Isla Graciosa

Detour sailed marvelously during our four-day passage from Alvor, Portugal, blazing along at about 7-knots, throughout which Brian and I took turns reefing and un-reefing sails.  Inconsistent wind speed (north-northwest at 15-30 knots), paired with a few squalls, kept us bounding up and down the ladder to reduce and increase sail area so that we could remain comfortable…

The Crossing

Welcome to the phase of our lives which will now and forever be deemed, The Crossing.  When, exactly, did we stop cruising and begin crossing?  I think it was somewhere between Portugal and the Canary Islands. It’s transatlantic season!  The Canary Islands are the staging ground, and we are moving through with the masses of sailors…

Alvor Anchor Club

The transient, Alvor Anchor Club began just a few weeks ago when Brian and I became surrounded by fun-loving sailors – what are the odds!?  Great minds think alike; we all thought the Alvor River would provide good protection on the hook and reasonable access to neighboring, larger towns while we waited the next forecast to sail…

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…

Any Port in a Storm

The world’s Port wine is produced from grapes which are grown and hand-harvested in the Douro River Valley, Portugal.  Think of any Port that comes to mind…for me those are Sandeman, Six Grapes and Taylor…all are grown along the Douro River and all are exported from the city of Porto.Port is a blend of Portuguese grapes.…

SIM Shopping

The day’s mission was to obtain two new SIM cards for our iPads so that we would have data coverage in Portugal; we’re establishing quite the collection of SIM cards, I’m sure the teeny things will soon amount to enough to cover an entire wall!  I did a quick search using the marina’s wifi to…

Welcome to Portugal!

Welcome to Porto, Portugal (just a 2-mile walk and 45-minute metro ride from Leixoes, Portugal where we’d found the best marina price nestled in the center of Porto’s commercial harbour). Porto was a feast for the eyes; many buildings’ exterior walls are adorned with intricately patterned, ceramic tiles often draped with drying laundry.   Narrow, cobble-stoned streets lined…