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August 2023

To avoid killer whales along the coast of Portugal, the recommendation for sailors is to stay within 20 m of depth. The only problem is that in these shallow coastal waters there are many fishing buoys and fishing nets which must be avoided and which are not visible at night. We left Vigo with the intention of stopping and anchoring halfway before reaching Porto as it was over 60 nautical miles distance. That would mean two comfortable 6-hours of sailing for us, with no night-sailing. We both fully agreed on the excellent plan as we set off late in the morning and looked forward to two sunny, beautiful days of sailing towards Porto. We also had a brilliant start with sunny weather and a good tailwind. So good that, at every possible anchorage we passed, we said to each other: Well. Let’s continue a little further... The result was that we eventually approached Porto in pitch darkness and I (Malin) had to stand at the bow with a flashlight and shout to Christer, who was at the helm, the direction of net buoys and other floating fishing gear that appeared in front of Anastacia so we wouldn't sail on them. The dew had fallen so we were also quite wet as we eventually approached a sheltered beach off the mouth of the Douro River that flows through Porto. Tired, wet, hungry and grumpy, we finally dropped anchor at half past two in the morning. It is said that planning when sailing is important! Following the plan obviously remains to be learned😊

It is difficult to get all the way into Porto by sailboat, so Douro Marina made a good base for the almost two-week stay. In the area there are several smaller restaurants, a bakery, a small grocery shop, a farmers’ market and, not least, an ancient laundry where you can still wash your laundry by hand in smaller basins and hang it on drying racks outside. In short, everything you need to be able to live a good life 😊 At the marina, they have made a point of working as much as possible for the environment and saving natural resources. At the reception, receipts etc. are printed on the back of old documents. To save paper, we were told. The forest and the many different types of trees are apparently an important natural resource for Portugal that they want to use wisely. Not least the cork trees, from which all kinds of sustainable products are made - not just wine corks! At the marina there was also a so-called Seabin, a marine dustbin, which collects plastic and other rubbish from the surface of the water which can then be taken care of. Also, here, as in most places we visited in Spain and Portugal, the opportunity to leave sorted waste has also been good and there have been an unusually large number of places with waste sorting bins in the cities. It's hard to find good excuses to throw your waste somewhere else! Litter on the streets, beaches and in the water is removed at regular intervals. In the ports, we have also seen cleaning workers of a slightly different kind who seem to thrive and eat off the remains that end up in the water and where many often wash off their boats. After a bit of asking and Googling, we came to the conclusion that it must be the Flathead grey mullet (Mugil cephalus) which thrives in most waters and feeds mostly on plankton and algae.

After a few days, we were visited by our sons Filip and Isac and childhood friend Joel. Anastacia was now transformed into a mini-hostel with three extra beds for our guests. A nice and lively company that contributed to many laughs! We managed to do most of the things in Porto that were on the boys' "bucket-list": We crowded together with all the other tourists at the Luis I bridge and the old districts, the cathedral SĂ© do Porto and several other old churches. We saw many exciting houses covered with tiles in different patterns and walked in narrow alleys. However, we only saw the Livraria Lello bookstore, that JK Rowling is said to have been inspired by when she wrote the Harry Potter books, from the outside. The several-hour-long line to the entrance was discouraging. Wine tasting of different vintages of port became one of the highlights as well as restaurant visits with local dishes such as Porto's pride, Francesinha. A toast with various layers of toppings, lots of melted cheese generously covered in a tomato sauce containing beer (!) and sometimes topped with a fried egg. It tastes interesting, we thought 😊. In the mornings we went to a small bakery and bought breakfast bread and pastries. Among other things, the national pastry Pastel de nata and the tasty, fluffy and golden-yellow Croissant Brioche, which gets its color from egg yolks. We also had time to swim on the long beach with the big Atlantic waves rolling in and a day's sailing south with three brave gentlemen who tried in different ways to ward off seasickness.

Porto (and Portugal) has been hit hard by the pandemic. After several lockdowns, there is much that has not yet recovered. Among other things, there used to be ferries across the river, between the city districts. These have not yet started. It is also noticeable that the societal gaps are large. Prices for food, petrol etc. are a little lower than in Sweden but, as an employee at the marina put it: With a minimum wage of around 750 EUR/month before tax, everything is very expensive. He himself could not afford a car, despite full-time employment. We saw more affluent areas with beautiful houses and gardens but also many areas that were dilapidated. At the same time, new buildings are being built everywhere and the apartment prices in Porto seem to correspond to the prices we have in our Swedish big cities. It is easy to understand that many people are having a tough time!
För att undvika spĂ€ckhuggare lĂ€ngs Portugals kust Ă€r rekommendationen för seglare att hĂ„lla sig inom 20 m djup. Problemet Ă€r bara att vid dessa grunda kustvatten ligger mĂ„nga fiskebojar och -nĂ€t som mĂ„ste undvikas och som inte syns nattetid. Vi lĂ€mnade Vigo med föresatsen att stanna och ankra efter halva strĂ€ckan innan vi nĂ„dde Porto dĂ„ det var över 60 sjömil dit. Det skulle innebĂ€ra tvĂ„ behagliga 6-timmars dagsetapper för oss, utan nattsegling. Vi var bĂ„da helt överens om den förtrĂ€ffliga planen nĂ€r vi startade en sen förmiddag och sĂ„g fram emot tvĂ„ soliga, sköna seglingsdagar mot Porto. Vi fick ocksĂ„ en strĂ„lande start med soligt vĂ€der och god medvind. SĂ„ god att vi, vid varje möjlig ankringsplats som vi passerade, sa till varandra: Äh. Vi fortsĂ€tter en bit till
 Resultatet blev att vi sĂ„ smĂ„ningom nĂ€rmade oss Porto i beckmörker och Jag (Malin) fick stĂ„ vid fören och lysa med ficklampa och ropa till Christer, som stod vid rodret, riktningen till nĂ€tbojar och andra flytande fiskeredskap som dök upp framför Anastacia sĂ„ att vi inte skulle segla pĂ„ dem. Daggen hade lagt sig sĂ„ vi var dessutom tĂ€mligen blöta nĂ€r vi sĂ„ smĂ„ningom nĂ€rmade oss en skyddad strand utanför mynningen till floden Douro som flyter igenom Porto. Trötta, blöta, hungriga och surmulna lade vi tillslut ankar vid halv tvĂ„tiden pĂ„ natten. Det sĂ€gs att planering vid segling Ă€r viktigt! Att följa planen Ă„terstĂ„r uppenbarligen att lĂ€ra sig😊

Det Ă€r svĂ„rt att ta sig Ă€nda in i Porto med segelbĂ„t sĂ„ Douro Marina blev en bra bas för den, nĂ€stan tvĂ„ veckor lĂ„nga vistelsen. I omrĂ„det finns flera mindre restauranger, bageri, liten speceriaffĂ€r, grönsaksmarknad och, inte minst ett anrikt gammalt tvĂ€tteri dĂ€r man fortfarande kan tvĂ€tta sin tvĂ€tt för hand i mindre bassĂ€nger och hĂ€nga pĂ„ torkstĂ€llningar utanför. Kort sagt, allt man behöver för att kunna leva ett gott liv 😊 PĂ„ marinan har man gjort sig vinn om att arbeta sĂ„ mycket som möjligt för miljön och spara pĂ„ naturresurserna. I receptionen skrivs kvitton m m ut pĂ„ baksidan av gamla handlingar. För att spara papper, fick vi veta. Skogen och de mĂ„nga olika trĂ€dsorterna Ă€r tydligen en viktig naturresurs för Portugal som man vill anvĂ€nda klokt. Inte minst korktrĂ€den som man tillverkar allehanda hĂ„llbara produkter av - inte bara vinkorkar! PĂ„ marinan fanns ocksĂ„ en s k Seabin, en marin soptunna, som samlar plast och annat skrĂ€p frĂ„n vattenytan som sedan kan tas omhand. PĂ„ marinan liksom pĂ„ de flesta stĂ€llen vi besökt i Spanien och Portugal har ocksĂ„ möjligheten att lĂ€mna sorterat avfall varit goda och det har funnits ovanligt mĂ„nga platser med sopsorteringskĂ€rl i stĂ€derna. Det Ă€r svĂ„rt att hitta bra ursĂ€kter för att slĂ€nga sitt avfall nĂ„gon annanstans! SkrĂ€p pĂ„ gator, strĂ€nder och i vattnet plockas bort med jĂ€mna mellanrum. I hamnarna har vi ocksĂ„ sett renhĂ„llningsarbetare av ett lite annat slag som verkar frodas och Ă€ta av de rester som hamnar i vattnet och dĂ€r mĂ„nga ofta sköljer av sina bĂ„tar. Efter lite frĂ„gande och Googlande kom vi fram till att det mĂ„ste vara Storhuvad multe/Flathead grey mullet (Mugil cephalus) som trivs i de flesta vatten och livnĂ€r sig mest pĂ„ plankton och alger.

Efter nĂ„gra dagar fick vi besök av sönerna Filip och Isac samt barndomsvĂ€nnen Joel. Anastacia förvandlades nu till ett mini-hostell med tre extra bĂ€ddar för vĂ„ra gĂ€ster. Ett trevligt och livligt sĂ€llskap som bidrog till mĂ„nga skratt! Vi hann med det mesta i Porto som stod pĂ„ killarnas ”bucket-list”: Vi trĂ€ngdes tillsammans med alla andra turister vid Luis I-bron och de gamla stadsdelarna, katedralen SĂ© do Porto och flera andra gamla kyrkor. Vi sĂ„g mĂ„nga spĂ€nnande hus klĂ€dda med kakel i olika mönster och gick i trĂ„nga grĂ€nder. Bokhandeln Livraria Lello som JK Rowlings sĂ€gs ha inspirerats av nĂ€r hon skrev Harry Potterböckerna sĂ„g vi dock bara frĂ„n utsidan. Den flera timmar lĂ„ng kön till ingĂ„ngen avskrĂ€ckte. Vinprovning av olika Ă„rgĂ„ngar av portvin blev en av höjdpunkterna liksom restaurangbesök med lokala rĂ€tter som Portos stolthet, Francesinha. En toast med olika lager av pĂ„lĂ€gg, massor av smĂ€lt ost rikligt tĂ€ckt av en tomatsĂ„s innehĂ„llande öl (!) och ibland toppat med ett stekt Ă€gg. Det smakar intressant, tyckte vi 😊. PĂ„ morgnarna gick vi till ett litet bageri och handlade frukostbröd och bakelser. Bl a nationalbakelsen Pastel de nata och de goda, fluffiga och gyllengula Croissant Brioche som fĂ„r sin fĂ€rg av Ă€ggulor. Vi hann ocksĂ„ med bad pĂ„ den lĂ„nga badstranden med de stora atlantvĂ„gorna inrullandes och en dags segling söderut med tre tappra herrar som pĂ„ olika sĂ€tt försökte mota bort sjösjukan.

Porto (och Portugal) har drabbats hÄrt av pandemin. Efter flera lockdowns finns mycket som Ànnu inte ÄterhÀmtat sig. Bl a gick det tidigare fÀrjor över floden, mellan stadsdelarna. Dessa har Ànnu inte kommit igÄng. Det mÀrks ocksÄ att samhÀllsklyftorna Àr stora. Priser pÄ mat, bensin etc Àr lite lÀgre Àn i Sverige men, som en anstÀlld pÄ marinan uttryckte det: Med en minimilön pÄ runt 750 EUR/mÄn före skatt sÄ Àr allt jÀttedyrt. Han hade sjÀlv inte rÄd med bil, trots heltidsanstÀllning. Vi sÄg mer vÀlbÀrgade omrÄden med vackra hus och trÀdgÄrdar men ocksÄ mÄnga omrÄden som var förfallna. Samtidigt byggs det nytt överallt och lÀgenhetspriserna i Porto verkar motsvara de priser vi har i vÄra svenska storstÀder. Det Àr lÀtt att förstÄ att mÄnga har det tufft!

Mouro River and coastline



Recycling and waste management


Laundry establishment



The local bakery. Breakfast at Anastacia's



Port wine tasting at Churchill's Port wine cellar



Sailing in the sun...

Just chilling


Porto: The Old town, bridges and surroundings










1 Commentaire(s)

  • Sven och Eva Karin

    SÄ roligt att lÀsa och ta del av etapperna, VÄr BÄtgranne har seglat denna rutt och berÀttat för oss om spÀckhuggarna, Àr det en realitet och verklig fara eller Àr det mer prat, rykten?

    01 September 2023 Answer

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