Day marks are usaually a combinatation of balls/diamond which vary... see pilot book for specific ports... night is red lights but often you'll find the problem is you cannot see them hence always enter the river ports in daylight hours.... IMO the skipper should have made searoom or hove to till daylight before trying to get in... or carried on and done his crew change elsewhere... trains/bus's/taxi's are cheap in the long run...
and I would advise anyone traveling this coast to plan their stops accordingly...
Figuiera da Foz.
A river entrance where swell, tides and a bar can combine to cause a dangerous entrance. During the summer months with the northerly trade
winds blowing, entry is safe in most conditions. In winter, it is suggested that the port should not be entered except in daylight on a calm day when conditions at the bar can be seen.
Lights are exhibited from a signal station on a fort on the north side of the entrance when the bar is dangerous or closed but cannot be seen from the sea due to bright sodium lights in front.
1) There is a new leading light system installed (2 units) at the new channel entrance (direction T047º) with red lights - 6 mi range, that you should follow, with:
- Front unit: 2 s light, 1 s Oc
- Rear Unit: 3 s light, 1 s Oc
2) There is a new buoy for signing the danger
area (west), that also signs the cross between the new and the inner existing channel (this one leading to the marina) - buoy nº2, red, located on the northwest end of the new channel, so you should always leave it on your portside, when entering.
3) At this point aproximately you should be able to see the existing leading lights (installed in the Commercial
Port), also red, that define the direction T081,5º, and that can be followed for some time in an optional basis.
4) On arrival, if there are poor visibility conditions, you should take care, because most probably the horn signal on the north breakwater will be working, but if is not, remember at the moment it is not installed at the end of the breakwater, but more or less in the middle, so you must be aware that, at this moment, it does not indicate the end of the breawater, but its existence; as I said before, I hope it can be installed during the month of June, in the new lighthouse.
So, in case of foggy conditions, all precautions must be taken, and it is advisable to contact Figueira Pilots on channel 14 or the the Maritime Authority on channel 16, before entering.
Besides all this information, the new marina, located on the east part of the dock
, is almost finished (88 new places). It does not have energy or water
for the moment, and we are studying the best way to use it for the summer time.