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Antigua, for 5

Antigua, for 5

We arrived in jolly harbour on the … after a slow motor sail from Guadeloupe with about 2-3 knots of wind.

Check in here is very strict and it’s the first place that’s actually asked if we have a courtesy flag, luckily we had one already and after a while of doing paperwork and $80XCD we were free to explore the island.

The anchorage at jolly harbour was picturesque with turquoise waters but the water was actually pretty murky so we didn’t go in the sea at this point. But we did go out and have a nice lunch, explore a beach and generally walk around.

3 of our friends were due to fly in to Antigua for a weeks holiday onboard Hannah Penn with us so we set sail for the eastern side of the island to be closer to the airport for pickup.

With fairly strong winds we flew round the northern end of the island tacking every 10mins or so to stay inside the reefs. Another boat was doing just the same and we were able to catch up with them in a little unspoken tacking race before entering a shallow and narrow channel which took us into …. Bay.

After a good boat tidy and clean we went to pick up Tom, Harriet and Ollie in the dinghy, somehow we managed to fit all 5 of us plus luggage, including the extra hold bag of things they’d brought for us from home in our 2 person dingy and got everyone back to the boat without getting wet!

Some spag bol, garlic bread and a catch up later we all hit the hay ready to start a fun week of sailing.

The first day was exciting and memorable, starting off by sailing off anchor in very little wind in very protected waters, then the wind went from 5knots to 20+ in a matter of seconds as we left the bay, we quickly put a reef in the main and Genoa and dropped the mizzen.. this was the expected wind for the whole week, but after turning down the east coast we levelled out on a broad reach

Out of nowhere Adam spotted a huge splash to our starboard side and to everyone’s surprise it was humpback whales! A mother and baby we think, breaching and tail slapping over and over. I don’t think we could have had a better first morning.

By lunchtime we arrived at ‘StingRay City Antigua’ which is a semi captive population of Southern Stingrays (fed for tourist attraction)

We didn’t want a tour but did want to see some rays so went for a snorkel when the tour boats left.

The same day we sailed a little further south to a protected bay on green island as we knew some big swell would be rolling in from the northeast.

We took the free mooring buoy there and I decided it was in acceptable condition if we put a back up line down to the stake itself in the seabed as the buoys chain was in a poor state and lashed together with rope!

After a windy but stable night we braved the swelly ocean to get to Falmouth Harbour on the south of the island, it was an uncomfortable sail where at one point Adam who was on the helm got thrown across the cockpit by a wave hitting us side on, he stayed mostly upright and still holding onto the wheel so no harm done.

On arrival we all had a break and then decided it was a good time and place to do a little belated birthday celebration for Tom and Adam by going out for dinner at a place called Cloggy’s

The next day we moved from the northern part of the bay to near the entrance to go snorkelling, the water was nice and clear and we got to see a spotted eagle ray and some colourful fish, even got an underwater selfie.

Sunday came around and we’d heard … lookout in English harbour puts on a bbq with music a couple nights a week, so we upped anchor again and set off on the very short journey to get to English harbour ready for a big hill climb to get to the lookout in the evening.

After anchoring in the most popular outermost anchorage and not being happy with the bay we moved further in to find an alternative and what a great one we found, we shore tied to the mangroves and had a wonderful peaceful spot.

The view over the bay from the lookout was stunning even if we were a bit late for the sunset, the bbq was tasty and the music was fun, a lonely evening spent with lovely people.

We spent some time exploring the area and Nelsons dockyard and went for breakfast at a local cafe as well as getting part of the Genoa re stitched by the sailmakers of a good speedy job done by ….

Next we snorkelled at Cade reef where we saw more rays and some fish called ‘shark suckers’.

Our goal was to circumnavigate the island in the week so next we pushed on to Jolly Harbour and then to Deep Bay where we snorkelled an interesting wreck of a British three masted sailing boat which was carrying barrels of tar to Chile when they started to overheat, the boat caught fire and sank in …. All crew survived and the wreck is in outstanding condition, you can see the bow sprit, whole hull super structure and masts with intact lookout point.

<We might insert a wreck dive video here soon, but we are currently at our daily YouTube upload limit…>

With our guests due to leave in two days we headed back to the first bay to climb up bird island for one last spectacular sunset and some scheduled ‘dicking about on a boat’ time where we SUP boarded behind the boat. Tom took this opportunity to look like he was walking the boat like a dog on a lead whereas Ollie had more of a water boarding than a paddle boarding session.

We had completed an entire Antigua lap, and that was quite satisfying, even if we forgot to turn the Garmin on to track the route sometimes….

The following day we said farewell over a last lunch and waved them off in a taxi to the airport.

Quite the week of sailing and exploring!

Gran Canaria, Tenerife & La Gomera

Gran Canaria, Tenerife & La Gomera

After Lanzarote & Fuerteventura we headed on to 3 more Canary Islands.

Gran Canaria

We did a night sail across to Gran Canaria, arriving in the early morning, which lead to some lovely views around the busy port.

The anchorage here is attached to the marina, and thus you have to pay a small fee just to anchor. The small fee is only a couple of euros, and this is great in comparison to some anchorages in the UK such as Salcombe that require you to pay around £15 a night to anchor near the river mouth…

We didn’t have lots planned from Gran Canaria, but generally explored, relaxed and ate some tasty food.

On one of our trips to land, we spotted the boat Magic of Bermuda whom we had previously met in Gibraltar. We ended up spending most of the day aboard Magic chatting, drinking tea, and telling stories. On the dock, we also met a French couple looking for a lift to Tenerife, and we decided to pickup our first hitchhikers.

The ARC leaves from this marina in Gran Canaria, so the marina was extremely busy with ARC boats.

Another little tradition of the ARC is boats painting rocks on the breakwater before they leave.

We had a very peaceful night sail to Tenerife with our 2 new friends. They cooked, we sailed. One of them, unfortunately, got a little seasick, but a good sleep out on deck helped them out. They were planning on taking part in a residential art project starting the next week in Tenerife, where they sail across the Atlantic on a catamaran and create art (a project run by @circusspacepirates)


We stopped off in Tenerife, dropping off our 2 hitchhikers. Our next guest was also going to be arriving in while we were here. The plan was for them to join us down to Cape Verde and then across the Atlantic.

As soon as Gareth arrived we sent him straight up the mast!

On the whole, Tenerife was another short stop off, where we restocked on Gas, food and did some final maintenance before setting off on what would be our longest crossing yet in the next weeks.

La Gomera

The sail to La Gomera was once again a night sail, but this time with 3 crew, meaning we could try with just a single shift each on watch.

Here we met up with SV Blue Note who we had planned to sail from the Canaries to Cape Verde with us in a little race, and they had also joined another Dutch boat called Extress who would also leave on the same day.

The story that we have to tell for La Gomera is the afternoon we nearly stole another boat’s anchor!!!

But that’ll come in the next post!

Day 58-60: Porto

Day 58-60: Porto

We arrived in the early morning of the 16th of August (the day of Daisy’s flight). @sv_bluenote were anchored in the river, as we cruised in and headed toward the marina, planning on staying there for a night or two.

Even though it was early there was someone at the marina to show us to a berth, and we ended up being pretty close to sv_zoe.

It was Daisy’s last day with us, and we made the most of it by seeing some sights in Porto, eating a very yummy Francesinha, and having some drinks on the river, then much to Daisy’s excitement, we rode electric scooters back to the marina along the river side all before it was time for her to taxi to the airport. There was only some minor running involved to get her and her bags to the taxi on time!

I’m glossing over the fact for the longest time Daisy was convinced her flight was on the 17th (next day). Glad we checked, otherwise she would have had a rather sad arrival to the check-in desk.

The next day the remaining 3 of us spent most of the day working, battling with the pretty slow WiFi at the marina.

The marina did redeem themselves from the WiFi though as it came with a free port tasting for each of us at Churchill’s, which we made the most of in the afternoon. €45 worth of free port tasting in fact, with a tour of the various port cellars and giant 55,000L port barrels, which was essentially the price of one of the nights stay in the marina! We did of course try a few more ports than came in the free tasting!… 15 tasting glasses later we stumbled home.

After our second and final night in the marina we spent much of the day working and doing laundry before heading to anchor in the river with sv_bluenote who had invited us for dinner.

It was so delicious I forgot to take a picture, but it was a lovely creamy risotto with asparagus.

But we did snap these pictures of Hannah in the sunset from Blue Note.

We planned on doing a night sail all the way down to Figuera da Foz that same night, but shortly after arriving back from dinner Andrew said he wasn’t feeling so good.

We hunted around to find the thermometer, only to find it was out of battery.

On a whim we got Andrew to do a covid test, and quite surprisingly he was positive!!!

Needless to say, we didn’t start to sail, instead staying anchored for the night.

Come morning Andrew decided it would be best to head to a hotel for his first covid experience rather than stay on small old Hannah, so we shipped him to shore in the dinghy.

Andrew headed to a hotel, and Kathryn and I prepared to chase Blue Note down…

We quickly pulled up anchor once we had the dinghy back on board and scoffed some food down whilst motoring out of the river, trying to chase Blue Note down who had left a couple of hours ago, but let’s save that for the next post!

Day 55-57: North of Porto

Day 55-57: North of Porto

In the last episode of the sailing blog we entered Portugal! Next stop Porto, where we say goodbye to Daisy.

Caminha cont.

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!)


We had to try and recreate one of our favourite TikToks for the first post on this account. Checkout the Instagram and blog for more serious sailing content. #foryoupage #avidikadivi #avidikidivi #portugal #beach #sailinglife

♬ original sound – DJHUNTS

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.

The caught seagul

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

To Porto

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!

Day 53-55: Reaching Portugal

Day 53-55: Reaching Portugal

We said goodbye to our first onboard guest (Warren) on day 52. Just 1 more week until our second guest (Daisy) will also be departing.

It turns out writing blog posts with so many people onboard and also sailing most days is quite hard, hence a bit of delay in these posts 🙂

Baiona (continuing south)

After spending a few weeks in the rivers of western Spain, we needed to continue heading south and into Portugal. We headed to Baiona to provide a good staging area for our next bigger sail. We would be mostly out of the Vigo river and set up ready to head to Portugal.

We tacked all the way out of the river, sneaking through the Islotes Las Estelas in order to get into Baiona earlier than planned. This was quite a busy anchorage, with probably 20 boats or more all anchored up. Once again we found ourselves in the same anchorage as Sailing Vessel Zoe!

The anchorage was alive with fishy activity.

Entering Portugal

Next stop, Portugal!

The next 26 or so miles took us out of Spain and into Portugal (just).

We aimed for Caminha, and a small anchorage on the river that holds the border between Spain and Portugal.

The wind was frustratingly light throughout the sail. But toward the end, we did manage to get onto a straight downwind run and tried out the Ghoster for the first time!

Due to the slow first half of the sail, we came into the river mouth an hour or so after high tide and there was about 3-5 knots of tide flowing out of the mouth.

This led to us motoring in at probably the highest RPM we have had the engine at, doing only 2 knots over land, but 7 knots through the water!

We anchored mostly out of the river flow near the beach on the Portuguese side. The maritime police soon showed up to check us into Portugal. They also advised that we move slightly, so once again up with the anchor to move a few 10s of meters.

We spent 2 nights in the Caminha anchorage, as it was rather lovely, protected, close to shore, and we wanted to break up our sailing.

On night 2 we tried out the boat BBQ for the first time and made some rather tasty burgers.

Day 51 & 52: Goodbye Warren

Day 51 & 52: Goodbye Warren

We headed back to our favorite, and the cheapest marina in Vigo (Liceo Marítimo de Bouzas) the day before Warren needed to catch his flight.

Land chores were the theme of the day with showers for everyone, multiple loads of washing at the launderette nearby, and a big boat clean.

For Warren’s last night, we headed for a fishy meal out, and boy were we in for a treat.

The next morning Warren headed off. We will miss him, his cake baking, and also his wonderful readings of The Hobbit.

Chapter 5 of The Hobbit, read by Warren.

We ended up servicing the engine, all filters, belts and an oil change. A job well done! 🧑‍🔧

Engine oil being pumped out into a bottle

We also went to every chandlery we could find in Vigo, only to find that the only money we spent was in the very first one. We managed to pick up a few small items, but not the large haul of deck caulking that we really wanted.

Leaving the marina we spotted Blue Note and passed the bag they left aboard Hannah over with a boat hook as we passed by.

Conveniently the fuel barge on the way out of the marina, outside Marina Davila Sport was still just about open (it closes at 10pm) so we topped up the tanks.

We sailed for about 5 minutes but had to motor most of the way across the river to another of our known anchorages, the same anchorage as Day 46 for some shuteye before trying to get down to Porto in a week. At least it was flat and pretty.

Day 50: Tack, tack and tack again

Day 50: Tack, tack and tack again

Waking up in our anchorage, we found ourselves rocking violently from side to side after 10am. (This was due to all of the large ferries speeding past the area).

We had a little bit of this the night before, so we’re already expecting it. A quick spot of breakfast, and off we went.

We let captain Warren take command for the day, which lead to quite an interesting initial route. (Hence the name of this post).

A few wiggles, and a few accidental tacks, and we were out in the wind again, heading south toward Vigo.

Dolphins were quite a feature for the sail.

As was fishing, but once again no fish were caught (not having much luck this past week).

We headed to an anchorage on the north side of Ria de Vigo that we had spotted both Zoe from day 43 and Blue Note from Day 48 at on Marine Traffic.

We made a tasty egg fried rice on the way into the anchorage, so we’re eating moments after the anchor dropped

Zoe invited us all over for some drinks with Blue Note also attending.

We chatted late into the evening, even popping back to Hannah to continue until around 3am! All in all a very fun day, night and into the early morning!

Day 49: Another day full of food

Day 49: Another day full of food

As well as being full of food, day 49 was also still full of fog.

We woke up in the anchorage after a fairly rockey night’s sleep. Although the swell was from the west, and we were well protected from any direct swell, it seemed to rebound from the land and hit us from the other side too. This was particularly noticeable from 6am onwards. And after our late night, we were all quite hoping for a lie in.

I enjoyed this morning, but I could have slept longer.

Warren, 2022

Pancakes were the first order of the day. (They were all as healthy as the one below, honest)…

Kathryn and I decided to let Daisy captain us to the next anchorage, we set the target in Navionics, sat back and watches the chaos ensue.

With Daisy at the helm, Warren and Andrew were left to pull the anchor up on her command and get us moving along.

We were motoring until we came close to the mainland due to lack of wind, but it was enjoyably flat, and fun getting others to do all of the work.

Warren and I started fishing part way through the hop, ultimately unsuccessful, but Warren did snag the world, resulting in us doing a little loop to get uncaught from the bottom.

Shortly after, we headed to the anchorage.

We finally got the relaxing day we wanted as Warren read us 3 chapters of The Hobbit.

Warren reading some of The Hobbit

Dinner followed, and we used leftovers with many additions to make some cheesy enchiladas.

Following that we had a delicious meringue victoria sponge with hand whipped cream.

Mmmmmmmm aahhhhhhh mmmmmm oohhh yeaaaaa mmmmmmm oh god it’s ssooo good

Adam, after eating Warrens cake

This really was a day of food…

Time for an early night, finally. Let’s just hope the ferries that keep driving past causing chaos wake do actually stop at 10pm.

Day 47: Sprinting north

Day 47: Sprinting north

The wind for the first week of visitors didn’t look great, so we set out for a big day sail straight away.

We headed quite far north to where there should be some wind throughout the week.

The whole journey was beating into the wind, starting off a little swelly as we exited the river at Vigo, but progressively flattening out, with the wind steadily picking up.

A picture of the whole group during the hop up the coast

We ended up with a reefed main and Genoa before reaching an anchorage that we previously visited on day 41.

Just as we were preparing to anchor, with Warren on anchor duty (releasing the anchor), his hat flew off and landed in the sea, prompting a quick doughnut and hat grab with a boat hook.

Daisy cooked up a delicious dinner.

Followed by a giant syrup cake which we demolished straight out of the oven in about 5 minutes.

Syrup cake

We partied on into the night by playing a game of cards and going to bed.

Day 46: Late night paella for 5

Day 46: Late night paella for 5

For the first time there were 4 of us aboard for the morning breakfast routine. Everything is different with more people, new spaces need to be found, more seats needed and extra beds created.

We got a taxi to see some of the city, aiming for some sort of festival, but we were a bit early for the party with the stage and fair still being set up. The views at the top of the hill were great, however.

The only sensible thing to do after being up high is to head back down low, so we walked to the closest beach which was in some sort of old military area where we saw the acronym ETEA everywhere.

A few ice creams and drinks later it was time to head back to the marina to prepare for our final guest arrival, Andrew.

As with Daisy and Warren, Andrew was flying to Porto, getting a coach to Vigo, followed by a taxi to the marina, arriving at 8:45pm ish.

We had prepared a grand paella feast for Andrews arrival and the completion of the crew for the next week.

Image of paella, courtesy of Daisy

Wanting to not spend a second night in a marina we also hopped across the river to an anchorage not too far away for the night.

Image of night sail, courtesy of Daisy

And to bed we went, for quite a peaceful night.