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Last update August 04 2011.

Rudy from SY Sea Ya has arrived in Portugal. We met Rudy in 2009 in Horta in the Azores, he went up, we went down to Portugal. Now Rudy and his father sailed from the Netherlands to Portimao (Portugal) in 9.5 days. The re-union is a happy gathering and together we decide to sail to Ayamonte and the Rio Guadiana.
Our sailing trip is a rough ride. According to all weather forecasts it would be light winds, from north-west. Once outside Ria Formosa it looks quiet but appearances are deceiving. A strong south wind blows and white horses appear. The wind turns from south to south-east and we get about 27 knots of wind, straight on the inlet of the river. No fun negotiating that, and even dangerous if we didn't have local knowledge. That night we stayed in the marina of Ayamonte, for at anchor the swell and counter-current wind were unbearable.
SY Sea Ya was also in Ayamonte and we had a farewell dinner together that evening, we said goodbye again as Rudy had to return to the Netherlands for a few weeks and we'll probably be in Madeira when he returns.

We decided to go up river to Alcoutim and see if the temperature is bearable. Our first stop is on the Guadiana River. Full moon, stars, no lights, it doesn't get any better. We anchored in a bend of the river midway to Alcoutim. After this night we sailed to a mooring at Laranjeiras. Visited the Roman Village there. After Laranjeiras we ended up again in Alcoutim, where we waited for our friends to arrive.

On Sunday, June 24th, Manolito (Portuguese born, raised in the Netherlands) invited us. He will pick us up in his old Renault 4 and lead us around the area where he lives near Mertola. We make a stop at the abandoned mines of São Domingos, owned by Mason and Berry from Great Brittain. Part of the mine works can still be seen today, but most of the mines themselves are filled with water that looks like iodine. This is caused by minerals and is highly toxic.
At lunchtime Porco Preto (black pig) is served. A delicacy from the region of Portugal and Spain. After lunch we stop at Pomarao where we say goodbye to Manolito and get back to Alcoutim on Jaap's boot.

Joseph and Karin arrived on July 26th, late in the afternoon in a very hot Alcoutim. The SRV-man (that's an old Dutch grocery service) arrived with our groceries from the Netherlands, and what a service at almost 3000 kilometres that is.
The next day we got by car to Mértola and looked at some houses. I dropped John, Joseph and Karin in Sanlucar de Guadiana, where they took the boat and sailed down to Ayamonte, while I drove to Faro where I parked the car of Joseph. Then I took the train and ferry back to Ayamonte, where I was waiting for JoHo with her crew to arrive.
On July 28, leaving the Guadiana River wasn't easy. Waves build up near the entrance of the river and we had low water at that moment...(didn't we get that two weeks earlier as well). But now the rest of the journey was very turbulent, no wind and waves from all sides. Seasick I lie on the sofa in the saloon, while Joseph and Karen and John are outside in the cockpit. After 30 miles we arrived at the entrance of Ria Formosa. And here's the other way around, the water is going out now, so once we are through the entrance we immediately anchored. Deciding to BBQ and swim until the tide turns, after that we motored to Culatra.

It's the end of July and we have fog in the Algarve! In the morning we walked on a sunny beach, in the afternoon we got dense fog at the anchorage, the temperature dropped and it got chilly. We where sitting in long pants and a sweater in the cockpit. Brrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

Saturday 30 July we go to market with the four of us to Olhao on the ferry from Culatra. The Saturday market in Olhao is quite large. After the market we walked through old Olhao with its narrow streets. Now Joseph and Karin have an impression of Olhao. We where back just in time at JoHo, for weather had changed. Wind was blowing and some boats dragged. One came right at us. We were afraid that he pulled our anchor with him. Fortunately that ddn't happen, but John helpen the guy anchoring a new and safe.

Joseph and Karin experienced everything onboard of JoHo and survived, so I think they qualify for a certificate ''I survived the JoHo experience". All aboard JoHo had a lovely time.

If you're interested in sailing the BAHAMAS, BERMUDA, MALDIVES or BONAIRE have a look at our books at SAILADVENTURES where the books are available online.
You can always mail us for more info on these cruising grounds or cruising in general, we'll gladly help you out.

Jolanda

Current position

JoHo is in the water on anchor at Ria Formosa in Portugal. Position 37°00,4' N - 07°56,4' W.
You can reach us by e-mail and Sat phone 00870776456078.

Plans

To go off again and sail to less explored areas, maybe begin the start of a circumnavigation (although to circumnavigate is not the goal).
JoHo will be our main address, floating office and home for the next year.
S
till we'll have to work some in between where and when possible, compiling a few cruising guides on our way.

John and Jolanda.