Portuguese sailboat traps

And once again we sat out in a beautiful place. We really liked Peniche. Once again it is important to get rid of the lines and continue sailing. The wind forecast promises a stable north wind of 12 to 15 knots for the whole of October 2. Perfect. The fact that we found a black cat in the evening that could be petted was a good omen.

Black cat with a pet

After a goodbye beer with David, we said goodbye early so that we could start early the next day. Of course the last part of the plan didn't work, we started the machine around noon, since David had been on the road for a long time. What kind of sleepers are we ...

No sooner were we out of the harbor than the right sailing wind was ready. We rolled out the genoa, we don't need the big with the tail wind and the route was definitely too short for the Parasailor. Hanging the wind vane and hanging out on the boat went together. We were pleased that the Portuguese coast was slowly being carried past Sissi.

Sailboat traps
At night they are difficult to see, the Portuguese sailboat traps. It's easy during the day. The fishermen do not leave these traps to catch sailboats, but the danger is great. I am always jittery that we overlook such a flag at night when driving a motor, run over it and then use the fishing gear to wind the rope around our propeller.

Sailboat trap

Such sailboat traps exist in all countries that we have traveled to so far. They seem to me particularly often in Portugal. You can still find them very far out when the water is already 100 meters deep.

We were able to avoid those in Peniche without any problems, and there is no danger to the propeller under sail. So we enjoyed the trip, sat around in the sun and shade and were looking forward to Lisbon. On the AIS we could see that there were two other German sailing boats parallel to us in a distance of three miles, plus a Dane on a parallel course. Regatta feeling did not appear, because the wind was weak and was only between 8 and 10 knots strong. That is just enough to leave our genoa still and to make slow progress with about 3 knots. That's okay, the main thing is to sail. We don't want to hear the engine humming.

Alarm! Man overboard !!!!!!!!!
I was working on the pictures of Peniche when our navigation computer suddenly went into alarm mode. Man overboard. A SART transmitter one of the other sailboats had fired. Crap. And in this calm weather. How can this happen?

Jens immediately started taking care of the wind vane. If we want to come to the rescue there, we have to drive the fastest way to the scene of the accident. The wind vane cannot help us here. I attached myself to the radio to contact the boat to which the transmitter belongs. After a short conversation with the “accident victim” we were able to relax again, because the crew was probably just bored, they tested their transmitters. Unfortunately, not with the test function, but by triggering a real alarm. Even the coast guard has not forgotten that. A few minutes later came a radio message from that boat, the name of which I do not want to write here, that it was only a test. Luckily, a person in the water is the worst thing that can happen to you on a sailboat.

regatta
David contacted us a few hours later. He would have seen on AIS that we were just overtaking him. David started two hours ahead of us. Great, I thought to myself, Sissi is a decent regatta yacht. However, the German boats and the Dane pulled away. We couldn't follow them.

We didn't really care. Due to the slow drive we were able to make up for an arrival in daylight anyway. We prefer arriving at night after before midnight, because after midnight you get the first night for free. We are always happy to take this discount with us, darkness looks exactly the same at 11 p.m. as at 1 a.m.

Main drive weakens, stutters and then stops
After the production and consumption of a lasagna that was absolutely vital for Jens, the wind stopped playing for a while. 10 knots became only 8 knots, then 6 knots and we were already considering driving the remaining 20 miles to Oeiras. Sissi kept moving in the swell and the genoa fluttered wildly in the breeze, the forestay trembled and the lines cracked. The feeling is appalling, there are no such blows at 9 Beaufort. Then the wind came again and we could continue sailing. I went to bed.

In any case, we wanted to be in the marina before 6 a.m., because the weather forecast later only promised calm. There was less wind all day than we were promised in the forecast, so the wind stopped blowing completely at 3 in the morning. What does it mean to blow, he stopped blowing.

So Uncle Benz was started, the genoa rolled up and the Watermaker tried again for the last driving hour. We want to have enough drinking water. On the AIS we were able to watch the two German sailing boats try to anchor in front of Cascais. We also had another contact with David, who we left behind and who told us that he was still four hours away from his destination Sesimbra. How lucky we were with the tour planning and the wind.

Almost crash
Now they were back, the sailboat traps. Since the engine was running, we had to look out well in the dark to see if we could drive over such a fishing flag. That went quite well, although more and more lights contaminate the darkness from the countryside. We could already see the lights of the bridge over the Tagus on the horizon.

Traffic lights in red and green are an imposition for every sailor looking for red or green beacons. Street lighting is forbidden, it distracts you from the fishing flags. And then, just before entering the harbor, I see a few tiny LED lights glowing in the dark, right in front of our bow. Another Portuguese specialty - unlit, tiny fishing boats that do their business right in front of the harbor entrance. We passed it a few meters away. The fishermen didn't seem to notice us at all.

Landing approach
Almost exactly at four o'clock in the morning we found a free berth directly opposite the entrance, moored Sissi and approved the obligatory feeder beer.

Marina Oeiras

After I slept in, I completed the registration formalities. We have to change the berth again, then we can stay here for a few days.

Finally: Lisbon!
Lisbon is not just a beautiful city that I know from a visit a few years ago by motorcycle. Lisbon also has a tram, so I will have my photo fun and Jens will have to comply. If necessary, I calm him down with lasagna. Lisbon is also an important stopover, the last major place in Europe and the last city on the mainland that we will visit. After that we want to continue to the Algarve for a few days and then to Madeira.

In the port I met the crew from the Lucky Star, who we met in Leixoes. We are almost half-way through the evening. And I met the crews of the two German sailing boats that we only saw on the AIS yesterday and spoke on the radio. I will still show you their AIS-SART, because I would not have thought that the range of the things is so great.

Today we probably don't go to Lisbon anymore. We still need stable internet because tonight our harmony is playing in Guimaraes. And we need a butcher, a vegetable shop and a supermarket. Our fresh supplies are somewhere near zero. Tomorrow we get up early (haha!) And take the S-Bahn into town. It runs every quarter of an hour and only needs a quarter of an hour. So I put up with it.

(I will write this post after the internet connection has been established. The port WLAN seems to be okay, HR1 is playing over the internet. So it is enough for the livestream of our concord.)

Lawn or travel?

Yesterday a German sailing yacht came into port here in Leixoes, followed by the skipper and five charter guests. You left today and are on your way to Mallorca and the Canary Islands. At least the boat will go to the Canary Islands. The trip started in Amsterdam a week and a half ago. There was a stop at A Coruna and then the group was already here. After a night's stay in Porto, we continue to Mallorca. Just to classify: We have been in Leixoes for a good two and a half weeks when the others have not even been on their ship in Amsterdam.

Surf on the beach at Leixoes

For a few days now I have been asked again and again if something happens to us again, if we continue and when. A lot happens with us, but we don't put ourselves under any stress. And we continue to drive when the wind is reasonably appropriate. It looked like it could be so far today, but today it looks like a reasonably stable weather window for tomorrow and the day after. So we will probably be able to continue driving tomorrow.

For me, this time out in Porto is relaxing. In the past few months it has been a buzz word that we have to cross Biscay and then be out of the stress of time. What did we do after Biscay? Of course we went on, on and on. As if we still had the wide bay ahead of us and the stopwatch on our necks. But this is not the case. We want to be in the Canary Islands by the end of October at the latest. It is about 10 days sailing to the Canary Islands. So we still have about 30 port days. So we have the luxury of free time to wait for the right wind.

When we arrived here three weeks ago, I was joking about Eintracht's away game in Guimaraes, which will take place nearby on October 2nd. Today I actually looked for the tickets (are still available) and for the prices (€ 200 for guests, pretty steep). That doesn't motivate us to hang on here for another week.

Are we too slow? I dont know. The others are faster. The Roede Orm is already at the southern end of the Algarve. The Milena Bonatti has started, left Portugal and is heading for the Canary Islands on the high seas. The fairytale is in Nazeré. The Zora in Sintra. To do this, we penetrated deep into the city of Porto, did a lot on the ship and relaxed. Vacation from sailing.

Surf on the beach at Leixoes

When I think again of the berth charter crew and their ambitious schedule, I shake up cold and think about buying tickets for the away game. We also have to learn to rest, relax in the harbor and do nothing. We have been so socialized over the decades that work is the measure of things and idleness is the beginning of all vice. This is difficult to throw off even after almost four months on Sissi. I get a guilty conscience sometimes when we lay on our lazy skin for a day and I didn't even write a blog post.

It can't be wrong to stroke the cat up there on the street corner. It shouldn't be wrong to leave the diesel in the tank and wait for the right wind. The climate is very pleasant at this time of year.

Surf on the beach at Leixoes

After almost three weeks, this place gets on my nerves. A local change is announced. The wind forecast for tomorrow is okay.