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Persephone of London - THURSDAY 23RD - SUNDAY 26TH AUGUST

29 August 2012


We spent the morning exploring the town of Bayona, a bustling lively place with plenty of restaurants which indeed did tempt us to have a splendid paella for lunch.   Later on we wandered around the perimeter of the old castle walls which extend around most of the town.      Before supper we had a drink in the Monte Real Yacht Club, a charming old world club complete with leather sofas making this  is an ideal place to sit over a glass of wine or two watching the world go by around the beach and harbour.

Friday - not much to say here except RAIN, RAIN, RAIN!

Saturday saw the sunshine back  but very little breeze but we decided to sail further south about 34 miles to Viana Do Castello.    Unfortunately we had to motor sail for about 4 hours  until the breeze filled in from the North making the last hour or so a very pleasant sail.   We arrived just outside the marina  and took up a visitors pontoon until there was enough water for us to enter the marina at which point the extremely helpful marina berthing master escorted us to our new berth for the next few nights.

As you sail into the bay at Viana you cant help but notice a grand church perched high up on the hill.   So the next day we decided to visit it.  This church is reached via a funicular railway.   The church - "The Sacred Heart of Jesus" is a 20th century construction in stone inspired by the Sacre Coeur of Montmarte in Paris.    We were able to climb to the top tower from which we had wonderful views of the city and coastline.
We then wandered around the old town and its magnificent railway station.

Nigel had spotted an unusual looking ship painted white down in the harbour so we went to investigate.  This turned out to be a Portuguese hospital ship built in 1955 called the Gil Eannes which is now a museum. When in service the ship's main role was to protect the Portuguese fishing fleets in the North Atlantic in the 1960s and 70s.  She was apparently part hospital, part icebreaker and part supply ship.

Later that evening we planned to have dinner in town with new friends Hannu and Leena from Helsinki and then we plan to sail in company to Porto tomorrow.


STOP PRESS:   Departure delayed - late night early morning drinking Gin on board the Finn's yacht until 4am BST.   (encouraged to do this by the fact we had already made the decision earlier that evening not to leave on Monday due to the change of wind direction to South Westerlies - how easy we have slipped into the manana way of life).

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