Upper Guadiana River

Just a few miles beyond Alcoutim (PT) and Sanlucar de Guadiana (ES), we began our upstream venture with a highly recommended dinghy excursion into the Rio Vascao. The Rio Vascao borders the southernmost section of Portugal’s Parque Natural do Vale do Guadiana.  The Rio Vascao continues beyond our stopping point, yet we’d already carried the dinghy…

Lower Guadiana River

We took a little detour from the ocean scene, and found a relatively unexplored corner of Portugal along the Guadiana River.                 The Guadiana International Bridge is the only height restriction on the river; our Navionics chart indicates this bridge clearance measures 18-meters (59-feet).  Farther upstream, there are…

Detour Sails Again

Brian and I said, “Farewell, Maine!” and set sail one evening from Portland. The forecast looked uneventful, and we headed east. There were only hints of a breeze as we crossed the Gulf of Maine; this being our third time through this area of ocean, each trip having had incredibly settled weather and glassy seas.…

Hint of the Arctic

On a particularly dreary day, sailing along Maine’s coast and shivering beneath two layers of clothing beneath foul-weather gear, nothing lifts morale quite like puffins! Puffins live their lives at sea; they return to rocky shoreline burrows on remote islands only during breeding season when they re-join their mates.  There’s a lot of catching up…

Jewell Island

Spring hasn’t sprung yet in Maine. Off-season sailing means that all the best moorings and anchorages are free for the taking and the islands are crowd-less, ready to roam! * Photo credit – Detour sailing toward Portland (above). Thanks, Dan! We had a fabulous sail from the Isles of Shoals, with a light southerly breeze…

Haven’t the Foggiest

We’ve cast off the dock lines! Detour motored out of the harbour on a sunny, yet chilly, morning bound for the Isles of Shoals. The fog never quite burned off at sea, offshore we had a grim view. Soaking up the solitude at the Isles of Shoals, Detour swung peacefully on a mooring ball and…

Bruce’s Tale from the High Seas

*Thanks to Bruce for sharing his experience of crossing the Atlantic Ocean aboard Detour. What is it like to make a passage? I remember as a kid visiting a “fun house,” a room with a floor that rocked around in random directions. Imagine living in that room for almost three weeks night and day. On the…

Rolly Day Woes

If we’d thought we’d left England too soon, Alvor seemed an instant, English getaway on the southern coast of Portugal.  We walked down cobbled streets, lined with tiled buildings, chic cafes, and souvenirs fashioned from cork (grown in southern Portugal); few tourists meandered, but we noted those who did commented on the chochki souvenirs with Brittish accents.  Yesterday’s ‘Sunday…

Berlengas

Back to reality after touring in Porto – we had a weather forecast to catch!  We’d met some new friends at the docks in Leixoes; boats seemed to be arriving daily, with sailors of all nationalities aboard who were our age!  Quickly, we became acquainted with a Norwegian boat S/Y Westlee, and passed along our contact…

Surfing the English Channel

If there ever were a time to gain confidence in a boat, or to get the wits scared out of you, it would be during a gale.  Gales might spring up, like an uninvited guest, along a passage after the best possible forecast has been cautiously selected.  That is not the case, however, when departure for a passage…