We arrived in Santa Jacinta anchorage just before dark. It looked very inviting after a long day at sea.

Tropical Plam trees on our way into Santa Jacinta

Tropical Plam trees on our way into Santa Jacinta

Santa Jancinto is a Military base town, a bit like Lossimouth. There are a few shops, bars and cafes, a lot of small fishing boats and a ferry. We took the ferry across to the docks in the background and then a bus into Aveiro.

Our anchorage form the fishing quay Santa Jacinto

Our anchorage form the fishing quay Santa Jacinto

Aveiro bills itself as a second Venice. I’ve never been to Venice, but Marcus assures me it’s not a patch on the real thing! Still it makes for an attractive feature in the city.

Motorised 'gondolas' ..... Marcus humming 'just one cornetto!'

Motorised ‘gondolas’ ….. Marcus humming ‘just one cornetto!’

We spent a very pleasant day here and managed to find a shopping centre to try and get Marcus some more shorts……..seems that we are now into the winter season so no luck there.

Colourful frontages ...... reminds me of Ireland!

Colourful frontages …… reminds me of Ireland!

On our walk around the city we came across a fabric shop, which was almost Dickensian in its layout and the manner of its owner!….’After much discourse, I purchased some yardage of fine netting with which to fabricate a bed curtain against the irksome mosquitos that dine upon us in our sleep.’

Aveiro is famous for the sea salt it produces in these salt pans, just outside the city. The traditional way of keeping fish here is to salt it so the wealth of the City was built on salt production.

Salt pans just outside city

Salt pans just outside city

Today every supermarket has piles of salted fish, which you can smell long before you see it…. At first we thought it was Marcus’ shoes or someone with B.O.!!

We left Aveiro and motor sailed our way down to Cascais which is on the north side of the river that runs into Lisbon. We had the company of dolphins for a good 20 minutes….. a record!

I got tired of standing up for my watch, so I tried out our new chair. Perched on the cockpit seats, I can see over the coach roof with the chart plotter screen and the autohelm controls at hand…..Luxury!

On watch on the new deck chair......Luxury!

On watch on the new deck chair……Luxury!

The main problem on this coast is sneaky little lobster pots that suddenly appear and need to be dodged before we hit them and they wind themselves around the propeller.

We rounded the Cape, just before Cascais and the wind picked up to 38knots (that’s gale force 8 for the non sailors, or ‘blowing old boots’) Once we were in the lee of the land, everything calmed down.

Rounding the Cape before Cascais

Rounding the Cape before Cascais

Cascais is a delightful town which has a well sheltered anchorage when the wind is from the north. It has a very active fleet of small fishing boats that operate from a quay and pontoon just south of the very overpriced marina.
In the past fishing must have been the main industry, but today the town is an extension of Lisbon and is an up market seaside resort with a shopping centre.

Wavy patterned cobbles - ridge and furrow effect

Wavy patterned cobbles – ridge and furrow effect

We found that Right Turn and Maimai were already at anchor and within minutes of us dropping the anchor, Mike and Kate and Magnus and Sarah came over in their dinghies. It is a lovely feeling to be welcomed by friends. ‘Sundowners’ were arranged for later and we caught up with the news…….including a dramatic saga of near disaster for Magnus and Sarah…….. in the middle of the night, their anchor was tripped by a catamaran that was dragging its anchor in gale force winds. Their only course of action was to motor at full speed, backwards, out of the crowded anchorage, or risk being blown onto the harbour wall or another yacht. They finally managed to re anchor in the bay after three hours, during which time they couldn’t get their anchor up, they had no steering due to a line wrapped around their rudder and no engine because they had picked up an old fishing net on their prop. They were drifting steadily out to sea, until Magnus dived down and cut away the offending net and line. A salutary tale which made us all put a few more meters of chain out!

Very sheltered mooring in Cascais

Very sheltered mooring in Cascais when the wind isn’t blowing!

The weather and the water are noticeably warmer here, although I haven’t been swimming because there are loads of big jelly fish which I don’t fancy sharing the water with.

BIG Jelly fish. Taken just before it swallowed the dinghy whole!

BIG Jelly fish. Taken just before it swallowed the dinghy whole!

Delving into the less touristy streets of Cascais we bought some grouper from the local fish warehouse and invited everyone over for a meal…..cosy with 6 of us around the table! Margaret and Roger arrived in the anchorage soon after and we have had a very sociable week.

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