The Portuguese west coast

The Portuguese west coast offers almost no protection, so there are not many opportunities to anchor. But they have a lot of... fog.
When entering the river to Aveiro the visibility was less than 20 meters, so we could admire the breakwaters only two days later when we left port again. But there were also good things, for instance the boat races with the traditional "moliceiros", boats that transported seaweed in former days.

Not being able to lie at anchor means obligatory berthing in marina's. Like in Nazaré. The beautiful cliff
OTO 2 is a great plus compared to the annoyance of harbour dues and official paper work.

Lisboa is located halfway the second part of the west coast. We anchored in the beautiful bay of the nearby village Cascais. From here you can travel around by train or bus, and a trip to Lisboa vv costs only 2.60 euro's.
In Lisboa we walked for miles. The town is built on seven hills. After having climbed two of them, we enjoyed a great lunch in a picturesque little restaurant in the old town, Alfama. It was months ago that we visited a department store and we came to the conclusion that we  lost interest in all the wanna-have's that they want to make you buy.
3+4+4A show a special funicular-station, the Catedral da Sé and a typical street in the Alfama quarter. 
From Cascais we also visited Sintra, the “green heart” of Portugal. Sintra is also well known for its palaces. We were a bit disappointed because the town was overcrowded with tourists and on every streetcorner one had to pay a couple of euro's for some bus or ticket.  We visited the Palacio da Pena PHOTO 5, a monster palace with a mind boggling interior, according to the Lonely Planet guide. And they are right. We ended the day on our boat with grilled sardines in the sunset. 

The swell is a real plague. It was especially very irritating while sailing along the Spanish northwest coast, but here in Portugal as well, and more often when we lie at anchor. JW can't get used to it.
He suffered for some time of a nagging pain below his ribs, and got a bit anxious when he felt "something moving". Fortunately, the doctor he consulted recognised the problem immediately as it appears to be more common among sailors: inflammation of underlying muscles in the tommy. For JW the fact that he had tommy muscles after all came as a complete surprise!  
There is no treatment, the muscles have to get rest to give the inflammation the chance to disappear. One solution is to stay more often in a marina overnight. Fortunately it is now off season so marina's are less expensive, because this cure to “swell disease” will probably not be paid for by the health insurance.
Our Autohelm ST4000 autopilot suffered of a strange phenomenon as well, as it has never been able to steer the boat in a straight line. By coincidence there was a Raymarine technician in the neighbourhood, and by coincidence he even had time to fix the problem... and he fixed it by resetting the instrument. He encountered another problem with some bad connections as well and fixed that too, so we were very happy with some new cables and neat weldings, and we only paid 45 euro's for an hour's work Now that is what we call good service! 

For a few days we had some strong winds, SW7. The waves (5-7 meters high) came directly into the bay, so all yachts fled into the marina. The last die-hard was finally ordered into the marina by the Policia Maritima. In this heavy weather our young friend Ewoud arrived, having spent a night at sea plus a morning and half of the afternoon beating against this southwesterly wind. He seemd pretty cool but he was glad to be able to join us again and enjoyed many dinners and breakfasts with us.

And now it is time to continue our trip to the south, and we are indeed planning to sail along the coast of Morocco to the Canaries (instead of the more usual route via Madeira).

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