Sines to Lagos, and waiting!

Lisbeth and I enjoyed the port of Sines, which was about 45nm from Cascais. Lisbeth took a gum thing against sea sickness and it worked for 75% of the voyage, but unfortunately wore out before we arrived. However, she was not physically sick, which is a good sign, and we arrived in good order. We were a bit late in leaving Cascais because we had to wait until mid-day for the repaired Parasailor to come back from North Sails. So we arrived in the small marina in Sines at 2300 hours, pretty tired and hungry. The marina office was open until midnight so Skip took the passports and filled in the paperwork which Lisbeth organised food on board.


Photo: Lisbeth with the old town of Sines behind.

Actually Sines was very nice – not touristy, and with a nice old town with small shops, restaurants and bars. A highlight is a prominent castle, the birth place of the famous Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama. Indeed there is a fine statue of him below the castle.

Photos above from top left. 1. The beach with old town above, including the Castle. 2. Statue of Vasco da Game, 3. street view, old town, 4. Lisbeth with wooden xylophone, 5. Interior of the Castle, 6. Skipper at entrance the Castle.


On Sunday 30th, Lisbeth and I had a swim off the boat before going to the old town to explore. We visited the castle and walked around the neat small streets,  visiting a small art gallery, and finding a small restaurant with a €10 lunch (including beer and coffee) which we enjoyed. On the way back down to the beach front promenade we passed large xylophones and tubular bells and drums for people to play. Some were missing bits, like the hammers, but of course we tried them and thought this a great idea for public spaces. We also climbed the small hill east of the marina to see the view.

Monday 1st we cast off from Sines marina at 0720 and exited the harbour with the sun rise, heading more or less south towards Cape St Vincent, once the edge of the known world. There is a large commercial harbour here too, and we manoeuvred around an oil tanker being take in by four tugs. The wind was very light, so we were motoring and then motor sailing most of the way, although the wind picked up later with the acceleration zone around Cape St Vincent and from there into Lagos. The sail was about 74nm, of which about 19nm between Cape St Vincent and Lagos.

Photos: We saw quite a few dolphins between Sines and Cape St Vincent. Also shown is a photo of Lisbeth at the wheel.

Cape St Vincent was striking. Tudor quoted a line from Browning´s poem about the sea battle of Trafalgar (1805), fought in the seas to the west of Cadiz. Here Britain was fighting the combined fleets of Spain and France, and this was the battle when Nelson died. But also the battle that gave Britain control of the high seas for a hundred years and more (a future predicted by Napoleon, and that he was trying to ward off by a preventive strike in cooperation with Spain – the case of Trafalgar.) Here is the skippers photo of the Cape, which is striking.


“Nobly, nobly Cape Saint Vincent to the North-West died away;
Sunset ran, one glorious blood-red, reeking into Cadiz Bay;
Bluish ‘mid the burning water, full in face Trafalgar lay;
In the dimmest North-East distance, dawned Gibraltar grand and gray;
“Here and here did England help me: how can I help England?”—say,
Whoso turns as I, this evening, turn to God to praise and pray,
While Jove’s planet rises yonder, silent over Africa.”  By Robert Browning
Shortly after we passed the Cape the sun went down, and was indeed blood-red. But on approaching the Cape the wind picked up from the NW, and that nice wind stayed with us until we reached Lagos. Unfortunately, the boom fitting holding the main sheet block parted, so we had to take the mainsail off and continue under Genoa alone at around 5kts. Half this leg was in the dark, and we were afraid of the long fishing nets stretching from near the shore. It also seemed to take for ever to cover the distance. Nevertheless, we entered into the canal leading to the harbour and marine safely at around 2000, and tied up at the marina reception at 2030, spending the night there.
Next morning we went through the usual paperwork at the office by the reception pontoon, and found our berth. A friendly Canadian, Paul Baker from Toronto, was working on a nearby boat, and imparted freely of his knowledge on how to fill our assorted gas bottles from Sweden and UK, and also how to repair the boom fitting. The first involved hiring a cheap car (€30) to drive to the village of Boliquieme, about 65km east of Lagos. This we did, finding the small LPG station with the fittings to fill all three of our gas bottles, at the cost of €22. That was great, but why are these guys with the correct fittings not everywhere? The second involved a welding job by Antonio Viegas, a sailmaker, and this was done the next day. A very nice welding and fitting job!
Wednesday we explored the old town, including St Anthony´s chapel – very ornate! In the evening we tried a couple of live music venues, but they were a great disappointment, and the town is very touristy – full of Brits!
Thursday October 4th we celebrated Lisbeth´s birthday by a swim and picnic lunch on the beach close to the Marina. Lisbeth also baked a chocolate squash cake. Our Brazilian friends and new crew arrived in Lisbon today, but unfortunately they did not reach us. There were traffic jams in Lisbon due to the bank holiday on Friday, so they spent the night en route. So we hope to leave on Friday, but this is no longer certain especially as there is a strong southerly swell, which makes crossing the bar at the entrance hard.

One thought on “Sines to Lagos, and waiting!

  1. Hi John and Lisbeth! Good to hear from you. Gill and I are about 200m east of you in Ronda in our camper van! Love David



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