“The brave may not live forever – but the cautious do not live at all”

Nr 79. The Berlenga Archipelago

‘Let’s check where all our sailing friends are!’. I think once a week Gilles says this sentence. I know what it means: he’s going to check on Marine Traffic (a public website that show the exact position of sailingboats who have a ‘tracker’ on board, called an AIS = Automatic Identification System), where the boats are that we know well. Just for fun! For instance sailingvessels ‘Sterling’, ‘Milky Way’, ‘Bridges’ or ‘A Tout a l’heur’, they are in France, Greece, the Netherlands and Portugal. It’s nice to see where they are at right now. You can track us like this as well, by clicking on: https://www.marinetraffic.com/en/ais/home/shipid:6062213/zoom:9

And this list of boats that we like to check, keeps on growing of course, because we meet more and more new sailing friends on our trip! Like Silbo and Satisfaction. And while Gilles was checking, I heard him say; ‘Huh, what is Satisfaction doing there, laying still so far from the coastline?’. We had met Satisfaction with the 3 young Frisian guys, 2 weeks earlier in Porto and now they seemed to be far offshore. When we zoomed in, it turned out to be a group of islands called ‘the Berlenga Archipelago’ about 25 kilometers of the coast of Portugal. It’s a nature reserve, no harbors, but good anchoring spots. It looked interesting, so we decided to make that our next stop as well!

I grew up on an island and I love the fact that you are close to water and can see water where ever you are. I thinks this is also one of the reasons why I am so attracted to sailing: living on a house surrounded by water all the time!

The weather was great and it was a long and nice day of sailing. And as we moved further away from the coastline, we noticed some frey fins coming our way: dolphins! It was a joyful bunch, swimming under each other and past each other, jumping in front of the boat. It’s so great to see these animals, it’s always a welcome surprise!

The Berlengas were beautiful: red rock islands with beautiful beaches with turquoise water. We explored the main island, Berlenga Grande with our dinghy. We walked up to a fort on top of a big rock and discovered a little fishingvillage where you choose between 2 small bars to have a drink and snacks. We stayed in front of the Berlengas for 2 days, relaxing and enjoying the beautiful views.