My brain did get a bit of a shock when we arrived here late afternoon yesterday as it is indeed a large metropolis complete with a very large shipping port, refineries and even an IKEA! I was delighted however, to see that this city which lies along shores of the river Douro retains some 'old village' charm. Our marina is located just inside the mouth of the river and I knew I was really going to like it here when a strapping young representative from the marina office came zooming out of the port in his Zodiac to guide us into our berth. We followed his lead and by the time we arrived at our appointed spot, he was on the dock waiting for me to throw him our mooring lines--what bliss!
As you have deduced by now, we made it safely here on our long passage from Baiona: 10 hours and 65 nautical miles. The cruise (I say 'cruise', not sail, because we motored all the way due to a complete lack of wind) was pleasant and made difficult only by a bit of fog at the start of our trip and the need for constant vigilance the whole way to avoid the hundreds of fishing buoys found in this part of the Atlantic. Of note were the ghostly mists which hugged the coast of Spain as we left early in the morning and the dolphins came and said hello to us twice; once when Patrice was at the helm and another time when I was on duty. Very considerate of them, don’t you think? Worth a mention as well, Patrice tried his new fishing rod (nicknamed Rodney) for the first time. Nothing came of it this time, but with perseverance and practice, we hope to be eating fresh caught tuna very soon (don't worry I have lots of the canned stuff just in case ;-)