In the last episode of the sailing blog we entered Portugal! Next stop Porto, where we say goodbye to Daisy.
We were planning on hopping to another anchorage down the coast but decided to have a day of exploration and relaxation instead.
The beach was lovely and long, and the sun was out. Needless to say we didn’t manage to walk the multiple kms of the entire length but instead got distracted trying to make our very own TikTok… (yes we know we are behind the trend but it’s still hilarious!)
And of course, the very tasty BBQ that I already mentioned in the previous post.
Journey to Póvoa de Varzim
Next stop, Póvoa de Varzim, a 37 nautical mile venture south.
We needed to time leaving the river at the point of least tidal flow which happened to be early in the morning.
I’ll avoid putting the exact time here, as to be honest I’m not sure. We had tide schedules in Azores summertime while being on the border of Portugal and Spain.. confusing, to say the least!
The tide dictated our exit from the river, and this put us out to sea without much wind. This led to a very wiggly and slow venture out to sea, before the wind swung and started to pick up guiding us toward our goal.
The sailing part of this hop was rather uneventful.
The fishing however was very interesting…
Catching a lobster pot
In the hour after leaving the river mouth, we came very close to a lobster pot buoy that was also connected to 2 other small buoys. We managed to mostly avoid the small buoys with the boat, however, the fishing line that was out at the time got snagged on a line between the 2 smaller buoys.
To retrieve our tackle we had to tack around, turn on the engine and approach the buoys with the motor on, managing to grab them out of the water and cut the needed bits of line.
Upon untangling the mess of line from our own lures, we found that we had acquired another hook with some line attached that must be from another boat that had got snagged on the same small buoys in the previous days.
Catching a seagull
About halfway through the journey, the line started reeling out a little then stopping. Almost like a fish bite that didn’t get hooked. It happened again and at the same time, Daisy said “What’s that seagull doing”.
Our lure must have caught some weed and surfaced, only to have a seagull dive on the lure thinking it was some tasty fishy food.
The engine went on once again, and another tack back to reel in this seagull without actually reeling it in and causing too much damage. We managed to pull the seagull out of the water, cover its head with a towel and slowly remove 2 hooks from it, one in the beak and one in its wing.
After giving its wounds a rinse down with some sterile eyewash we put it on the foredeck and it quickly took flight heading for land, poor seagull, luckily we think it will be fine.
Póvoa de Varzim
Finally arriving in Póvoa de Varzim we were informed that there would be a festival with fireworks that night (dejavu from our arrival in Brest).
We wandered around the festival, bought some cake and generally had a look at what was going on.
But the main attraction would be the fireworks, which were being set off from the middle of the marina. In the picture below you can see the pontoons for the fireworks very close to the catwalk of the marina where the photo is taken from.
We decided to watch the fireworks from this calm and quiet marina location, and it’s one of the largest, loudest, and best firework experiences we have ever had.
The fireworks were so close you really couldn’t fit them all in your field of view at once.
Here is a little snippet from near the end of the show.
Journey to Leixões
The next hop on our way to Porto was Leixões.
One of the things that we had been worrying about in Portugal was the police possibly kicking out of anchorages, but we had no such problem in Caminha, so could only hope that the reviews we had seen on Navily were the exception rather than the norm. Leixões had a similar review saying that a boat had been told to move at 3am from the anchorage in the Port.
Our journey was another short hop down the coast. We probably should have left a little earlier as we arrived in Leixões after dark.
We anchored right in the corner of the anchorage, near 2 other boats and had no issues for the night.
You can see the anchorage on Navily here and read my full review.
When entering be aware that large ships may be entering or exiting the port. The anchorage is in the corner of the main area of the port, just the other side of the marina wall in a shallower area 2-4m chart depth. We anchored easily, close to the wall and out of the way of any ship movements and spent the night with 2 other boats (a Tri and another monohull), probably would have been room for another 4-6 boats without getting in the way of things. Good protection, though you will get some wake from pilot boats occasionally. There is some noise in the port, but we had a good sleep. Very muddy bottom when pulling the anchor up, lots of mud came up. No sign of the police, I can imagine if you anchor too far out they might ask you to move, we dropped anchor at 41°11.102N, 8°42.335W with the other 2 boats to our NW
We primarily anchored in Leixões so that we could be as close as possible to Porto without actually being in Porto.
The sail the next day was only around 4 nautical miles and we were in Porto before 8am!
But let’s leave everything about Porto for the next post!