Headed to the Algarve in Southern Portugal

Read on for the latest update on the continuing voyage of Laurent and Bérangère, who, along with their two children, are sailing along the Southern coast of Portugal aboard their sailboat, “Zanzibar”…


When Cruising and Performance Go Hand in Hand

 We left Lisbon, eager to find some beautiful moorings to the south of Portugal in the Algarve region.

We’re leaving for another night at sea, with 140 nautical miles downwind, and normally, this time, with wind until arrival.  The sail down the coast is sporty:  25-30 knots of wind, with swells of 3-4 metres. With a following wind, we sail with an average of 7.3 knots.  Surfing the waves, we even recorded a speed of 13.2 knots.

Around 8 o’clock, we passed the Cabo São Vicente, the southwesternmost point of Portugal.  Almost instantly, the sea was flat.  So, we would go to Alvor, a splendid lagoon, which is entered by passing between two dykes and zigzagging between the numerous sandbanks.

Two buoys serve to mark a so-called canal, which you absolutely must not follow at the risk of beaching. Laurent was at the helm, eyes fixed on the depth finder.  I went forward to help guide us through the sand banks.  Fortunately, the water was transparent and the tide was rising.


The Algarve, A Lush, Green Region

 This lagoon (Alvor) is marvellous!  On one side, large sand dunes protected us from the ocean, while on the other, the banks are covered with green shrubs with numerous small purple flowers.  At the very end, a small village with white houses and red tile roofs is perched in this peaceful refuge.


Moments of Life On Board as a Family

 For visiting the village, we would see about that the next day.  At the moment, we dreamed of only one thing... rest.  After lunch, obligatory siestas for us all!

Of course the children, who had slept well the night before, woke up first.  As is their habit, they came in and jumped on us, calling for cuddles.  ‘No, it’s too soon! Dad and Mom are still tired, so go play quietly while we rest a bit longer.

At that moment, we were too tired to think… Unlike their usual habit, the children obeyed and left to play quietly.  We went back to sleep… and when we woke, we found Gabin, sitting in the middle of his bed, a pair of scissors in his hand, calmly cutting his fitted sheet… 


Freeze Frame:  Taking Time to Focus on the Details

 In spite of our tumultuous arrival, we were so happy in this little anchorage that we decided to spend 4 to 5 days there awaiting the arrival of the grandparents, who would join us in Lagos, Portugal on June 8th.

We rented a small car that allowed us to visit a good part of the Algarve, including:  Silves, Monchique, Faro, Portimão, and Albufeira.

We also took advantage of the opportunity to restock our provisions, do laundry and tidy up on board after a month and a half of sailing.




More soon on the adventures of Zanzibar and her family…