Sailing Long Distances

Sines – She spied on us

Sesimbra is a vital fishing harbor. Hence a long breakwater protects the port of the forces and temper of the Atlantic Ocean. On the way down to the harbor entrance, we set the mainsail for convenience; smooth water, no heeling, it couldn’t be easier. 
Since this is a story about sailing, the wind forecasts will pop up now and then. Four different meteorological institutes made a matching prognosis, almost no wind down to Sines. Hardly on course, wind force six knocked Athene to the side. Still, the wind direction was perfect, so we flew to the south. More precisely, two-thirds of the distance, when the wind finally read its forecast and collapsed to a breeze in response.
Around this time of the year, the marina Sines has enough free space for yachts passing through. A cheerful young lady in the office greeted me and said, ‘I knew already that you would come today.’
‘Excuse me?’ I replied, perplexed.
She got even more excited and added, ‘I knew it for five hours already, actually. We’re monitoring the AIS signals of the vessels sailing in the vicinity, so we have a good idea of who might come next. And we already know the dimension and name of the boats.’
‘Do you?’ I said, somewhat off-guard.
‘Don’t think we stalk sailors. No, no, not at all. We just want to know in advance what is going on in the next hours.’…Read More