Sines MarinaA welcome late start at 1000 for the sail to Sines. Wind fluky and weak, with true wind speed never higher than 12kts for most of the morning and afternoon, increasing to 19kts by 1700 when we were almost there. We arrive at 1800 looking forward to a rest and a day off the following day.

Sines sports another small marina in the process of being developed, but sited in the shadow of a huge oil and gas refinery and container port. Ships come from far and wide to disgorge containers and get them transhipped by road or by smaller container vessels to the rest of Europe. The small bay outside the marina is great for anchoring and has a small, family sized beach that the locals were enjoying – very picturesque. The marina facilities are excellent and the welcome friendly. A small town is within walking distance. All noted for the return journey to the UK.

Sines is also notable as the birthplace of Vasco da Gama, and provides a tenuous link to our own family history. My maternal grandfather was a Pereira, and there are many da Silvas, Fernandos and Flamer-Calderas in the family tree. Like many of the Portuguese in Sri Lanka they would have been descended from those 15C explorers and traders that followed in Vasco da Gama’s footsteps, after he had proved the route to India down the west African coast and round the Cape of Good Hope.

The weather is distinctly warmer now, and the Rally participants are becoming more relaxed and happy in each others company. There really is a tremendous feeling of camaraderie amongst the participants. Spurred on by Nick, Sally and Jaz start to prepare a “pontoon party” and all the crews knock up food and drink contributions…a lovely party…its as if we have been doing this forever and this is just normal life. Like a caravan of vagabonds sailing from port to port with no particular purpose.

SAM_0457 Vasco da Gama
The bay and marina at Sines Vasco da Gama
RP12 Slideshow (59) RP12 Slideshow (76)
Pontoon party… Pontoon party…
SAM_0467 RP12 Slideshow (54)
Pontoon party… Rally boats…