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Old 16-01-2010, 07:50   #1
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Isle of Arran, UK
Boat: Lagoon 420 - Hull 52
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Recommendations? Family Sailing East from Algarve this Summer


We are looking for advice on routes and ports sailing into the Med from Portugal's Algarve (Portimao) this summer, during July and August.

We are a British family of eight (kids aged B15,G13,G11,G10,B10,G9),sailing on Octopus, our Lagoon 420 catamaran.

We completed an Atlantic circuit eighteen months ago, but are looking for a less adventurous itinerary for the summer. We are constrained by (Scottish) school holidays, so plan to leave Portimao on 1 July and finish our trip on 17 August.

It is essential that at the end of the trip we leave Octopus at a reasonably priced marina (bearing in mind she is a catamaran) with good connections and cheap flights to Britain (preferably Scotland).

So we are looking for good, family-friendly cat-friendly anchorages and ports on the way East. Generally we prefer anchoring, but as I need to fly to London for work periodically we will spend at least 12 days in port enroute.

I was thinking we might leave Octopus on the West coast of Italy and fly back from Pisa, but we know nothing about the Western Med, so would welcome any advice.

If any other family are considering cruising in this area at the same time we would love to cruise in company.

Chris, Beth and Clan
Octopus, Lagoon 420 Hybrid
Marina de Portimao

Chris, Beth and Clan
Octopus, Lagoon 420 Hybrid
Isle of Arran, Scotland
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Old 16-01-2010, 07:59   #2
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Boat: Roaring Girl: Maxi 120 ketch, 12 long
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Hi there,

in a cat you could explore some of the places along the Costa del Luz, such as Huelva. I've only been to Rompido and they're not so exciitng, but it depends what you like. The anchorages behind the sand bars in the lagoon at Olhao are fab, as is the anchorage at Gelves, just outside Seville.

If you are looking for a cheap winter port, then I wouldn't pick the West coast of Italy. If you are not planning to come back to Octopus until the following summer, then the usual recommendations of Port St Louis come to mind; it's not as cheap as it was but it's still (2008 comparisons) relatively good value, and the fact that it's a bit of a pain to get to is not an issue if it's only the once each way.

We have not sailed the Balearics or Corsica as we went up to the Riviera and had a great summer and a half on that coast, which was also very cheap as there are lots of good anchorages. This is not so true on the Italian Riviera but made the French one great. Also lots of good swimming.

Our blog has our travels from Gib, if you want to see more.

Sarah & Pip
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Old 21-01-2010, 10:05   #3
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Location: Winter land based UK New Forest. Summer months away. Making the transition from sail to power this year - scary stuff.
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Hi Guys,
Vote with Pip you try to spend time behind the sand islands off Olhao. Great quite anchorages (weekdays anyway) and lots of locals ferry over for weekends.
With your low rig few of the river bridges on that coast will be a barrier to you, and once into the Med the Mar Menor and its shallow waters should appeal also.
We've spent a couple of seasons around the Balearics and you'll always find sheltered anchorages one side or the other of most islands. A 'not to be missed' destination in my book.
We find east coast Spain a bit boring but it is always horses for courses and lots find it good value and easy flights as a place to winter the boat. You've obviously checked out Almerimar?
Cannot comment really on S France but lots of pals do store boats for the winter in Port St Louise and if you can get even part way up canals you'll find storage prices tumble.
We know west coast Italy is expensive - have family working in the marina industry there - but we have been told by several sources that storage / winter berthing in Venice lagoon is good value. Bonus is Ryanaire do fly in and out year round.
Hope this gives some more help. You can check our blog but you'll need to go back to 2005 when we spent time going the same way - and of course things do change!
Swagmans Sailing Blog

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Old 03-02-2010, 06:27   #4
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Location: Living and working in San Francisco until the next time we go cruising.
Boat: Sceptre 41 #12
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We recommend Yacht Port Cartagena as a place you could leave your boat over winter. We're currently spending the winter here on board, and there are many British boats here, some with people on board and some without. They currently charge the same rate for multihulls as monohulls, so it should be a good deal for you. Its closest airport is Murcia, but Alicante is also close.
Shirlee Smith
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San Francisco
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catamaran, family, kids, western med, Portugal

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