Monday Oct 14th – Lagos
Arrived mid morning, after the standard routine of docking and cleaning the boat, me and Mike set off to walk around the town. Lagos is a small fishing village turned into a tourist destination for Europeans. A quick scouting of the downtown indicated the place to see was the coast line grottos to the west of the harbor. Most visitors were purchasing 20 euro power boat tours but after a quick calculation we determined it was in range of our dinghy.
So back to the Roving Spirit to make a picnic lunch and setoff on our personal tour.
The grottos were one of the best adventures of the trip so far.
When we got back, Roger and Margaret Pratt greeted us at the dock. Roger and Margaret are friends from England that are on a multiple year, worldwide yachting trip. It is more like a life style than trip. About three days ago a mutual friend emailed that they happened to be in Portugal, near Lagos. A few emails later and we were having a wonderful dinner and evening with Roger and Margaret thousands of miles from Los Gatos. Very Cool. It was great to see them and hear about their travels and upcoming crossing of the Atlantic.
Thur Oct 10th – Lisboa
Things are look up, after a week of sailing we pulled in to Lisbon on Thursday 1500.
We are staying at the Oeiras Marina. This harbor is a big upgrade from Brest, France and our one night in leixoes, Porto. We will stay here a couple of days to rest and recoup.
Crossing Bay of Biscay (BOB) was a long ordeal, 89 hours of sailing. One person always on watch. Thanks to our captains planning we had good weather for all but one night. Sunday evening the dolphins gave us quite a show. Check out the full video at
After crossing the BOB, we stopped in Porto for an over night to refuel. Mike and I took the bus into the old town and did some touring. Porto is a cross between San Francisco and a small Paris. The weather in this part of Portugal is very mild, much like the bay area.
Besides the historical buildings and statues we came across what can only be described as a bizarre form of pop art in the central plaza. In various place throughout the open plaza groups of costumed performers put on strange shows.
Another 28 hours of sailing and we made it to Lisbon. The marina we stayed in is 7.5 km from the old city in a town called Oeiras (pronounced O A Dish). The marina was located in a prime vacation beach front area. All the services, beaches and places to eat are in walking distance. First thing Mike and I did was to take a swim (you can see the beach next to the castle in the photo of me) then have beers and tapas!
On Friday we decided to rent bikes and go into Lisbon. Bike rental right in the Marina, how convenient The manager of the store, Rui (pronounced Hu ee) was extremely helpful and set us up with everything we needed. So far all the Portuguese people have been super friendly. Traveling by bike we could cover lots of ground and see many points of interest.
Lisbon reminds me of San Francisco. They have a golden gate bridge and cable cars. The main difference is they also have castles that are 500 years old!
After touring the sights in the old city and having a late lunch we decided to head back to the marina via the Parque Florestal de Mansanto which is a large open space area with hills. Typical for me, this route was a bit more challenging than planned To summarize, we left the city, hit a major road, deciding to get off the beaten path, ended up in a “rough” neighborhood that dead end on the wrong side of the train tracks. Not to be stuck we crossed the tracks, went into the train station, up the stairs, through the half open exit gate (since we had no ticket) and walked our bikes out the front door. Next we found the only road leaving the station quickly turned into a freeway similar to Hwy 92 going to Half Moon Bay. With cars buzzing by at 50 mph we jumped he guard rail and walked our bikes on the narrow margin. Thankfully at next exit there was a nice forested, lightly traveled road up the hill. Despite Mike’s compass and map, at this point we were not sure exactly where we were. Never the less we carried on. To our good luck and fortune we came upon a mountain biker who happened to live in Oeiras. Duret proceeded show us the off road single track route back towards the marina. Amazingly, we got a mountain biked tour in Lisbon!
Sunday we head out for our next port, the weather forecast is looking good for the next week so we should be able to sail about 150 miles, about 24 hours, and city hop our way to Spain.
More later – Mitch