Days 9 and 10 – Tue 3rd to Wed 4th Mar: Cascais to Albufeira. Everyone is now feeling comfortable in their roles on the boat but also working together as a team… not a fake statement to give artificial substance to the blog, but a true statement that really does underline one of the key reasons why we do AT. The run to Albufeira was 140 miles; weather forecast indicated a lot of engine use to maintain the minimum of 5 miles in the hour so we worked on a 24hr passage time knowing that winds would pick up nicely for our approach and rounding of Cabo de Sao Vincente.
We slipped Cascais at just before 0900hrs once a couple of the crew had returned from picking up a few fresh provisions and our dues were paid. The weather was bright and sunny…shame about the lack of wind, so with engine on, main up and one reef in, (that turned out to be the correct call during our approach to Cabo de Sao Vincente in the early hours of the morning) we set off, manoeuvring through the anchored merchant ships of Lisbon’s equivalent of the Nab Tower vicinity and fell straight into a 4hr on and off watch. An uneventful leg down to the Cape which picked up nicely upon reaching the Cape, hearing the waves crashing onto the rocks from two miles away; an impressive experience and sight under a clear night sky. The wind which had been NW all day with preventer fitted really did pick up nicely when approaching and rounding the Cape. As we altered course from 170 degrees round to 130 and then onto 80, Kukri really did ‘lift her skirt’ and accelerate towards Albufeira touching 10 knots SOG. This was a great sail for the helmsman and crew knowing that it was pretty much our last passage for the RLC on the exercise. A large pod of dolphins escorted us in for around 30 minutes and at 0800hrs we were moored alongside the reception pontoon at Albufeira Marina. A quality finish to another great coastal passage.