Rested and excited after spending some weeks exploring the Azores, we began focusing our energy on completing the final leg of our Atlantic crossing to Europe.
Below is the passage summary and Pam’s diary of Leg 3 – Azores to Portugal to Gibraltar
- Depart Ponta Delgada, Sao Miguel, Azores June 18, 2019
- Arrive Lagos, Portugal June 24, 2019
- Depart Lagos, Portugal June 25, 2029
- Arrive Gibraltar June 27, 2019
- Total distance 1041 nm (861 nm to Lagos plus 180 nm to Gibraltar)
- Average speed 6.4 kn
- Max speed 10.1 kn
- Max wind speed 22 kn
18 June Tues – Glenn and I had spent 15 wonderful days exploring these amazing islands (Azores posts coming) and it was time to prepare for the completion of our crossing to Europe. Several days earlier, Glenn awoke early to meet our friend Jim at the Ponta Delgada Airport. He had flown in from Atlanta to join us for the passage to Lagos. Waiting for a good weather window, had given me a few day to provision and prepare meals for the trip. We also wanted to treat Jim to some of the highlights of Sao Miguel including a final dinner at A Tasca.
We cast off the dock lines at 4:45pm on the 18th and said good bye (for now) to the Azores. The skies were overcast and light rain fell and the forecast called for light winds for most of the passage. Mira was loaded with fuel and could motor the entire way if necessary. Motored at 2200 rpm along southeast coast of Sao Miguel.
19 June Wed – Beautiful clear blue skies under high pressure ridge. Sunny. Cool. Dolphins visited us while we cruised in flat calm water over 16,500 feet deep.
And again… still averaging less than 6 knots one engine at a time. Current from the west helping boost our speed a bit. Pretty sunset. Beautiful orange Moon rising every night around 10:30pm. Made chicken a la king for dinner.
20 June Thur – Quiet day. No wind. Motoring. Sunny but not too hot. I sat on front of boat for awhile. Worked on blog posts from Azores and Portugal travel plans. Beef stroganoff for dinner. Wind picked up some in night. Only to 10 knots but bumpy.
21 June Fri – This morning wind continued to build and came close to 15kn by afternoon. Halfway day…Made brownies! Ran generator. Made water. Showers for all!. Changed from due east course to northeast towards Lagos. Making 7-8 knots headway. Should arrive Monday sometime. Wind averaged 18ish through the night. I started to feel queasy but heated up my boat lasagna for the guys.
22 June Sat – Winds averaging closer to 19kn. Seas calmer. Mix of sun and lots of clouds. I took a dose of stugeron to stave off seasickness for the first time in my life! Nice sailing but seas are choppy. Still on target for Monday morning arrival. Made a sausage broccoli rice parmigiana cheese dish for dinner and afterwards we continued our Rummikub tournament. Got very cloudy and hazy around dinner. Winds died during night. Motor on at midnight. Quiet night. We spent most night watches watching shows or movies on the iPad.
23 June Sun – Still cloudy and a little rain. Winds only 5-6 knots. Seas still choppy. Boats beginning to appear. 1/2 mile miss of 900 ft tanker on my watch…. Busy busy. Ran generator. Made banana bread and washed hair! Spa day for Pam. Winds still light. Sun peeking through. Both engines on – trying to make Lagos tomorrow morning. Glenn and I continued our dominoes tournament while Jim was heads down reading his textbook for a finance class he’s teaching. Glenn worked on watermaker projects.
Pizza & salad for dinner. More Rummikub variations. Little wind tonight. Cloudy and cool. Both engines still on. Main sail set tonight. Quiet night. Lots of dodging of huge ships in the traffic separation zones as we approached Sagres, Portugal.
24 June Mon – Mira’s first glimpse of mainland Europe – sighted Portugal around 8:15 am! And, also exciting, cell coverage by 730 am!! Beautiful cliff and beach view of Ponta da Piedade on our sail into Lagos. Arrived Marina Lagos and tied up to our berth at noon.
Had lunch in the marina at Quay Bar & Bistro. Jim took 3 pm train to Lisbon for flight home tomorrow. Naps then explored the town. Lagos is a great vacation beach town. Sunset drinks on rooftop of Lagos Avenida Hotel. Then more exploration. Dinner at Don Sebastiao in Old Town. Great recommendation by our son and his wife. Best swordfish ever!!
25 June Tues – Up early. Beautiful morning. Wandered the streets of Lagos. Igresa de San Antonio, Pasteleria Gomba, Central Padareria, and Mercado Municipal. Bought awesome swordfish steaks.
Welcomed our returning crew, Diego, back on Mira at 11am. He would join us for the final passage to Gibraltar. Went to grocery. Dinner at Pizzaria in town. Left fuel dock by 815 pm. Light winds. Motoring on my watch. Lots of fishing boats milling around. No wind all night.
26 June Wed – My 6 am watch same. Still no wind. Fog rolled in for few hours in middle of day. Quiet night through the Straits. Tons of cargo and tanker ships but they stayed in their traffic lanes.
27 June Thurs – We stayed close to shore and rode the current and tide into Europe! Arrived in dark and zigzagged through the cargo ships at anchor in the Bay of Algeciras and into the Queensway Quay Marina reception dock at 415 am in the fog! Harbormaster knocked on hull at 8 am. Need to move to our berth soon. Moved to our convenient berth – close to restaurants!
Cleaned boat and galley. I walked through city to tourist office and supermarket. Dinner at The Landings on water.
28 June Fri – Walked to Main Street. Taxi tour to the Pillars of Hercules view of Morocco and Algeciras then St Michaels Cave, monkeys and then to Great Siege Tunnels for view over Spain and airport. Then walk through Main Street and Gibraltar museum then lunch at The Jury cafe and wine bar. Commonwealth Park.
Back to boat. Packing etc. After a final steak dinner aboard Mira, we said goodbye (for now) to Diego early the next morning as he began his long trip home to Argentina. Diego was a great crew and had become a good friend. Glenn and I were finally in Europe and excited to hit the road exploring Portugal by car for a few weeks.