Friday 27/05/2011 Peniche to Nazare

We had a good lie in yesterday, then found a source of excellent coffee and wifi and updated our forecasts. There is a big northerly blow happening offshore at the moment, which is sending swell into this coast over the next few days, so we debated whether or not to go.

However, the wind forecast was great, and we were heading to Nazare, a port you can enter in all weather, due to the massively deep underwater canyon that stretches from its harbour entrance to several miles offshore. This has the effect of calming swell and avoiding dangerous seas when approaching the port. So with this in mind we decided to give it a go and left Peniche late morning.

The swell was quite large as forecast; around three metres; but it was long and no problem to move through. Once we’d got around the headland Peniche sits on and negotiated a bit of confused sea between there and the islands, Planet rode the waves as if they were ripples. I’ve never been in such a big sea before, and although the first bit was a bit mental and I felt a bit scared, after that it was really fun.

What was even better was the nice westerly breeze that picked up and allowed us to sail well, then motor sail very well all the way to Nazare. This meant we got here in great time, which more than made up for our rubbish day from Cascais to Cascais.

We were shown to a berth by a very kind and helpful couple who run the marina here, and recommended a place to eat, where we had delicious salt cod, pork in port and lovely local wine.

This morning we decided to stop here for another night, partly as the swell is still around and possibly too big to get into the next port without it being risky, and partly to get a few jobs done on Planet. There really hasn’t been much time for anything apart from sailing, sleeping, checking forecasts, getting diesel, water, food and showers since we left Gibraltar.



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