We had a possibility to sail in one go from Cascais, around the corner of Portugal and to Algarve or split the trip into two. The distance from Cascais to Lagos is 120 nautical miles. It was still early in season, and we thought it would be nice to split the leg in two and spend a night at anchor in front of Sines.
There was no wind forecasted. Fortunately for a short time the familiar afternoon Nortada wind was blowing, and we could sail for even 9 miles out of 59 nautical miles. In the late afternoon when the wind again died off completely there was also a fog. Anyhow, it felt so good to be going forward again. After waiting for a couple of years we were actually finally on the way to Algarve!
There is a huge commercial port behind massive breakwater of Sines where are terminals for oil, gas and containers. However, inside the big port there is another smaller breakwater that hides a beautiful beach of Vasco da Gama, fishing harbor and marina. The big port is open to the south and despite of the second breakwater the Atlantic swell can enter the beach area as well. The best sheltered location for dropping the hook is as close to the marina as possible without blocking its entrance.
The beach of Sines was named after their the most famous person, explorer Vasco da Gama who was born in Sines. He was the first European who found the sea route from Europe to India around the cape of Good Hope.
The scenery to the beach and the marina is idyllic but one should look away from the commercial port as it’s very industrial and boring. Our anchor was down at seven in the evening, and we spent a quiet evening cooking, dining and relaxing onboard. After a refreshing sleep we weighed anchor at seven and sailed towards Algarve.
Just as we were passing the breakwater, a huge tanker was about to arrive with four tugs assisting its maneuvers. One tug breaking from the stern, two pushing from sides and the fourth pulling from the bow, and soon the leviathan was turned towards the pier. We definitely did not want to be in the way so Andrus quickly steered away from the fairway.
At sea there were about ten ships at anchor and skipper was sharp eyed and followed carefully that none of the ships suddenly started their engine and weighed their anchor. After passing the ships we turned our bow towards the southwesternmost point of continental Europe, the cape of Cabo de São Vicente.