Figueira da Foz to Peniche

We needed diesel as the engine had seen a lot of use down the Portuguese coast with the consequent heavy consumption of fuel. Unfortunately another boat was faffing around on the refuelling pontoon, so we had to “hover” in the marina for around 10 minutes until the pontoon was vacant and we could moor up and fill the tank. That completed we left the river for the 60 mile run to Peniche or Nazaré, we hadn’t yet decided which. Again the wind was a light southerly, completely in the wrong direction for sailing so we chugged along southwards under the engine. The day had been quite pleasant but we soon ran into a very thick fog bank which reduced the visibility to 50 metres in places. The poor visibility only lasted for about an hour and then, mercifully we were out of it into clear conditions. Still, good excuse to play with the fog horn!

We decided to bypass Nazaré and  press on to Peniche as the conditions, other than the unfavourable wind were good. The coast off Nazaré has the reputation for generating some of the largest waves in the world and being something of a Mecca for surfers – something to do with a deep trench in the sea bed- but to us the sea was kind, with nothing more than a long and gentle Atlantic swell. Approaching the headland beyond which lies Peniche, we had to keep a sharp lookout as the area was littered with fishing buoys.

Peniche turned out to be only a fishing harbour with one dedicated visitor’s pontoon just inside the entrance. Space was limited so we had to raft up to a smaller German boat, Mulli,  with a young couple on board. We had a sumptuous dinner of Tuc biscuits, olives and peanuts. Anticipating a long run on the morrow, we turned in early but had a disturbed night due to the constant passage of fishing boats, none of which seemed to be observing the speed limit, causing Synergy to rock and roll all night long.

Author: chrisgowers

Retired pilot now sailing around the Mediterranean accompanied by my wife Jacquie.