São Martinho do Porto

4th-5th December 2017

A circular bay with a narrow entrance (which can only be safely used in VERY settled weather, hence the short stay). In the 0.5m westerly swell, with very little wind, which we had on both entry and exit it looked peaceful and inviting. The bay itself has plenty of space for anchoring boats on either side of a mooring field – again, being a shallow-drafted catamaran means we don’t have to worry about potentially sitting on the bottom at low tide. But here, while we could clearly see the bottom at low tide, we were afloat throughout.

In the morning there was frost on the inside of the windows in the starboard hull (which we don’t use at night) which I think indicates winter is here! Not that you would know it at 11am when Arthur was wading from the beach into the sea carrying his dump truck and digger wearing just his jumper – the local gents who were gathered for a chat on the street corner next to the beach seemed to find this very amusing. No idea why.

While we were on the beach we spent a little while chatting to a now-retired French author who has lived in a village on the other side of the bay for the past few years. He came back half an hour later to offer us the use of his house (washing machine, shower etc.) to make life more comfortable. Not needed on this occasion, especially as we were leaving that afternoon, but the offer was very kind indeed. It’s a shame, actually, that we didn’t get to spend longer with him as he seemed a kindred spirit.

The beach was lovely, water flat-calm in the shelter of the bay, and the atmosphere of the town itself was so calm/relaxed/wonderful that we wish we could have stayed longer – but as we are due to meet family in Lisbon relatively soon, and there’s the potential for some nasty weather in a few days time (which could easily leave us “stuck” for too long), we had to move on.

If anyone is nearby towards Christmas, take a picture of the light-up Christmas raft which will be moored in the bay from the 18th of December – it was being built when we were there and looked like it would be spectacular.

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