Now that we got a bit ‘acclimatized’ in the Algarve after rounding Cape St. Vincent, we left Sagres. We sailed to the next town, Lagos. On the way, we passed the beautiful coastline with golden beaches and limestone cliffs. It’s a very popular area, we saw many boats visiting the beaches and the caves. So we decided to anchor our catamaran in front of the beaches of Lagos and take the dinghy to see the cliff upclose. Some cliffs had become arches because of erosion, so you could pass under them with your canoe, paddleboard or small boat like we did:
In the following video you get an overview of the golden beaches and sand-lime cliff formations:
Lagos has a charming citycenter, with many little squares, restaurants and shops. The atmosphere is relaxed as we are used to here in Portugal. People are friendly, modest and patient. The weather is still 22-24 degrees this time of year, so walking around in shorts in November is normal and feels great.
The harbor of Lagos is in the middle of the city and very popular. Especially this time of year when the ‘hibernators’ from England, Germany and the Netherlands arrive to spend the autumn, winter and spring in the Algarve. So the harbor of Lagos was full. Our plan B was to go to Alvor, a small town next to Lagos which is situated next an estuary where boats can anchor. An estuary is bay where the sweet water of the river and salt water of the ocean come together. This gives a rich wildlife and nature area. But it is also shallow with sandbanks and it was not our first choice to go there.
A few days before we arrived in Lagos, we got a Whatsapp message from Addy and Astrid of the Dutch ship Waveguide (see how we met them and many Dutches in Cascais). They noticed via Marine Traffic that we had arrived in the Algarve and mentioned that they had anchored in Alvor and recommended us to come as well. So I called Addy to ask about the shallow areas and sandbanks and he gave good advice to sail in safely. We had a nice meeting with them on our catamaran with coffee and local sweets. We caught up since Cascais when we had seen them the last time. Their plan was to make the crossing to the Caribbean in November and their main goal there is to visit Suriname.
The bay of Alvor is beautiful, it has a little fishharbor where it looks like time stood still. Many little fisherboats are active there, you see old fishermen sitting on the jetties, busy fixing their fishing tackle and nets.
When you are at anchor, you use solar generated energy and water from your watertank to do cooking, washing, boiling water, making coffee, flushing toilets. After our time anchoring in Sagres and now in Alvor, we were running out of water (we have a 600 liter tank). So we asked the fishing harbor if we could get some water from them. We were allowed to do so and they mentioned that a Dutch catamaran had a permanent berth here, but was damaged and recently went out of the water to be repaired. The berth was free for the coming month. We could use it if we wanted for 1 week or 2 weeks for a small fee. So we were happy to do this, because it would give us unlimited water and electricity. And we really liked the atmosphere in the bay of Alvor, so we decided to stay a bit longer!
In the next blog, I will write about how we met some lovely English family with whom we spend 4 days, having lunch, walking around in Alvor, having dinner together and sailing on their beautiful Swan 43 (first time for us on a monohull sailing!). And also in the next blog, I will tell about how we rescued a boat that had broken loose and drifted, so stay tuned for more Algarve excitement!