Posted by: Vegard Bleikli | 25/10/2012

Drinking port in port in Porto in Portugal

Portugal’s dolphins coming to play with Værbitt

After the crossing of Biscay our plan was to continue south to Porto, Portugal, directly. But with bad weather on the horizon we had to take refuge in Camariñas. So when the weather cleared the very next evening we got back to business. Nice south-easterlies saw us well on our way, but blowing from shore, the wind carried more than warmth, land-smell and our sails; Every flying bug in Spain got blown off shore and landed aboard. Luckily, only a couple of flies have taken permanent residence.

The dolphins and their new friend

Fishing was very popular all along the western coast of Spain and Portugal. Boats with no lights, AIS or wits and flags and buoys made our night-passage a bit dramatic at times. But having a radar was a godsend and we got trough with no major problems.

“Do you know why we live in saltwater? ‘Cause pepper just makes us sneeze!”

August getting good footage

After half a day we reached Portuguese waters and got to experience the friendliness of the native dolphins. We had company for the entire stretch to Porto, with up to 20 or 30 at a time. In the calm, clear water it was easy to both see them and hear them from under the surface. As we watched them gracefully play in the water we were only David Attenborough short of being in Planet Earth.

The border between paella and bacalao

We arrived in Porto at night and moored in the local marina. Even though it is covered by two sets of breakwaters the swell is very noticeable. We were told that this was the case for most of the west coast marinas, and that Porto is actually of the better ones. In Porto we metaphorically bumped into Erika Parker, a Norwegian yacht we previously met in Camaret, France. We joined her crew up the river for a great day in the hometown of port-wine. During our time in there, we learned that Porto is covered in bathroom tiles, likes to deep fry small fish, and is possibly the birthplace of all mail-services.

View by the river in Porto

August and the crew of Erika Parker; Anne Louise, Bjørnar and Hilde

A nice northerly wind is about to make its entry, so if nothing changes we’ll continue south this evening. Downwind sailing in non-stormy conditions is a luxury we have yet to enjoy since leaving the sheltered fjords of Norway. In preparation, August has been on sail maintenance duty, looking over and fixing up our biggest genoa.


A street in Porto



  1. Amazing pictures! After the scary parts of hazardous boats in your way etc., we are happy to hear from you again! It is almost as being with you on your journey. We really love to read your blogs and are waiting for more!

  2. I agree with Lothar! 🙂
    Hi from snowy and freezing Brønnøysund where I am stuck for three days! Yay!

  3. Hei August og Vegard

    Godt å se at det går fremover med “stormskritt”.
    Sjanse for at dere er i nærheten av Gibraltar i nær fremtid?
    Er like øst for Gibraltar frem til lørdag 03 november, og har bil.
    Tenk om tilfeldighetene gjorde det mulig for oss å møtes…?

    Hilsen Onkel Øyvind

    • Heisann, Onkel Øyvind!

      Vi landet nettopp i Lagos, Portugal, og blir nok her noen dager. Hadde vært stor stas å møtes, men det er nok det nærmeste vi kommer Gibraltar.. Men hvis du har lyst på en liten roadtrip blir vi veldig glad for besøk! 🙂

      Hilsen August & Vegard

  4. […] two days in Porto, Værbitt set her sails in a sweet 20 knot breeze. With the wind finally abaft her beam, she was […]

  5. Amazing pictures! Thats so unbelieveable. Nice to see that you are fine 🙂 All the best to you both 🙂 Big Hug.

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