Yah, we know it is a lot short of Lisbon, but it was bumpy and horrible out there.

We got trapped in the ‘Lemming Effect’.

The ‘Lemming Effect’ of anchoring was explained in an earlier blog, but the ‘Lemming Effect’ of departures (from a perfectly safe and sound anchorage) is very similar.

Despite the fact that the weather forecasts, we had from SSB, said that there would be a 3m swell (6m from top to bottom on wave) on the beam with only light winds on the nose…..everyone left.  We were the last ones left in the anchorage.

We had planned to leave in a few more days.  After a strong Northerly blow went through and the sea state settled.  But everyone was gone.  Did they know something we did not?

So we fell for the ‘Lemming Effect’ and left in the afternoon.

Stupid, stupid, stupid!!!

Despite the light winds we could sail…almost.  The winds were on the front quarter, but as we rode the waves ‘up and over’ the movement colapsed the foresail against the shrouds (things that hold up the mast) and the main backed.

We folded in the foresail, to protect it, and motored, but it was horribly rocky.

I could not walk around the boat and my humans looked very green at the gills.  They could not imagine putting me through it all night when there was a perfectly suitable Marina along the way.  So we ended up in Figueira da Foz.


The entrance was a little confusing to enter in the dark, because they have greatly extended the port sea wall.  But ignore your charts and chart plotters and follow the bouyage and you are fine to enter.  We did surf in, a little out of control,on the Westerly swell.  But no major worry.


All the ‘Lemmings’ were here when we arrived, and they all left this morning.  We have decided to wait.  There were no winds this morning and they are meant to be very strong Northerlies tonight.


This will shift the swell to come from behind, much more comfortable Southerly sail, and Northerly winds are meant to remain.


The only problem is the Marina here is quite expensive.  Our boat is miles away from the facilities, that are basic at best, and there is only WiFi when you sit on there office step, even with our antenna.

But we have since learned that you can barter.  We have moved south enough now that you can start to barter for cheaper prices, the time of year may also have an effect on prices.  We talked our way to more than 50% off their price.


The town is ok, with some lovely architecture and squares.

Homes along the river side

Central Church

Local fire department is right infront of the church.
Just incase a burning candle runs astray

The beach is the largest I have ever seen in my life.  You have to walk a mile out on board walks to even come close to the sea.

Board walks help you cover about half the distance to the sea

Still have not made it to the sea yet

It is a holiday town with lots of cafes, restaurants and shops, but maybe more modern then charming or historic.  There is also a lot of construction around.  As in all holiday resorts along the coast we always find a parking lot full of these.

And we thought we were cheap


I had hoped, if we are stuck here anyway, I could do some stocking up.  But there are not many places to stock up on canned or frozen foods.  There is a good municipal market where you can haggle for cheap fruit and vegetables.  I have roasted and jarred up peppers and aubergines (egg plant) for longer voyages.


Check out how long the new port break water extension is.
Watch out for this if entering in poor visibility

View fron breakwater up river to bridge

View of Marina before the bridge

Wide entrance into Marina from the river


Some people have asked how we do the laundry with out a washing machine aboard.  Our neighbours are happy to demonstrate the technique for you.

When child labour is legal and fun

And if you do not have a drier aboard.  Let the sun and wind do the work.

Who needs a shade binimi

You have to love the ‘little’ themed socks

We hope you never take your washing machine and drier for granted again!



  1. ps – the little cafe opposite the marina (on the main road) has wifi and can be picked up quite well… you will need to buy a beer to get the password – it is a tricky one so get him to write it down!

  2. Hi, I have just been chatting to John Zammit on his Vancouver (Tegan) and he told me about your website… I am enjoying reading it – thanks – I know how much effort it takes to keep them up to date!
    I have just got back to the UK after doing a similar route and meeting John in La Coruna. I shall be flying out to La Palma in Dec so I may get to meet you. Good luck with the rest of the trip.

    You may find my site of interest… http://www.albinvega.talktalk.net/Cirrus/Welcome.html
    It is not up to date yet!

    John denney