Povoa de Varzim

A rude awakening as CH77 burst into life and Nick at Rally Control reminded us to be up and ready to leave at 6am.

Its Leg2 from Baiona to Povoa de Varzim – just 50nm…how bad can it be?…

Povoa-de-varzim1Well it was pretty bad in an odd aggravating sort of way. First we motored out against a lovely dawn sky and glass like seas; then the wind gradually increased to 25 knots plus, with choppy annoying waves. Wind and tide seemed to oppose every attempt at progress so we motored or motor sailed most of the way. We arrived at Povoa de Varzim at about 3.45pm.  There is another Rally dinner tonight in the Yacht Club.

The next day the WCC had organised a tour to Porto and the Taylors Port Wine Lodge. Unfortunately we had so much tidying up to do on the boat not least of which was getting the bedding dry from the for cabin that we opted to stay and sort the boat out.

We weren’t alone in our decision to stay in port, and as the day wore on we saw that the Norwegian contingent on Ravi had made there way over to the fuel jetty that was on the opposite side of the marina amongst the formidable and rusting fishing fleet. I watched with interest as the crew of 4 men struggled to get across the bay in winds which were now gusting 30kts and then position themselves to fill up.

Ravi knew I also wanted to fuel up, so I wasn’t surprised when they radioed me to come over – except they also said I should raft up against them and when I had finished would I mind pulling them off the fuel jetty because the wind was so strong they couldn’t get off!

I enlisted the help of Neil and Barry to help me and powered stern first off the pontoon and into the 30kts of wind. So far so good. Except I could not turn in the space available to get the bows round – so I opted to just cross the bay stern first!…we arrived at the fuel jetty stern first and rafted up next to Ravi.

Filling up was like applying for political asylum in a Soviet state. First I had to explain to an expressionless fisherman that I too needed fuel – remember he had just filled up Ravi. After some gesticulation and miming of heavy oil (don’t ask) he got the message and we filled up. Then he indicated I should follow him, and we walked 500 yards to a fish auction hall and over to an empty booth with a glass screen and a typewriter. The fisherman summoned another “official” who sauntered over and sneeringly made it evident he wanted my passport and 200 euros. I obliged. He sat stabbing at the typewriter and cursing, spat on the floor and then handed me my receipt and passport back. He clearly had flunked the Disney School of Customer Service and I was glad to get out and back to the boat.

Next followed the towing of a 45ft Beneteau and 4 large and concerned Norwegians off a concrete wall between two very large fishing vessels. Most of this was accomplished in astern which seemed to be the most comfortable way to approach a high wind in close quarters – probably not so good if you were at sea.

RP12 Slideshow (15) RP12 Slideshow (151)
Start line – Enterprise 2nd from left Enterprise, motor sailing