Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Lisbon, Porto, Viana de Castelo and Bayona. July 2014.


Dear Friends,

There we were, beating against the elements… Northerly winds (and waves) and after a nights sail, a nice grey rainy and cold Sunday morning…. Enough of this and we anchored in the nice and quiet harbor of Peniche. A hot shower, some great food and snacks and we didn’t even bother to explore the village. Stayed in and watched movies and rest.

The next day, more wind and more waves against… so the first leg was going out to return at around midnight, towards Porto. We arrived around midday the next day, in a very modern Marina. Great staff and great infrastructure. Before my brother in law Dirk from Holland arrived we had a couple of days to explore this nice and picturesque town, including a visit to the museum of Port wine (ofcourse). We took our bikes out and were able to go places. We also met with a colleague from Dora (Rodrigo) who was doing a post doctorate study at the university.

We went to the airport to welcome Dirk, and the next day was spent in finalizing groceries and cooking gas.

Early the next morning, we left Porto trying to get to A Coruna. And guess what?... More northerly winds and waves… and despite the sun, bitterly cold. After half a day of beating into this, we decided to head for Viana de Castelo (still Portugal, but very near Spain). And just before we tried to get into the harbor breakwaters, a 40+knot wind gust… no time to lower anything and so with those strong winds we rushed towards what we hoped calmer waters… however tide was going out and so the current was against us… I decided to switch on the engines, and noticed that there was no cooling water from the SB engine, but …. As we were almost there… we could make it.

Dirk showed great seaman ship and was able to get the Onda Boa tied up, against a 4-5 current in the outside pier of the local marina.

Early the next morning, we discovered that the hot exhaust fumes from the SB engine had damaged the exhaust system (Vetus) and water was leaking out. Seemingly no repair possible and ofcourse no spare. With the great support of the harbor master, the Vetus representative was located, and the new piece ordered. Tuesday afternoon it arrived and immediately installed. In the meantime we had time to explore the village and the castle/church up the steep hill. Great sites. Dirk, early bird, had already checked out some shops, and treated us on fresh bread and chocolate croissants. He had observed a large amount of fish swimming around in the marina and around the Onda Boa, and so, of course being from the lovely Island Vlieland, he managed to catch three of those… immediately prepped and made for a great lunch (the locals don’t eat those fish….).

Anyway, early next morning, leaving Viana de Castello… Fog.. and I mean thick fog banks… Again a new sensation, not a nice one. The weather stayed like this until we reached Bayona (Spain). There we needed to refuel and since we now were in Spain for a couple of hours, wanted to lunch on genuine Paella. That was great. At sunset we left Bayona, and only hours later to be covered by another fog/mist situation. Dirk and I took turns and had to dodge a lot of local fishing boats (no AIS). Anyway, we were on our way, and since the weather looked favourable, we didn’t bother to first go to A Coruna, but instead we headed straight for Falmouth (UK)…Luke warm beer and fish and chips was waiting for us…



       Water taxi across the Douro                                                Great Marina


   Porto                                                                 Afternoon in Porto.. ready for some wine



Getting a taste of Port Wine                               and some home made Cod fish…



  Viana de Castelo from above



                                          The Onda Boa Crew (Thanks to Dirk)



Bayona, Spain                                                     Paella…


Best regards,


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