concentrated attempt at the pilotage rather shame full?
We spend a couple of nights in the marina, this gives us plenty of time to look around.
Log Entry Saturday 14th June
The day breaks once again with glorious sunshine, how we miss the British weather! We look to go ashore in the dinghy and have a look around the island, the water ways are very busy with local traffic water taxis, fishing boats and pleasure craft.
We secure the dinghy and walk to the dwellings, there are no roads as such (not needed as there is no traffic). The "streets" between the dwellings are essentially sand, with a central walk way made of concrete slabs. No doubt a number of the properties are holiday cottages, but it seems strange to be in such a place, primitive but modern. We walk and find individual gardens of fruit and herbs, there is a small shop on the island but most as one would imagine comes from the mainland. As the temperatures increase we retire to a beach bar, very laid back, when we came to settle the bill they asked us what we had drank - amazing! We were as honest as we could remember.
Log Entry Friday 13th June
The trip was always going to be a hot one, we sailed out of the river past a mix of fishing and tourist vessels, typical of this area as one would expect. The wind initially died, but a couple of hours later it returned, what started as a noisy trip turned into a good days sail! The heat took it's tole on us all, we took turns "resting" not a lot else to do really!
We arrived at IIha da Culatra about eight in the evening, we dropped anchor in the lagoon behind the island and Olhao, a beautiful setting to complement a good days sail. We retired early as all were tired - hope the sun does not shine so much tomorrow!
Log Entry Thursday 12th June
We pick mum up at the airport, with us now for two weeks she has to adapt to living on board - not a simple task in itself! Then there is us to get used too! There is work for Kevin to do on the boat, we (Mum and I) decide to take a trip into the mountains to Monchique.
The journey up was interesting, high above Portimao, plenty of fresh produce available on the road side. The town, with it's own monastery is a terrific mix of "old and new", the streets narrow and steep. We take it easy in the hot sun as one would expect, its back to Sailaway to make sure all the jobs are done.
With the repairs to Rosina's gel coat complete and our own maintenance clear we have a good evening with Ben & Lara - off to IIha da Culatra, a further 35 miles along the coast.
Log Entry Monday 9th June
We move along the coast to Portimao, as we travel along the coast there is a noticeable increase in temperature and the amount of "bugs" in the air! We have very little wind at all and motor all the way.
We are now clearly in a holiday resort and all it entails, we make our way up the Rio Arade, past the marina and the anchorages up river to a pontoon where we have a berth reserved by our good friends Ben & Lara (Rosina). We make our berth about 1700 hours, we tie up next to Ben and Lara - a difficult bert due to wind and tide!
We are invited on board Rosina for dinner to catch up on the gossip as we had not seen them since Coruna -we also had to commiserate the damage to their gel coat. First job on the list in the morning!
Log Entry Saturday 7th June
We drop anchor of the town of Sagres, in a well protected bay "Praia de Marela", an impressive fort "Fortalez" over looks the Ponta de Sagres, built for protection at one stage now temporarily closed for restoration. The beach is excellent, well kept and well serviced with beach bars etc.
The town itself takes about 20 minutes to explore and is centred around the old village square. Although a town with emerging an tourism as we sit in a local cafe in the square a great proportion of the customers are "local" and sit and discuss every day happenings. Property developers already have a temporary office in place, a complex is under build - glad we visited now, not in 2/3 years time.
We spend an hour or so in the beach bar where we left our dingy. Its then back to Sailaway, we move to Portimao in the morning.