Turning the corner

by Adrian on September 16, 2010

After 24 hours in port we were getting ready to head off again. The weather forecast was for light northerly winds – probably the best we could hope for at the moment.

We departed at first light, motored down the long entrance canal and the turned west to the Cape Sao Vicente, the south western most point of Portugal. Our destination was Sines, about 70nm up the coast – a long day but doable as long as we didn’t get slowed down too much.

As expected, the winds increased to a fierce 20+ knots from the north so we beat our way through the choppy disturbed seas and strong winds for a good few hours as we nosed ourselves around the cape and turned north.

It seemed obvious that we’d definitely turned a corner and were now on the Atlantic coast proper.

We thought we were in for a bugger of a hard day, but after a few hours the wind and seas started dying down and although we couldn’t sail our course, the motoring became more and more bearable with less slamming and bouncing around.

Eventually the wind died to 5-10 knots so we plugged on northwards a bit relieved. The weather forecast and the current situation made us decide to make the most of it and skip Sines and carry on north throughout the night.

The standard routine of a blurred 3 hours on, 3 hours off watch pattern took us through the night and into the next day.

We’ve sailed about 200 miles and have decided to head into a port called Nazare for a break, refuel and overnight stop. The weather is currently fine but there is a but more wind forecast, so we’ll check the situation later and hopefully start up again tomorrow.

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