Albufeira to Isla Canela

Up early to see Jan off the premises and to make sure she left. I jest! Jan had mucked in and been great fun to have on board and we were very sorry to see her leave. We walked round to the marina office where the taxi was due to arrive and we spent a few nervous minutes anticipating a no show. However, the taxi duly arrived and we said our goodbyes and waved Jan off to the railway station for her train back to Lisbon. Still in darkness we made our way back to Synergy for breakfast and to plan our next leg.

We had decided to make our way eastwards down the Algarve to one of the ports on the other side of Faro. The access to our destination, Isla Canela, was up the River Careras just inside Spain. The river is quite shallow so we had to arrive within an hour and a half either side of high water to avoid the danger of running aground. With the anticipated 8 or 9 hours to complete the 50 or so miles a departure at around 0800 would do the trick. Again in fine weather we left Albufeira, our last stop in Portugal.

We changed the courtesy flag from Portugal to Spain en-route but otherwise, the trip to Isla Canela was uneventful with light winds until we approached the River entrance when the wind whipped up to around force 7.    Dodging a myriad of fishing buoys we found the marina and tied up un the reception pontoon. By this time the wind was blowing strongly and moving to our allocated berth was problematic with Synergy pinned firmly to the reception pontoon. As soon as we started moving the strong wind prevented me getting the bow round and we just drifted sideways, nearly hitting a submerged pylon in the process. Jac on the bow got quite agitated as she could see what was happening. Totally oblivious to the problem I just reacted to Jac’s concerns as I thought the top of the pylon was a plastic buoy! With no harm done, except to my self respect, we found our berth and settled in for the night. With infinite skill I had managed to lose the marina gate key card so we had to go and buy another one. The day was going well!

Bar in Isla Canela


The pilot book described Isla Canela as being located in a wind swept marsh. Once again it was completely wrong. The surroundings might be marsh land but the marina and its surroundings were delightful with a well developed marina as a pleasant, if limited,  holiday destination. Somehow we had run ourselves out of water and I was concerned that we might have damaged the water pump, but filling the tanks and re-priming the pump and all was well. Breathe sigh of relief! After dinner on the boat we turned in planning to take advantage of the good weather and make our way to Chipiona in the morning.

Author: chrisgowers

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

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