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Old 01-12-2013, 01:59   #16
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Location: Adriatic and Inland France (summer); New Forest, UK (winter)
Boat: Oyster 435 cutter-rigged ketch and Nowee 38 motor yacht
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Re: Is Lagos, Portugal to Barcelona feasible in a summer of comfortable cruising?

Originally Posted by DPDelly View Post
You email was timely. Others have commented favorably on the Portuguese and north Spanish coasts, and Julia and I have talked frequently of doing the French canals. Julia had just asked if we could go north along the Portuguese coast and enter the French canal system from the Bay of Biscay, when your email arrived.
Not that I wish to put you off, but going north along the coast of Portugal - against the prevailing trade winds - is not a lot of fun. Think 2-3 metre Atlantic swells and headwinds much of the way.

I'm not saying people don't do it, but on our trip down that coast we encountered another Oyster 435 flogging north under motor and from our brief exchange on VHF he wasn't enjoying it one little bit.

If you wanted to visit that coast, I'd be inclined to consider leaving the ARC Europe in the Azores and making landfall somewhere like Bayona and then cruising south from there. There may be one or two people on the rally considering doing the same thing, so you might be able to travel in company.

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Old 01-12-2013, 02:34   #17
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Re: Is Lagos, Portugal to Barcelona feasible in a summer of comfortable cruising?

True, the predominate winds are from the North and what is left of the Gulf stream also causes a slight southerly current. However, there are lots of harbours and estuaries (Rias) to do short hops.

Your draft is a little more than I thought, we can sail on a damp lawn with our draft of 1.2m . The Midi awaits my retirement, I fancy a trip from UK, down to Gib, through the med and back to the Atlantic via the canal.

The upside is the mast is down and probably worth shipping it to the med rather than carry on board so it doesn't get damaged as its much longer than the yacht. There are French firms that specialise in moving masts both north and south, bet they would take the anchor and chain too. What else can you do? half empty fuel and water tanks etc, reduce the food on board to a couple of days supplies and shop locally etc. If it did all go pear shaped then you would have to ship the yacht the rest of the way, so not the end of the world.

Might be worth measuring the actual draft next time you lift out rather than using the manufacturers figures.


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Old 01-12-2013, 04:57   #18
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pirate Re: Is Lagos, Portugal to Barcelona feasible in a summer of comfortable cruising?

I'll second the head for Baiona from the Azores vote... Galicia is well worth the visit.. from there down to Lisbon there are ports in easy day sail/motoring distance and many are worth the stop.. places like Fig da Foz a 1 hour train ride for 4euro each return will take you to the lovely old university town of Coimbra (oldest Uni in Europe)... Aviero is another nice stop... Porto is a bit of a shithole but the Douro is worth sailing up for a ways.. Lisbon.. stay in Cascais and catch the train into Lisbon.. much simpler and a nice little town in its own right.. also it has an anchorage.
After that you have Setubal and Sines which leaves you a 60mile trip to Cabo San Vincente and round the corner to anchor off Sagres... next stop Lagos.. great way to spend a fortnight..
Along the Algarve there's Alvor.. gets crowded on the anchorage but... if you like Irish?? Pubs its worth the stop.. there's loads
Portimao has a good anchorage across from the marina... the next good anchorage is the Faro/Culatra/Olhau lagoon... 3 experiences in one anchorage.. then you have Tavira and the Guadiana...
For a small coastline Portugal has one hell of a lot to offer and good, clean, cheap public transport for those dashes inland to see the sights..
W Spain I usually miss preferring to run for the Straits on a favourable window.. once through there are anchorages along the way but most are vulnerable to E'lies.. if its from the W all is good.
My votes for stops are Almeria, while there take the ferry across to Melilla one of Spain's N African settlements, Cartagena.. lovely little visited city as most are dashing on by.. most of the rest are 'Booze Hole's' full of holiday makers..
I've found small is best in Spain in the main... unless your prepared to explore deeper into town and go 3rd line as we call it.. for wintering the boat at VFM I recommend Almerimar...
From late September on you'll have to time your runs between the Tramontana's which come screaming down from the Golfe de Lyons..
And you'll love the Balearic's... just don't go into Ibiza Town... it''l cost you an arm and a leg..

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arc, barcelona, cruising, Portugal

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