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Old 25-11-2013, 10:47   #1
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Is Lagos, Portugal to Barcelona feasible in a summer of comfortable cruising?

My wife and I are Chesapeake Bay/Annapolis sailors doing the ARC Europe in May 2014 in a Pacific Seacraft 31. We are slated to arrive in Lagos, Portugal in mid-June, and as I look at the distances involved (and cognizant of never sailing to a schedule), I'm wondering how feasible it is to expect to make Barcelona by mid-October. Is there anyone who has made Barcelona from Lagos, Portugal by mid-October without fretting about "making the schedule" every day of the journey? If it is "feasible," but with allowances for only a couple of stops and explorations along the way, where would the best stops on the way to Barcelona be?

Finally, if we can't make Barcelona to winter over our first year in the Med, are there other preferred spots along the Spanish coast between Lagos, Portugal and Barcelona which would make a nice harbor for the winter?

By the way, over the years I've learned much from this forum, particularly from some of the technical and systems threads. I remain grateful for the collective help this forum and its members provides to others, and I look forward to being a "net contributor"...
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Old 25-11-2013, 16:30   #2
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My wife and I are Chesapeake Bay/Annapolis sailors doing the ARC Europe in May 2014 in a Pacific Seacraft 31. We are slated to arrive in Lagos, Portugal in mid-June, and as I look at the distances involved (and cognizant of never sailing to a schedule), I'm wondering how feasible it is to expect to make Barcelona by mid-October. Is there anyone who has made Barcelona from Lagos, Portugal by mid-October without fretting about "making the schedule" every day of the journey? If it is "feasible," but with allowances for only a couple of stops and explorations along the way, where would the best stops on the way to Barcelona be?

Finally, if we can't make Barcelona to winter over our first year in the Med, are there other preferred spots along the Spanish coast between Lagos, Portugal and Barcelona which would make a nice harbor for the winter?

By the way, over the years I've learned much from this forum, particularly from some of the technical and systems threads. I remain grateful for the collective help this forum and its members provides to others, and I look forward to being a "net contributor"...
With the right winds you could go Lagos to Barcelona in a week. Comfortably.

Ps I'd over winter in Lagos. Nice community. Watch the 90 day limits. , Barcelona too cold in wintertime for my liking. You could also overwinter in Gib, but it's a very boring place to stay for any length of time.

Dave
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Old 25-11-2013, 16:34   #3
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Re: Is Lagos, Portugal to Barcelona feasible in a summer of comfortable cruising?

i,ve been to turkey and back in that timescale from portugal,june to october
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Old 25-11-2013, 23:18   #4
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Re: Is Lagos, Portugal to Barcelona feasible in a summer of comfortable cruising?

Thank you, Dave and Atoll. Final question -- if you wanted to take longer, say eight weeks for the voyage from Lagos to Barcelona, how would you do it (i.e., where would you tarry along the way...) Any favorite harbors?

Best regards,

Purnell
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Old 26-11-2013, 00:29   #5
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Re: Is Lagos, Portugal to Barcelona feasible in a summer of comfortable cruising?

I don't know the Algarve or southern Spain that well but, the bit I do know, Alicante and North has some very nice places. Alicante itself is a very pleasant larger city stop, then Moraira ( where I spend a lot of time ), Javea, Denia and then up to Ebre have many good marinas. Also look at heading out to the Balearic Islands. Great harbours on Majorca and Minorca and probably on the other islands as well.

The weather alwys seems to take a turn for the worse by about the last week in October so you might want to be settled somewhere by then.
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Old 26-11-2013, 03:13   #6
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Re: Is Lagos, Portugal to Barcelona feasible in a summer of comfortable cruising?

Easy-peasy. We cruised from Bayona in Spain right round to Menorca to layup. From Lagos to Mahon in Menorca (a similar distance to what you're planning) took us from 15 May to the end of August. No passage was more than 30 - 40 miles except for the sail out to the Balearics and we spent on average 2-3 days in each harbour we visited. If you're interested I can post the itinerary on here for you or email it.

Frankly, we found much of southern Spain boring (with a few notable exceptions such as Cadiz, Almeria, Cartagena, Alicante and Calpe); the Balearics is much more interesting, although very busy in July and August. Given the time again, I'd have done longer passages and skipped some of the big, industrial marinas such as Estepona, Fuengirola and Almerimar.

However, I would suggest taking time out to go up the Rio Guadiana on the border of Portugal and Spain (see the World Cruising and Sailing Wiki for details). It's a magical trip and not many yachts do it.

We actually laid up at Pedro's boatyard in Mahon then went straight up to Barcelona the following season, skipping the E coast of Spain. By reputation, most of it is even more boring than southern Spain (but there may be someone on this forum who feels differently).
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Old 26-11-2013, 03:17   #7
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Re: Is Lagos, Portugal to Barcelona feasible in a summer of comfortable cruising?

have a look at the noonsite.com guide to portugal and spain,lots of good info.

from lagos to gib you have lots of free anchorages,after gib you will find very few safe anchorages,and will have no option but to use marinas,charging high season prices.

my reccomendation would be to spend more time on the algarve,stop in gib for a few days to buy cheap fuel and reprovision,then do a quick trip to the balearic islands where there are lots of anchoring options,then after the high season is finished return to the mainland/barcelona.
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Old 26-11-2013, 03:45   #8
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Re: Is Lagos, Portugal to Barcelona feasible in a summer of comfortable cruising?

I have just come back from that leg, Lagos,Gib,Valencia,Barcelona,
feasable in a bit more then a week, but the wind has to be the right way,
Almeria, intresting and cheap, Valencia intresting and the cheapest on the whole coast for a cat,
Barcelona beautifull but 80e a night for the same cat,
Yes portugal was in a lot of ways the most authentic and economic!
Good trip
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Old 26-11-2013, 12:35   #9
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Re: Is Lagos, Portugal to Barcelona feasible in a summer of comfortable cruising?

When you are in Lagos you MUST put into the Alvor lagoon just 2M east of Lagos, my favourite place on the Algarve!
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Old 27-11-2013, 17:01   #10
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Re: Is Lagos, Portugal to Barcelona feasible in a summer of comfortable cruising?

Gents,

Again, thank you very much for the advice. It's been very valuable, and helped shape our first Mediterranean summer. In short, we'll tarry in Portugal, spend a day or two in Gibraltar, spend time in the Balearics, and thence to Barcelona.

Athene of Lymington, we'd love to see your itinerary, and again, my wife and I thank you all for the time spent sharing your experience. It is appreciated.

A final question -- my wife is an emergency room pediatric physician and needs to return to National Children's Hospital for the month of August... I would welcome ideas on where to keep Tigerlily for that month, as I'll be returning to the U.S. with her. In view of how crowded marinas and anchorages are in August, I suspect that may not be so bad...

P
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Old 27-11-2013, 18:44   #11
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Gents,

Again, thank you very much for the advice. It's been very valuable, and helped shape our first Mediterranean summer. In short, we'll tarry in Portugal, spend a day or two in Gibraltar, spend time in the Balearics, and thence to Barcelona.

Athene of Lymington, we'd love to see your itinerary, and again, my wife and I thank you all for the time spent sharing your experience. It is appreciated.

A final question -- my wife is an emergency room pediatric physician and needs to return to National Children's Hospital for the month of August... I would welcome ideas on where to keep Tigerlily for that month, as I'll be returning to the U.S. with her. In view of how crowded marinas and anchorages are in August, I suspect that may not be so bad...

P
I think you can over emphasise how busy the Med get in August. Most boats are local and return to the marina at night , leaving you nice quiet anchorages. ( even if they are a bit nuts during daylight hours ) don't get to het up about swinging room , live and let live , they'll pull up and leave at 5:30.

Right now torrevejica in Spain seems to have plenty of spare capacity.

Dave
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Old 28-11-2013, 09:54   #12
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Re: Is Lagos, Portugal to Barcelona feasible in a summer of comfortable cruising?

Many thanks, Dave, for putting that in perspective...
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Old 28-11-2013, 11:04   #13
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Re: Is Lagos, Portugal to Barcelona feasible in a summer of comfortable cruising?

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Gents,
Athene of Lymington, we'd love to see your itinerary, and again, my wife and I thank you all for the time spent sharing your experience. It is appreciated.
Attached as requested. It was slightly modified at the end, since we wintered in Mahon (Denia quoted us silly prices). Let me know if you have any queries.

GORDON
Attached Files
File Type: doc Itinerary 2001.doc (20.5 KB, 50 views)
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Old 30-11-2013, 15:04   #14
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Re: Is Lagos, Portugal to Barcelona feasible in a summer of comfortable cruising?

I suppose it depends if you want to go clockwise or anticlockwise?

At this point you would be forgiven for thinking that I have lost the plot, but bear with me. You will have just sailed across the Atlantic and will probably want a change of scene. You also probably have a 4ft draft which gives you the interesting option of going north up the coast then hop east across Biscay and the North Basque coast. This would give you access to the Canal Du Midi which would be an interesting and completely different option to reach the Med.

Canal du Midi - UNESCO World Heritage Centre

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Old 30-11-2013, 15:54   #15
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Re: Is Lagos, Portugal to Barcelona feasible in a summer of comfortable cruising?

Pete,

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.

Like your Moody 31, we draw approximately 5 feet (4 feet, 11 inches). Consequently, this might make the Canal du Midi tricky. It seems the consensus is that a draft greater than 1.5 meters would make it a nail-biter, which is almost exactly our draft in feet and inches. Have you ever done the Canal du Midi in your Moody?

Thank you Pete, for focusing us on the canal approach to entering the Med. And our thanks again to Gordon for sharing his schedule. It was very helpful to see his ports of call, average distance covered each day, and overall distance per month, particularly along the Portuguese coast.

Our best regards to all,

Purnell & Julia
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