Thursday, August 18, 2016

Sines to Sagres around Cabo de Sao Vicente and Ponta de Sagres

Oh gosh an early start - we upped anchor at 7am after a calm night at anchor in Sines. The route today would take us into the Algarve around Cabo de Sao Vicente -the jumping off point for many of the Portuguese Discoverers and the south west corner of Europe. We knew the wind would pick up at this corner so the plan was to aim to get there by 3pm before the sea breeze got too strong - we didn't want to scare our crew today....

There was a little bit of wind and a 2m swell today but not a cloud in the sky; the route to the Cape was about 60 miles so we motor sailed at first but then got full sails up before poling out the jib. Then in the afternoon we gave Sarah a taste of what it's really like sailing in the Atlantic as the seas picked up to 2.5/3m and the wind settled at a steady force 5. Just after we got poled out and the sails set, we decided that we might have a fish - 2 minutes later the rod went crazy. We quickly set about our first every fish drill on Askari. This meant a bit of rushing around by me - arghhh do we slow down or get the gaff  and bucket ready..... run, run, run.... I put the main away while Andrew pulled in a small skipjack tuna. After advice from Andrew on the Katherine we were anxious not to get any blood on our teak deck, so Andrew carefully bled the fish and cut the fillets off in a bucket on the stern steps; which was interesting with such a big sea running. Yay our first fish.

Fish Drill
Here it comes
First fish
Sailing resumed and we had a great sail down to the cape, gybed around the point having put the pole away and had a lovely reach for the short distance to Ponta de Sagres before the swell dropped away and we saw the beautiful calm bay at Sagres. We all immediately agreed we should go and take a look and it was stunning so down went the anchor and we all had a swim....

Interesting rock formations around Cabo Sardao
Cabo de Sao Vicente from the West
Cabo de Sao Vicente from the South West 
Cabo de Sao Vicente from the South
Ponta de Sagres
View from our anchorage at Sagres

This bay reminded us of the Kimberley in Western Australia with red cliffs and caves, there was only 3 other boats at anchor but as the evening went on plenty more arrived, we didn't mind it was calm and the wind dropped as the evening went on. We seared the tuna in sesame seeds for a starter and then lit the BBQ - great evening to end a great day. Sarah really enjoyed the sail and never flinched at the fairly big seas -what a star!

Beer to celebrate arrival in the Algarve (note fish injury on finger) 
Carolyn and Sarah swimming in Sagres

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