Sailing Long Distances

Culatra

With early March, Portugal got notable well away with the coronavirus, and getting away was a keyword for us as well. The isle of Culatra and one of the best anchorages in the Algarve was the destination. Sailing slowly along the coast was very relaxing, with only two boats within sight. It was one of the days’ dreams are made of; blue sky, turquoise water, a white beach glowing in the distance, and almost no waves or swell. The anchorage is east of Faro, the most important airport in the region. On average, every ten minutes an aircraft approached from the west. 
We entered the estuary two hours before high water. The sea was boiling, accompanied by a roaring sound of the water. The GPS read twelve knots speed over ground. Despite all the waves and strong currents, the boat didn’t rock. We just flew to the anchorage. 
With Mid March, we expected a few sailing boats at anchor. Well, the sheltered ground is well-known, a good dozen yachts of all length laid at anchor. Algae on hulls, clumps of grass entangled in anchor chains, spoke of boats, that had become part of the local flora and fauna. Perhaps forgotten boats, or owners back home, sweeping snow. We didn’t know, found ourselves a pleasant spot, dropped the anchor at sunset, and called it a day.
The presumably safe spot turned out to be precisely in the racetrack of fishermen and the nearby fishing port. The vast majority of the fishing boats were small, power by an outboard engine, sometimes two. Before we left Albufeira to Culatra, I read comments of sailors. The overall rating was enthusiastic; only the fishing boats and the swell they cause were a flip-side. One sailor wrote I’m sure, they do it by purpose. Frankly, my first impression was the same. Later, ashore and a different perspective, I thought, being a local, I would do the same, there is plenty of space between the yachts. 
We got the inflatable ready, launched it, and I devoted three hours to my… Read More