Suwena was put back into the drink on 10th of June. There is a small pontoon next to the boatyard and its left side is reserved for boatyard’s visitors. During the launching of Suwena the waves were minimal. However, during the evening and night the amount of swell was increasing constantly. Even if we used long springs for letting her to bubble up and down freely, it was very uncomfortable night. Our plan was to clean the boatyard’s dust from the deck and make sure that all equipment is working before starting the summer voyage in earnest. Thus, after filling the water tank to the brim, we were ready to stay in anchorage for a week at least.
To our surprise, there had been also another Finnish boat, Aku Wama in the boatyard at the same time. We with Robert were the only ones staying for the night at the pontoon before continuing to Cascias, from where Suwena will turn its bow to the south while Aku Wama will continue north towards Finland.
After casting off the lines we rolled out the genoa and from the trip of 10 nautical miles we sailed nine. With the reefed genoa and pushing against the current we sailed at best for 7.5 knots.
As we were approaching Oeiras at the mouth of the river Tejo the wind packed against the cape at 28 knots. We quickly passed the fortification of Forte de São Julião da Barra which was proudly guarding Lisbon.
There were also four other boats, all sailing towards Cascais with us. Wherever in the world at least two boats are sailing more or less in the same direction, suddenly the sails take a better shape and skippers start to follow closely at the maneuvers of other boats and so the race has already started. This happened now as well. We were leading together with the British boat until the sleek yacht with black sails passed all of us in style.
When we arrived at the anchorage of Cascais it was already so full of boats that we had to anchor closer to the marina entrance next to the breakwater and that was not ideal because the shelter was not the best. Fortunately, some of the boats weighed anchors in the evening and left empty spots closer to the shore near the tall buildings that provide shelter from the northern wind to the bay of Cascais. We quickly got our hook up and anchored Suwena in much more sheltered place while the wind was increasing constantly.
The forecasted wind was supposed to be 20 knots and maybe 28 in gusts. However, its strength just kept increasing and at 11PM we thought that the anemometer went broken as it was indicating wind speeds of 40 to 50 knots and for a while it was roaring constantly over 50 knots. Andrus reseted our instruments but the readings remained same. Somehow it did not feel correct because there was no foam spray on the waves. Next morning the wind meter correctly showed 6 knots and Andrus checked from the official meteorological station the wind readings from previous night, it was blowing at 36 gusting 40 knots. Our wind sensor is high up at the top of the mast, so no wonder that the whole thing became crazy. Anyhow the howling wind was dreadful and frightening, also the boat was jerking and pulling the anchor chain heavily. Despite of the storm force winds our Rocna anchor held well. I think that the additional shelter from tall buildings at sea level also helped a lot. The final outcome was restless sleep and broken Finnish flag at the top of the mizzen. The latter confirmed that the winds must have been horrendous up there. Fortunately, we had a spare flag.
On Saturday morning after the storm had passed, we spent a couple of amazing days in Cascais. The town of Cascais is like a doll house. Everywhere are flower arrangements, romantic walking streets and overall, very comfy atmosphere. The streets are packed with locals mixed with tourists and surprisingly large number of expats living here. This was our third time anchoring at the bay of Cascais. The first one was after the gennaker mishap, the second time we visited here during our autumn sailing and now when we arrived in the bay, we were immediately in familiar waters. In the town center we just had to visit Duke restaurant again because of our fond memories of a jug of well-made sangria there. The sangria was excellent again and delicious garlic shrimps and calamari rings were washed down in no time.
There is also a marina in Cascais, but it is one of the most expensive in Portugal. Secondly the anchorage is outstanding, so we did not even think about the marina. Especially with strong wind we were quite ok with the boat swaying from the Rocna. Just opposite, the mooring lines and fenders might have been under quite a load in the marina!
Tip: From the anchorage you could take the dinghy and leave it behind the fuel dock. If you try to park your dinghy at the marina reception pontoon, they will charge you the visitor’s daily fee.
On Sunday the sunshine was most magnificent. Temperature climbed to 36 degrees. It was nice to run around the bay by the dinghy and many others played with their water toys as well. There were electric, petrol and muscle powered things buzzing around the bay. Cascais anchorage is definitely top-rated!