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Lagos to Faro and a Few Places in Between

Posted by Tni Newhoff on Tuesday, August 7th, 2007 at 9:26 am
Position: 36.9983 by -7.8412 map

Laurent was flying out of Faro so we began edging our way east along the coast. Leaving Lagos we were blessed with a perfect day of sailing. No engine needed, the winds were exactly where we wanted them as we glided past stunning sandstone cliff faces. The grottos that we experienced in Lagos seemed to abound along the coast as well. It is always such a treat when we have a guest and we are gifted with such pleasant sailing. You almost forget that it could be any other way. We sailed pretty far off the coast in order to avoid the many fishing nets. These have proven to be the bane of a sailor’s existence sailing along the southern coast. They will sometimes send you miles out of your way. Worse than the nets though (b/c you can at least see the brightly colored buoys from far away) are the octopus pots. These are small floating squares with something that resembles an antenna sticking out of them. They are much harder to spot, especially given that often times their colors just blend in with the ocean until you are right on top of them. Should I really be complaining though? After all, I love the fresh fish of Spain. Anyhow, to our left were the cliffs, to our right the vast expanse of blue. I am always surprised by the comfort that I find in that unobstructed view of nothing but blue. Along with my surprise I should add that I am extremely grateful that no tough passage (can you believe it…the memory has slowly faded into the background and now we actually laugh about it) has managed to tarnish the immense peace that I still find out here (thank God!!). Nope, still no plans for another ocean crossing…but I guess I should say – never say never ;)

We anchored out in Portimao. It was a nice anchorage and Laurent enjoyed being able to jump off the back of the boat for a swim. There is a river that runs for miles up from Portimao so we took the dinghy out for some exploration. The next day we set out for our next stop, Villamoura. When David did his delivery from Southampton to Mallorca 12 years ago they had stopped here, in what was at the time, nothing more than a lovely little fishing village. Not so now. Now, as we pulled into the channel the site hurt our eyes. Sprawl…everywhere. The city is one big resort and built around the marina is essentially a huge outdoor mall. It was so depressing and we were so bummed that we had not stopped at the peaceful secluded anchorage that we had passed a few hours back. The next morning, we moved on and anchored off of the island of Culatra which is just across the channel from Faro. Ah…it was good to be there. We were completed transported back in time. This was a true fishing village and you get the impression that everyone knows everyone else…a real tight knit community. The houses are built right on top of sand and I can imagine that sand in your home just becomes a part of life. We crossed the island via a wooden pathway, that was recently built to preserve the flora along the sand dunes, and came upon a most beautiful span of beach. Was it not for the sand flies, it would have been perfect. Laurent left us the next day via ferry. We were sad to see him go but are looking forward to visiting him in France later this year.

              

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