Rio Guadiana - Culatra - Portimao - Alvor
For the past 4 weeks we have been kitesurfing most afternoons......
.....but back to kiting later.
After a month up the Rio Guadiana, we decided to move down to the coast as the daily temperature of 35c at Alcoutim was becoming a tadge uncomfortable.
Before the Guadiana Bridge we met Jolli Jumper and Ron Glas at anchor so decided to stop for the night. As they were heading east into the Med, and we were going west, there was a good enough reason to have a farewell dinner on board Jolli Jumper. But first we explored the canal into the marshlands.
We were up at dawn to ensure we left the Guadiana before the ebb tide made the exit too exciting. Although they were not sailing that morning, both Ron Glass and Jolli Jumper were up to wave us farewell; thanks for the send off RG and JJ. Hope we meet again and that you enjoyed Elbow's 'One day like this' at full volume as we passed - just felt appropriate as a beautiful dawn broke.
We stopped at Culatra Lagoon for a night and then headed back to Portimao for a week of marina luxury before the summer rates started..... and makes a night in a marina a truly expensive treat. Apart from the boat needing a good spring clean, we had mail waiting for us and had to catch-up on various admin jobs. The week flew past.
On leaving the marina, we spent 5 days at anchor off Ferraguda... enjoying the sounds of the Praia Rocha night life at a pleasant, even soothing, distance.
With the Portuguese trade winds well established, we were keen to move to Alvor Lagoon, a short hop down the coast, to kitesurf. The entry into the lagoon is a little tricky as the sand bars continually shift and although we had kited there over the winter this was our first entry by boat. Even with the advantage of a lifting keel, we eased our way gently down the channel, leaving the first green buoy to port as it was clearly in the wrong place......or was in the right place until that particular sand bar moved.
Although the main anchorage has now been mostly filled with moorings there is still space to anchor, with care not to impede the main channel. Not only is the anchorage another great spot...
...it's only a short dinghy ride to a sand spit island that's perfect to kitesurf from....
With the 20+ kts wind kicking in at around 2pm, this is undoubtedly one of the most consistently windy locations we have ever kited at. And even with 20 to 40 kites out every day there is still plenty space.
As conditions here are so perfect for kiting, we plan to stay at Alvor until we are ready to move on; probably sometime from mid-August onwards.