Yacht Fathom - Setting off from England in May 2016 on a single-handed voyage somewhere a bit warmer

Leixóes & Porto

The 35 mile passage from Viana do Castela to Leixóes was not the most relaxing. Monday dawned beautiful with a light westerly breeze and sunshine but soon died and the engine was on again. Manuel from the chandlers in Cangas had sold me some new fishing lures which he assured me would guarantee success along the coast. I gave one of these its first outing and after pulling it in to check an hour later found something had bitten the lure in half and just missed the hook.. Lucky fish! I’m getting closer though…

A couple of hours later a thick blanket of fog descended and never again lifted. The huge numbers of fishing markers and flags which are a nuisance in perfect visibility become a right pain in the fog because they are only seen when a few metres away. On the approach to the busy commercial port of Leixóes I put my trust in the AIS and radar with our course passing several large container ships at anchor outside the port. The visibility was so poor that I never saw any of the anchored ships we passed less than 100m away. The eerie sound of the fog horn on the end of the breakwater and those of the ships entering and leaving the port added to the atmosphere. After holding position for a few minutes the AIS showed the the entrance to the port was clear and no ships were leaving or close to entering so Fathom made her way in slowly and only when within a few metres of the marina could I make out any features of the shore. Certainly the worst visibility I have ever witnessed and a sigh of relief once all tied up.

The reason for visiting Leixóes was that it is the nearest and cheapest place to moor up in order to travel to Porto. Yesterday I took the bus for a 40 minute ride into the city. It really is a fantastic place and I went on a three hour walking tour to take in the main sites. One of the highlights was strolling out along the top of Dom Luis Bridge and looking down on the city. Before catching the bus back in the evening I enjoyed a Francesinha, which is a Portuguese sandwich originally from Porto, made with bread, wet-cured ham, linguiça, fresh sausage like chipolata, steak or roast meat and covered with melted cheese and a hot thick tomato and beer sauce served with french fries. Damn good. Couldn’t resist taking a bottle of Port back to the boat too. When in Porto…

Posted on 20 Jul in: Logs 2016, Portugal (2 Comments)

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