Our route to the Algarve on Portugal’s southern coast meant rounding the Cape of St Vincent which can be a pretty rough place. We had calm winds until reaching the headland which is the most southwestern point on mainland europe, and instantly the wind built up to 26 knots blowing from exactly the direction we wanted to go…. Welcome to the Algarve!
We emailed the marina in Lagos to ask about a berth but as they were nearly full we were quoted 142 euros a night….. “I don’t think so!!!” so we carried on to Portimao and anchored inside the harbour.
Portimao is actually set a couple of miles back from the beach area and is very pretty, what you see on arrival is the beach area of Rocha and it’s party central with thumping music until 4am and lots of fast boat rides screaming out all day. The beach and small town of Ferragudo to the east of the harbour was simply stunning though and meals ashore very reasonable at 11.50 euros for choices of 2 courses and drink !
We moved on east to Culatra an island near Faro some 35 miles away and anchored in a lagoon where we were to meet up with friends we last saw in Cobbs quay back in March. James & Bex on “Hepzibah” left before us heading towards Greece but in the end they slowed down and we realised there was a chance we might catch up…. well catch up we did. I’m pretty sure we’d all been peeling onions as we saw them 🙂
Culatra is beautiful with no vehicles, just a few tractors and a few people live on the island all year round. The small harbour is built up around fishing but there is certainly a tourism presence too but not tacky at all. Tourists come for the quiet and beaches.
After 6 great days it was time to head back towards Portimao which meant saying goodbye to James & Bex yet again…. more onion peeling. We did a sail past playing the “Pirates of the Caribbean” theme tune hoping to see them there one day!
Caroline managed to meet up with a couple of old work colleagues Chloe & Alana along with boyfriend, mum & partner. We took them all for a day sail & played in the water on the RiB and SUP which was hilarious, another great day catching up.
As you can read, the last 3 weeks have been fairly static not sailing too far. Originally we thought about going to Gibraltar but felt we might get stuck there with strong winds which are a normal occurance at the gates to the Med, so decided to have downtime instead.
As I write this Steve & Helen on Allegrini have caught up, and we’ve been in Lagos for the last 2 days (the price much better now the season is over). Today we leave for Lanzarote about 540 miles away which will take around 4 days. There are 3 yachts leaving here together, as we have become friendly with another ARC+ yacht from Norway, a family with 3 young children.
Next post from the Canaries!!!