Sunday morning, the 11th, started wet and mild. We left Alcantara at 7.30 and stopped off at Doca de Belem for fuel. This is a standard fuel station for road vehicles, but which backs onto the marina fuel berth. We left there at 8.30 and then things started to go awry.
Firstly the wind, as usual was just exactly, teasingly, in the wrong position for us to sail south and not strong enough to make the hard work of tacking worth the while; so we motored again; arrggghhhh.
Leaving the Rio Teijo the sea was ‘confused’; I counted 3, possibly four swell and wave patterns which gave an unremittingly, irregular and uncomfortable motion and one by one our guests succumbed to sea sickness. By lunch time we had passed Cabo Espiche and decided to head for Sines rather than continue to Faro as Rafael, Filipa and Cynthia were all very poorly.
We got into Sines at just after 6 pm and Filipa and Rafael went ashore to a hotel before returning home; Cynthia stayed for the night but arranged her travel from Sines to Faro and a hotel overnight to await our arrival; she and Valeria were to catch the same afternoon flight home on Tuesday.
We took the obligatory crew photo before Rafael and Filipa left. Compare this photo with the one taken 24 hours earlier.
I was really gutted that our guests couldn’t make the whole trip with us. They had started the day eager for the challenge but at least they know now that sailing may not be their thing. Open invitations to come and stay with us when we are tied up in a Marina for a week or so somewhere; St Tropez sounded favourite!
Valeria and Cynthia made dinner and I sat down and re worked the courses from Sines to Faro, planning to arrive at sunrise on Tuesday; I didn’t fancy navigating the nature reserve at night. Unfortunately we would be arriving on a falling tide and battling it to get into the mooring but hopefully we’d be there by 9 or 10, giving Valeria time to get ashore, meet up with Cynthia and then catch their plane home. We needed to leave Sines by mid morning on Monday and would be doing another overnight passage.