São Jacinto

26th November to 2nd December 2017

The anchorage here is small – I would guess room for two or three boats in between the sandbar and mooring field (and even then, I wouldn’t anchor there in anything that couldn’t take the ground comfortably), as well as a few closer to the channel which the ferry and fishing boats used (as long as you don’t mind the wash from the ferry). We nestled in relatively close to the sandbar and anchored quickly and securely in just under 3m of water.

Our first couple of days were spent mostly on the boat – it was windy one day (which would have meant an uncomfortable dinghy ride to shore) and rainy the next with an improving forecast. We don’t mind spending a bit of time on the boat, there’s plenty to do and while Charlotte goes a little stir-crazy, the kids are normally OK with it. Among other things, many duplo creations were built, bread was baked, and our first Fishmas decoration was made.

Having noticed that we were very close to a lovely soft-and-flat sandbar at low tide, we visited it one afternoon by dinghy to play. As it was flat and soft sand, I let out some additional chain and loosened the bridle so that our boat sat on the ground the following afternoon. This gave me a chance to wade around in thigh/knee deep Atlantic waters and clean the bottom of the boat – a much overdue task. A clean(ish) bottom as opposed to one covered with a thin film of algae seems to add just under a knot of boat speed at a slow-cruise under motor in calm seas. I’m sure it makes the same difference under sail as well, but it is harder to notice as there are so many other variables at work! Anyway, good job done, and while it was COLD it wasn’t that unpleasant. My legs had most of their feeling back after a hot shower. Arthur isn’t as soft as I am, and proceeded to wade over to the beach and play as the sun set before wading back to the boat – I’d guess the temperature was about 5 or so degrees centigrade.

We went into town to shop at the mini market and have a walk on each of the following days. Fellow cruisers may wish to note that the shopping was excellent – one of the best stocked mini markets we have come across, owned by a very personable couple. Walking likewise – Arthur particularly enjoyed a game of hide and seek in the Miscanthus grass on an abandoned building site, and the playground which was opposite the shop (near the church, town hall and pharmacy).

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