Altwasser sailing diary

Friday, August 22, 2003

Figueira da Foz to Sines
August 6th – August 16th 2003. 163 nautical miles.

Figueira to Berlenga August 6th
We arrived at Isla Berlenga, the most westerly anchorage off mainland Europe, well after dark to negotiate rocks and lobster pots.

Peniche August 7th – 9th
Fogbound in Peniche for two days, we enjoyed the town and the company of neighbouring boats, but found the fog siren tiresome after 48 hours without break.

Cascais August 9th – 15th
Cascais is a high class holiday and fishing resort on the Tejo estuary, just a few minutes by train from central Lisbon and offering a large, well protected bay. Two friends winched me to the masthead to fix the anchor light and get a better view of the boat. We enjoyed the company of experienced and well intentioned circumnavigators.

Lisbon August 13th & 14th
Portugal’s capital dates back to a Phoenician settlement around 8 centuries BC. It was an important Roman Municipality and later released from more than 3 centuries of Arab Muslim dominance by 12th Century crusaders. This long history plus rebuilding after massive earthquakes in the mid 13th and 18th centuries have resulted in a range of different architectural styles. Our pictures can tell the rest.

Cascais August 15th Feast of the Assumtion
Priests, fishermen and local dignatories carried icons and relics from the Church to the Fisherman’s pier where they were loaded onto gaily decorated fishing boats, packed with passengers and sailed off round the estuary. Meanwhile, the priests held a religious service on the quayside using the stage and sound equipment left over from the previous evening’s rock band. Several kilowatts of Hail Mary rang round the bay.

Bristol, August 20th to September 10th
Bingo was left at the very secure Sines marina, and five busses, one hotel and one flight later, we arrived in Bristol to celebrate Ben’s 21st Birthday.