First leg on the long route North to Sweden is underway. The warm and sunny Algarve we have left behind, and now we are heading up the North Atlantic, and I’m writing this blog from here on the boat while at sea, I would say sailing, but we are now in fact drifting!
Departure was Saturday afternoon from Lagos, and we straight away had a good wind on the beam and nice sailing. It’s noticeable that as you get to Sagres and the South-western end of Portugal the weather get cooler, the sun is the same sun, and shines hot – but the air is that little bit less hot, and also a bit more damp. Overcast skies, like we have now – that’s rare in Algarve in the summer!
It’s actually a little bit difficult for me to leave the Algarve. Life here is very good I find. The thought of heading up into the rainy cold and windy North is not so appealing. I have to tell myself, and actually it’s true, the sailing, and the mornings and days up there are also beautiful. It’s not at all as bad as it seems!
There have been busy times here getting the boat ready for the sail North. A lot of work is about finishing up the new deck-paint job. Also, cleaning the hulls and getting them slick and efficient again has been a big job. We dried out on the beach at Ferragudo to paint the keels with new antifouling.
Anyway, after Sagres we have Cabo de Sao Vicente which was in our sunset view the first evening. It is then some 100 miles up to Cascais, West of Lisbon. After that first afternoon and until midnight the first night the sailing… it has been extremely slow. We had sunrise also with the view of Cabo de Sao Vicent. In very light conditions yesterday afternoon until about mid-night as well sailing was lovely. Sitting at 3 to 4 knots with the boat taking care of the direction herself. The mornings we have been drifting and watching other yachts motor on by at their mechanically powered 5 to 6 knots. Nothing to get upset about, it’s just we way it works…. But the fact is that we are now 2PM on Monday, and with an engine we would have easily arrived yesterday evening.
On the good side is that life onboard is comfortable even when drifting. This boat is not nearly as roly and uncomfortable as a monohull when there is no wind. Another good point is that we have seen so much wildlife. When it’s peaceful and quiet you can hear a whale breeching, you hear the dolphin as they approach. It’s so much easier to notice things around you when not hurrying along to a destination all the time.
We are now just outside Cascais, West of Lisbon. This is where we stop to make a crew-change and get more supplies on board, as it looks like perhaps, with a bit of luck we can make the trip to Brittany in one shot from Lisbon.
Trip details: 180nm sailed in 68 hours – average speed 2.65 knots.