N. Portugal

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Leixöes, Portugal

We sailed in fog for hours, but finally made it to the next new country - Portugal. The radar had been playing up the day before so we were more than a little worried that it might go into early retirement when we really needed it. It did it's job and helped us find away past the fishing boats that were out there in their hundreds. We finally got from Bayona to Leixoes. No pictures here though. \r\n\r\nSome boats have fin keels, short and stubby, others like ours, have long keels which run from stem to stern. We discovered (or rather confirmed what we already suspected) that reversing a long-keeled boat in a crosswind is about as predictable as the weather in Biscay - even when everything looks right without warning everything can turn inside out. Our departure from Leixoes was not the most elegant.

Nazaré, Portugal

Nazaré is a little tourist town, busy all year round mainly for Portugese tourists. We were here for 11 days. Storms further north, particularly over England and Scotland caused days and days of heavy swell which would have made sailing uncomfortable to say the least. As you see, it caused spectacular surf on the beach next to the harbour. We kept ourselves busy doing the repairs to the damage from our Biscay crossing. In between jobs we found time to explore.

Nazaré, Portugal

We left Nazaré when the weather finally settled down and made a short daytrip down the coast. We passed close to a large fin stickin up out of the water. It wasn't a shark nor was it a dolphin or a whale. It was a puzzle for a time but we eventually found out that it was a sunfish. They bask just below the surface and their dorsal fin waves to you as they swim sedately by.\r\n

Peniche, Portugal

Peniche is an old walled town with a castle and lots of narrow streets to explore. The weather held good and we walked around beneath the palm trees in tee-shirts which gave us an odd feeling - local workmen were hanging Christmas lights across the road and Santa's face was beginning to appear in shop windows, complete with spray-on snow.
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