August 2017 - France, Spain and Portugal

August 31, 2017 Lisbon Portugal

We started our many boat projects today. It was too wet and cold to varnish earlier this spring so Al got first coat on the hatches. We will be here until Al's sister Connie and Steve join us Sept. 6 and we have lots to do before then. We;ll save our sight seeing for when they get here..

August 29/30, 2017 Cascais, Portugal and Lisbon, Portugal

We had a misty, moisty, motor to Cascais, Portugal yesterday. This is the most expensive marina we've been in all summer and not even that great. Location Location location. We did walk around this morning to view some of our favorite spots from 2006 with Pat and Nicci. Then we motored up Rio Tejo past Lisbon to Marina Parque das Nacoes. When we arrived our friend David Nixon, daughter Amy and crew met us on the dock. We met in 2012 as we traveled up the coast to London. Now they are heading to the Canary Islands to cross with the ARC. They invited us aboard Haja for dinner. Great time catching up and wonderful dinner prepared by David.

Portugal | Cascais

Portugal |Cascais

Portugal | Cascais

Portugal | Cascais

Portugal | Lisbon

Portugal | Lisbon

Portugal | Lisbon

Portugal | Lisbon

Portugal | Lisbon

Portugal | Lisbon

August 28, 2017 Peniche, Portugal

Another quiet day motoring down the Portuguese coast. Today we are moored in Porto de Peniche, a fishing harbor in Peniche about 65nm from Lisbon. We had a fantastic kg grilled grouper, roasted potatoes, carrots and green beans for supper last night. Nice octopus salad and olives for a starter. Fish is so so good and inexpensive in both Spain and Portugal.

Portugal | Peniche |

Portugal | Peniche

August 26/27 2017 Nazare, Portugal

We had a beautiful day in Nazare, Portugal today. We got our walking in as it's 2km into town. We rode the funicular railway up to O Sitio-Old Town to visit the beautiful church Nossa Senhora da Nazare. The views of Nazare beach were as spectacular as we remembered from 2006 with Pat and Nicci. This beach gets huge surfing type waves in November. I wouldn't want to be at sea coming into Nazare in those waves.

Portugal | Nazare | Nazare Beach | drying fish

Portugal| Nazare | Nazare Beach and antique fishing boats

Portugal | Nazare | view of Nazare Beach from Sitio Old Town

Portugal | Nazare view from Sitio

August 24/25 2017 Figueira da Foz, Portugal

Yesterday we had a long day motor sailing 64nm to Figueira da Foz, Portugal. We had fog for the first 2 hours and then a sunny quiet day. We arrived about 1830. This is our 3rd visit here 2006, 2012, and now 2017 so we did boat projects. We rented a car the last time we were here and visited Fatima, Knights Templar castle and Montastery Batalha and Montastery Alcobaca so spent a quiet day instead. We celebrated my 65th birthday eating a 1kg sea bass for lunch in a cute restaurant "Cacarola I"

Portugal | Figueira da Foz | Restaurant Cacarola 1 | Sally's 65th birthday lunch

Portugal | Figueira da Foz | Restaurant Cacarola 1

August 22/23 2017 Porto, Portugal

Motored in the fog again from Viana Castelo. We had flat seas but lots of fish pots. At least this time we had .5nm visibility so not so bad. We tried Leixos Marina near Porto first but the only berth was a very bouncy fuel pontoon so we decided to move on. We went about 3nm to Rio Douro which has a new marina just down river from Porto. Cost what two nights in Leixos would have been but worth it for a quiet sleep. Can't believe for such a fancy, expensive relatively new marina how filthy the toilet/shower facilities were. I complained and they acted to surprised. Ha it's been that way for a long while. Today was our 42nd Wedding anniversary. We had a lovely walk into Porto and around old town. We found an excellent fish restaurant to celebrate and had a beautiful sea bass for two for lunch. Okay so we just had to splerge and had lovely dinner in a new restaurant near our marina. Octopus salad and a Fish soup fo rour entree monkfish, prawns and clams/rice. Excellent and an apple crumble for dessert.

Portugal| Rio Douro | Porto up river from marina Porto Rio Douro

Portugal | Porto | one of newer cable cars that tour Old Town

August 20/21, 2017 Viana Castelo, Portugal

We left Vigo. Spain yesterday for Viana Castelo Portugal. What luck we happened upon their biggest festival of the year the "Feast of Our Lady of Agony" Nostra Senhora da Agonia. She's the patron saint of the Portuguese fisherman. The streets of old town of the fisherman were decorated in colorful, stones and rock salt floral mosaics, parades, concerts, and of course lots of food and booths of "stuff". The Fireworks were amazing. They were shot off the railway bridge over the River Lima and across from the pontoon where we were moored on the river. We had the best viewing spot in town. Today I got a haircut, much shorter than I wanted but oh well it'll last a while. We wandered the town and enjoyed people watching at a cafe.

August 18/19, 2017 Vigo, Spain

Another foggy passage yesterday from Muros to Vigo, Spain. Fortunately only two hours this time. The hairy moments arrived when our Zeus 7 plotter kept turning off and wouldn't turn back on in the fog and running close to shore and rocks. We finally took the plotter chart chip out of the Zeus 7 and put it into our Cockpit plotter Zeus 8 and all worked fine. Fog lifted as we approached Ria Vigo, Spain. We wandered around town and discovered our favorite restaurant from 2012 had closed. But we got another great recommendation from the harbor master. We gave Artemis a bath today and then had a nice fish lunch with TJ and Jenny from Alaska s/y Rocket Science. Everything except restaurants close between 2 and 5:00 so went grocery shopping after lunch. We finally found summer here in Spain. It's 85 and sunny.

August 17, 2017 Moros, Spain

This morning we left the anchorage in Camarinas, Spain looking like a nice sailing day. Wrong again and by 9;00 the fog rolled in and Al at the helm and Sally on the radar for 5hrs. You'll be happy to know I picked up first a fish buoy on the radar and then a couple of cormorants. We are moored in Ria Muros at Muros Marina. There are 2 other American boats here one from Wisconsin and the other from Alaska "Rocket Science"! We went aboard Rocket Science quite an interesting boat. It crossed the Atlantic on our same route 4 days faster with average speed 22kts! We had another great fish dinner polpo, squid pie, peron peppers and tiramisu.

August 16, 2017 La Coruna, Spain and Ria Camarinas, Spain

Oh such a quiet night at anchor in Ria Cedeira. We went to sleep early and we slept in. We motored into La Coruna Marina got fuel and took a berth for the night. We had wonderful walk about old town La Coruna and then a lovely fish dinner. Al finally got the pulpo (octopus) he's been craving since we last traveled this coast in 2012. Also had a wonderful fish stew. We motored to a lovely anchorage in Ria Camarinas for another quiet night at anchor.

August 14, 2017 Ria Cedeira, Spain

We crossed the notorious Bay of Biscay leaving Les Sables d'Olonne, France at 0700 Saturday. Our plan was a 243nm passage to Gijon, Spain. The wind was not forecasted as SW 10-15kts but that's what we had most of the day Saturday right on the nose. Then no wind at all overnight and calm seas so we were motoring. Al's watch we traveled through the fishing fleet of close to 100 boats fishing off the continental shelf. I had the better deal as the moon came up about 0145 and made my watch very comfortable. Sunday around 1000 with 78nm to go we decided a late arrival in Gijon, Spain after midnight didn't excite us so we made a passage change to Ria Cedeira an anchorage 163nm away. About 1700 the winds and seas began to pick up from the NE again directly behind us. Through out the night we had 25-30kts of wind and 2-3 meter seas. Very few fishing vessels to contend with and again the moon came up by 0200. It was a crazy ride surfing down the seas going over 8kts at times and we wedged into our bunk when off watch to keep from rolling. Monday morning the wind and seas died down but then the tide turned foul as we approached Ria Cedeira. We were glad to set the anchor down at 1300 and happy to say the new windlass works beautifully. Our final passage across the Bay of Biscay to Spain was 332nm and took us 54 hours.

August 9, 10, 11 Port Olona, Les Sables d'Olonne, France

We had a 45nm motorsail to Les Sables d'Olonne today. We stayed in Les Sables for 3 days. We haul the boat to replace the zincs It was pretty scary as we didn't realize how rickity the crane was. We had to back into the well with a bit of current but managed with only one small ding. I did laundry as were getting low on unders:-) . Fun day once we got our boat jobs done. We went to the city center and had a lovely lunch. Al had fish soup and I had mussels for our entre. Then we both had a plat that had 3 different fish on it in a wonderful sauce. (salmon, smoked haddock, and cod). After lunch we walked about. We decided to cross Bay of Biscay from here on Saturday to Gijon, Spain about 241nm SW.