The harbour in Porto is located in Duero River less then 1 km from the Atlantic sea. This effected us very much during high and low water including the swells. It felt like we been out sailing and not laying calm in a harbour. Worst was on Monday to Tuesday when it was very windy and raining. All boats was bumping around. During the night we lost one fender and one was in the water that we saved. Sadly the boat got some scratches that Edgar have filled in as good as he could. It is not easy when it is bumping. The positivt about the harbour is the view, the location as in close to the Sea , the city and have a cute little village next to us with restaurants, food stores, cafe, bakery and a Portuguese traditional washing place
So what do you do when you are not sailing. Relaxing, like reading a book, looking at a film or sleeping…. Nope! sleep in sometimes yes ( if you ask our daughters they who’d say we are teenagers) and have longer breakfast. Otherwise it is like having a home that needs your attention like cleaning, washing, repairing, food shopping and also filling oil, or change it after a certain time,checking filters, fill up water, organising. And since I love to take lots of pictures there is some extra work sorting them out and then use some in the blog and when that is done time to write the text to the blog. This is not always easy doing it in an other language then your mother tongue and sewing of course etc. We still organise on things around to get them there best place. Wherever that is? At the moment the beds in the cabins are full and that is not good when we get guests onboard soon.
Staying 1-4 nights then you quite busy so having seven nights is very long for us but it didn’t felt that long since we got to spend time with Sofia and Fredrik from Zelda. One day we walked in to Porto took the gondola up to the bridge and walked over to old town and walked back home to our boats. Totally 12km or 20 000 steps.
Together with Life@Sea, Currier Sur,Zelda, Balder, Esther of Sweden and Windysailing we walked to Churchill, witch is a port winery . There we a had a privet guiding and tasting.
I realised that we have missed the most beautiful Mc Donald’s ever so we had to go to Porto again. Edgar was quick to say yes when I told him that I wanted to go to Mc Donald’s. ( not my favourite place to eat at) And luckily just around the corner is Sao Bento train station that used to be a convent for nuns. The entrance is decorated with hand painted tiles. It is sad that there are some mistakes putting them up and that makes it even more charming. So glad we got to see it. Specially since we actually passed by it two days before and totally missed it.
In between we have had sundowners, lunch, small chats on the pier etc with other boat-friends Friday morning 16 sep we leave Porto and also say fare winds to Zelda that will sail to Madeira . We will meet them agin in LasPalmas
All in all Porto is a lovely place but the harbour needs to work on getting better wavebreaker.
Plan changed. We leave Muxia in the morning and sail in a convoy down to Ria de Muros. The fog was very intense when we woke up and kept like that for almost the hole day. Our New sailing friends Zelda, Life@Sea, Morning Glory and Currier Sud are there in the front somewhere. You have to be very close to see each other.
Almost at the Ria the sky clears up and we see a Guardian civila boat meeting us. Suddenly it turns and comes up next to us. A bit scary first, thinking have we done something wrong. Gladly they only wanted our papers and ask where we came from and where we were going. The last thing the wonder was why we are going in a convoy and they agreed it was a good thing due to the Orcas. The papers came back in a fishing net( the Swedish language have a specific name for it.. fiskehåv ) and we could continue . Getting in to the Ria we decided to go to Muros harbour and the rest went further in the to the Ria to swing anchor in a bay.
We spent a few days here . A very cute village and calm. Did some walk around, food shopping as always. Lots off fishing boats where laid outside off us.
After two nights it is time to go more south. This time again we go in a convoy to Ribeira. Still feels more safe going near the coast. We keep only 2-3 NM from land and that is where all the fishing gears are so we are looking out for them all the time. Don’t want them in the propeller. On top of that we have the fog that comes and goes and it makes it harder to spot them. This time it is great to have Peter and Anna on Sea@Life in front telling us where they are.
When we get closer to Ria de Arousa we have to go round the island since not all of us had received the license to sail near National parks Islands. There are a few of these Islands and we heard that they are very lovely so we wanted to make sure we could go there. Entering the Ria de Arousa we saw some dolphins that I manage to get with the big camera. Next to Ribiera harbour there is a beach where we all anchored. After a while lots of dolphins came and played around the small sailing boats. Think one of the boys was extra happy. In the evening we had Anna&Peter,Sofia &Fredrik,Isabell&Chris and Christophe on our boat for a sundowner. It was very nice to sit down and talk to all of them and to get to know them a bit.
A tour in to town to do some grocery shopping ended up with new sandals as well . Didn’t buy these when I saw them in Mallorca so now was the time and I was not the only one buying sandals. After lunch it was time to leave and when we took up the anchor the chain was filled with “green salad” so it took a little wile to clean the worst to get it up. Right and enough wind made us all happy that we finally could sail. Passing by lots of fish and shellfish farms some of them very close to the shore. Which a bit destroys the view and makes it harder to anchor . Instead of anchoring we decided to go in to Porto Villagarcia. We ended up having a nice evening over at Christophes boat Currier Sur.
In the morning we left to go to Illa Ons, a small island just outside the Ria, while the rest stayed to go to Santiago de Compostela. It was just a few hours out to the Island. Before we could anchor we had to apply to make sure that it would not be to many boats and person that would be on the Island as this is a National park. When the anchor is in the dinghy goes in to the water and we get in to land and to the beach. So nice to have sand between my toes and take a dip in the water when I felt for it. It could have been warmer but okay . Think it showed 16,5… but is was very clear and nice. What I didn’t expect on the beach was total nakedness of some people. Of corse it is up to anyone to choose to wear or not wear swimwear’s. Not that I am that prude but I wouldn’t choose to go skinny-dip in public. On the beach we met the couple from the Swedish boat Viking goddess Anna and Clyde. Believe we will see more of them along the coast. And yes we did.
Next day we enjoy the beach for an hour before we had to go back to the boat due to the strong current. We hadn’t put on the engine so it was heavy to row back to the boat. The wind was getting stronger and also the waves so we decided to go to Vigo and explore the city and do a tour to Santiago de Compostela. The way in Ria de Vigo was very nice and sunny. We spotted lots of sailing boats that had a competition.Just when we had gotten in to the Ria we hear on the VHF that there are Orcas attacking a boat bit north of Illa Ons. Later we get the good news that the crew and the boat is okay and this time no damage on the boat. It had only been in the water for three weeks after been attacked by orcas and needed to be repaired. First time they hit the rudder so hard that it bent and the couldn’t steer the boat. We met them later in Porto.
Luckily Edgar had called up the harbour in Vigo and got us the last place. Maybe not the best one just inside the pier and next to the gas station that was closed. Sadly we had a lot of clucking when we were sleeping or trying to… But happy we didn’t need to lay on anchor in the hard wind and rain that was predicted the next days. Since the weather was still nice I decided to do some washing and after the third machine the rain came so we hade to hang dry in the boat. I had walk around the city and we decided to go to Santiago the next day if the weather was going to be okay. In the morning it was pouring down. I ended up staying insided relaxing and did some knitting and sewing. Nice to have restaurants around the corner when the inspiration goes down. We had some really nice seafood here and pizza. I am in heaven. Edgar is also okay if he gets some meat in between.
There will be a good weather window in two days to go down to Porto, so we leave Vigo to go further out on the Ria. On our way out we see MorningGlory and Balder on the other side of the Ria going to Vigo. They are easy spotted due to there turquoise colour. And not far after them we see Life@sea and Zelda. All of them sailing. Lucky them.
We arrive to Baiona and ask if they have place for us. The first harbour was full but we got one on the other one. According to the office manager the harbour was full and the poor guy who gave us the place was in trouble but we could stay. Once again these harbour towns don’t look much from the seaside but when you step in a block it is totally charming and cosy.
The next day the bay fills up with more sailing boat’s getting ready to sail south the next day. Best was that some off these boats where our sailing friends . In the evening we all went out for dinner in Baiona.
At 8.00 on Thursday 8 Sep we leave Baiona with our sailing friends and a lot of other boats as well. It is a very magical morning. Lots of photos are taken and just outside the wave-pier there is a lots of small fishing boats. Depending on our speeds we divide us in different groups. We take the lead and guide Currier Sue and Life@Sea true all the fishing gears that we pass. It is a lot off them so some slalom technic is required. Happy to see some dolphins also. The waves are high and long and in between our friends boats mor or less disappears
We reach Porto and we wave to our friends that will go to an other harbour. Lovely bridge and view when we entering Duero river and the harbour. An hour later Life@Sea came into the harbour since they got denied due to there length even if it was okay when they booked it. Here we will stay a few days or more. All depends on the wind,waves and rest of the weather
Aviles have definitely delivered more than we expected. The city is so nice , atmosphere very relaxed and the food….. delicious. I even found a cafe called Fika. Wonder if the owner has Swedish connections? Think we gain a kilo or two. Time to sail away and eat less at least during the sailing
The waves are 1-2 meter high and very long between them so it very smooth. We are sailing close to land. Which gives opportunity to se land. Next stop Ribadeo.
We woke up at 6 to cast off but is was to dark and a bit foggy so we waited in hop of the sun to go up soon. We gave up and left the harbour just befor 7. Still dark but good that there are lighthouses to help us navigate . The hole day was very foggy inland but we had clear sight. After half way we got company by a little bird who moved around on the boat and stayed with us all the way to ACoruna. Only 3 nm we spotted orcas… the pulse went up when we saw them slowly coming behind us but they didn’t come our way…..It was very nice to approach ACoruna and dock at the jetty.
Having four nights to clean the boat, clothes washing, exploring the city, getting in to this late night eating. Hard to get food before 20.00.Edgar bike around with me so I could have a swim in the ocean, it was my first swim in the ocean since we left Sweden. Lots of boat in the harbour and four of us doing the ARC.
Sunday morning we where 11 boats that decided to go together. Some more boats join us. We saw some dolphins but didn’t get a great picture so I also share one from one of the other boats. On one of mine you just see them under the water. There was a lot of birds having a meeting and many that join them. If you some in there is something fishy going on… not sure what it is
First we saw an island and then it was gone. The fog was with us all the way to Muxia where we have docked and will stay for some nights.
Thursday 18 aug at 8 in the morning with a bit help from the marinas rib boat we leave Camaret-sur-Mer to cross bay of Biscay When we reach the strait we get 3 extra knots due to the tidewater.
In the afternoon we reached our friends from OSK, Aegir and Tiger Lilly . They had started a bit early than us. We missed Aura since the turn in to explore a bit more of France before they cross bay of Biscay.
We had 2 great days and nights on the sea. I even could do some knitting. The second night we had clear sky with lots of stars and the moon who shined up the sky.
We hade dolphins comming and playing around our boat several times. So here is a video
Saturday morning we can see land. The waves crash against the rocks.
Here we will stay two or three nights before we move slowly along the coastline. Looking forward to see what Aviles have to offer. So far a very cute city
New cables was drawn between the steering and the garage(instruments above the sliding door). Everything works again so after an early dinner we cast off at 6pm Friday 12 Aug. Bye bye Plymouth and thank you Mayflower Marina for a great place in the marina. The high tide is a bit rough just outside Plymouth . It makes the boat dance a bit and slows down with 2 knots. When we pass the lighthouse we hardly can see the wave breaker as we did when we came in. Well outside the bay we hoist the sails and enjoy the wind and the calm sea.
It is a nice sunset and a lovely moonlight all night long and then the sun came up and we continued having a lovely day. For the first time we produced our own water.
In the morning we arrived to France and are (motor)sailing along the coast of Bretagne. Near the coast we spotted some dolphins. They was a bit far away from us but I got some photos of them. Getting between an small Iland and land the tide is against us . This time it was not for long
We arrived to Camaret-sur-Mer in the afternoon. It’s a very cute small village with lots of cafes and restaurants along the seasid.
The harbour is full and also have lots of older ships. also a sailing parade pop Here we will stay for a few days until we have a good wind and weather before we cross the bay of Biscay.
So we woke up at five and decided to leave. Edgar turn on all our instruments and some of them didn’t work… No auto pilot, wind measure, dept,speed etc. The navigation plotter was working but we didn’t want to leave without the auto pilot working.
The Marina was very busy but the promised to come and help us on next day. Edgar started to open up and see if he could find som loose ends but nothing. So at the moment the boat is upside down again.
I had notice that there was a sailmaker nearby so I went ther and bought some fabric and made 2 bags for our bikes since we didn’t recive any when we bought them. We also decided to do a new clean up in the big storage since it was still smelling after the tank leaking we had in Oban.
In the afternoon the technician came to help us. After three hours opening all places , following cables they found the problem. The cable between the steering place and the instruments above the door was having a break. Tomorrow morning we will make a new cable and everything will hopefully be ok again. The wiring of the system is all connected to each other, if one fails all goes down (except our second autopilot that is totally separate as a back up)
Good that we have plenty of time
The tie really make this place look different. In the picture is Princess boat yard that builds the yachts.
The weather forecast was looking good so we left Milford haven at 10 when the look was open. Full focus on air plains and tankers before we could enjoy the sea and our dolphins friends. Althoug I was not feeling so great. Should have taken the scopoderm. The waves was coming in from the sides and I really don’t like that.
The night and morning watch was lovely. It is hard to understand the distance to other boats in the dark so it is very nice to have the raymarin to show you how close/far away they are
Arriving to Plymouth and we are moorings at the jetty…. at Mayflower Marina. Third time we got a good place and Edgar finally could drink up his beer.
Now we have three days to prepare before we cross the Biscay bay and get to Spain. Baking , changing oil, getting bikes ect was on the agenda
On Monday our friends Kia and Beja on Liana came to Plymouth so we went in to town to have dinner with them.
Tuesday 9 August is the day we became parents 33 year’s ago. That was so fantastic and life changing. Happy Birthday Erika. We love you so much❤️. We did celebrate the day in the evening after preparing with food and getting the boat ready to cross the Biscay bay . I also manage to fix bags for the bike to go foodshopping.
So when you read this we are probably on our way sailing to Spain and A Corona. This part will take us 3 days . Time to put on the scopoderm and go to bed. We start around five in the morning…
After long weekend home seeing family and friends, been to Tuvalisa and David’s lovely wedding it was time to go back to Largs and continue our sailing.
In the afternoon our friends Linda,Kalle,Marita and Leif arrived. The boat got filled up with food, wine, and lots of laughter. Our first stop was going to Belfast so 07.55 we cast of heads south west. Still no wind so we had to go by motor. We arrived at Bangor Marina at 19 so we had a long day at sea. Luckily we had decided to stay two nights so we could explore the area a bit.
We was recommended to go to the Titanic museum in Belfast. It was only an hour away from the harbour with walking and train. The museum was very interesting and we also recommend to go when every you are in Belfast
Next leg was going to be a bit longer so we had a very early start. 04.55 we left the harbour and arrived at 19 in Holyhead. It is a hard life being on the sea for some of us. I didn’t feel very well so I stayed in bed most of the day. Got some fever and sour throat.
Holyhead Marina was destroyed by the storm Emma in 2018 so the Marina was under construction so no piers to tigh up to in stead we had to stay by a towboat buoy.
The next morning we needed some more food. So the gang went in the dinghy and rowed in to Holyhead in the rain and me and Edgar stayed in the boat.
In the afternoon we decided to cast of and headed out of the harbour. Me, Linda and Marita had put on scopoderm at lunch so we are prepaired for the ruff sea we have ahead of us. It was a very though night. High waves up to 3-4 meter. Edgar took most of the watch during night. Due to Kalle got really seasick and Leif was not felling so well either. Me and the girls was okey. The positive was that we all saw dolphins.
After 24 hours we arrived to Milford haven. It was very nice to touch ground again. Kia and Berra on Liana was greeting us welcome. I am still not hundred procent well and now Edgar started to shiver. He had got my cold. Linda Kalle Marita and Leif decided to leave us since we had to stay for a few days before we could go further down. They ended up in France for a few days before the went home to Sweden
I took care of the washing. It took me two whole days , but now everything is clean. Edgar fixed little with the boat and we had nice dinner guest over. One more day to relax and get ready for our next leg on the journey and make sure Edgar is better.
So I promised you a not so clean start…. During winter all our pipes to the toilets had been change to avoid any unpleasant smell. So why did we get a very unpleasant stinky smell in the cockpit. The tanks had been emptied several times… Time to investigate where the leka is. We found the reason behind our shower. The crane to empty the tank was not opened….. ( it has always been open every year without us doing anything) so our tank was overfilled and had started leaking. One more time we had to empty the storage in the cockpit and Edgar started to take the worst and then I went in to do the rest….. I can tell you it was not the best smell I had experienced…very glad that Edgar took the start
After that it was time to do drill holes for a new hanging hook for the dinghy. In the evening we went for dinner in the restaurant. The food is really good.
The morning after it was time to leave and go to the next harbour . The view is spectacular along and the tidewater very strong. At one place we had 3knots against us. We even saw a seal that had a fish in his mouth that a bird was very interested in. Need a better objective on the camera to get good shots. The weather changes all the time from sunshine to grey and fog.
Arriving at lovely Port Ellen on Islay. There w e had some nice days, relaxing , fixing, washing and walking around . One of the walks was to the Whiskey distillery Laphrough. There we found a nice one “quarter task“ but it was out of stock, but we got four small bottles in a box and one of them was quarter task.
Time to hoist the sail and get to our next harbour. It started very smooth and nice but after a while it got a bit rough when there was no island to give us some shelter from the Atlantic waves. This time the tidewater was even harder on us so it prolonged the trip with almost two hours. We had when it was as worst 5.5 knots against us.
Few days in Campbeltown, not much to explore. A very boring town. They did have a nice restaurant and a memorial place in memory of Lady Linda McChartny that we went to. I also made a pocket for Mobil, glasses and a book by the bin in guest cabins and Edgar did some small repair.
Next harbour is Tarbeta. Which is a cute little harbour village. Here we meet a nice couple who had sail all the way from Australia. Their boats name is Steel Saphir so it was a bit confusions in the harbour office. We had a nice walk up to the castle and on the way we past the inner part of the harbour where a little sailboat stood by it self without water.
Going to Largs was very short only 4 1/2 hours. This time no wind at all but very warm and sunny. And the view was very beautiful just as Pete from Steel Saphir told us.
Last thing sorted out and a new ladder for the boat and we are ready to go home to Stockholm for David and Tuvalisas wedding.
Now we leave the boat to Carina and Maria to watch it for us . Unfortunately we didn’t see each other since there flight was cancelled so they are at the boat when we land in Sweden .
Lovely morning to start our trip trough the canal . The Caledonian Canal is a sister canal to the Swedish Göta Canal. Time to put on our headphones so we can speak easier to each other. It can be very noisy when the water fills in to the lock. The morning we start in shorts and t-shirt. At the end of the three days we had changed clothes several times and ended up in full rain clothes when we left Caledonian Canel.
The first day we went over Loch Ness to Fort Augustus where we stayed for the night. It was hard to only pick a few pictures so here comes a lot. We went through all kind of weathers sun, rain, wind, fog, warm and cold
The next morning we had to move and wait on the lake so a big cruiser could get past the entrance of the locks before we could start climbing again. This time it was 5 locks at the start. We went up three more before we started to go down. The stop for the night was on top of the Neptune staircases which have 8 locks. Luckily they are going down which is a bit easier then going up.
After a very rainy night we continued with a very rainy day and in between the sun came out as well. The eight locks took us two hour to go down and at the bottom we had to wait for more than an hour since the didn’t have anyone that could open the bridge so we could continue. The scenery around us is fantastic with the threes down to the water and hills looking like fluffy wavy green beds. Leaving the Caledonian Canal and heading to Oban we pass a narrow passage an are very lucky to get extra help from the tidewater. Getting to Oban Marina late hungry and happy that we have some days to relax and fix things on the boat. It is also time to thank Carina for joining us all the way from Henån to Oban. You made the trip much easier and also so much funnier. Specially the dance in the Neptunes Staircase. Maybe there is someone that has tagged us?
The next blogg will be a little shitty😉new problem to solve and clean