….and Portugal….early October

25th September to 5th October

Dawn on the river at Viana do Costelo (bridge by Gustave Eiffel)

M writes this very early one morning (not the one pictured above) after another sleepless night on creeky, snarly, bumpy, snatchy, rolly pontoon. I’m ‘tucked’ – not really the right word – in a corner of a harbour/marina in northern Portugal. My fellow boats bounce and bump about me while a gale whips overhead and swell rolls into the harbour of Povoa do Varzim. One of my mooring lines has broken too. (You see, it isn’t all sunshine, peace, and azure seas!)

A fine anchorage off Islas Cies (I. del Norte)
Viana mooring (between two other UK boats)

We’ve very slowly sailed and motored just a little way down the Iberian coastline, for, when it isn’t a gale, there are light and fickle winds. 

(Photos are rather all over the place. Will try harder next time.)

Another funicular (M walked up)
Flamboyant Miserichordia, Viana (sp??)
View across Viana do Castelo

Crew have seen some handsome and memorable towns (the towns are memorable, if not their names), brimming with historic and architectural interest: Muros and Puerta de Corrubedo (just anchored offshore there) in Spain, and then Viana do Castelo and this place, Povoa do Varzim in Portugal – with the varied mix of churches, monuments, markets and museums that go with 21st century tourism. (M likes these attractions so much he went on the metro to Porto yesterday – lots of delights in Porto). The Ciel islands off Rio de Vigo gave a more rural and picturesque anchorage than the towns we’ve visited – a long hilly walk ashore for crew too.

Here are some photos. There’s always a Lonely Planet guide if you want more. 

Fabulous hand-made dresses – a feature of the Viana area
Three views of Porto (here and below)


There aren’t so many boats and sailors about now but we have met many cheerful, knowledgable, colourful and well-travelled folk (and a dog or two or three) from most corners of Europe. It’s migration season: we boats head for the Mediterranean, or Atlantic Islands or over the ocean. And we see our shorebound cousins being lifted ashore for the winter.

Of course – the other thing that happens in Porto. Touring and tasting the port…….

Once, wind and swell abate I hope to be moving on south. The mark at harbour entrance tells us I can’t go in or out of here now. It feels a bit too much like end-of-summer in maritime Northern Portugal. Time for some warm sunshine……..

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