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Boat Regulations.

Officials will occasionally board your boat. Safety equipment may then be inspected to check it is in date (flares, life raft service). You may be asked if you have paid light dues.

West Portugal

West Portugal is a 300nm long coast of passage, rather than a cruising ground. It has two cities of great character to visit, both suitable for wintering ashore or afloat; Porto (10/10) and Lisboa (8/10). There are enough safe ports along the low sandy coastline to allow day sailing when running south with the prevailing summer winds - the Portuguese trades.  With time and ingenuity, day sails northwards from port to port against the trades are possible.

South Portugal & Spain (W of Gibraltar)

Once east of Cap St Vincent (the SW corner of  Portugal), you're in the Algarve. There's a marked change to a sunny climate. Good communications and mild winters make this a popular region for ex-pats, winter layup or live-aboard.

Otherwise, this is a 190nm coast of transit to Gibraltar, with two interesting rivers for a diversion. There are a few delightful anchorages among sand dunes, some other-worldly villages, and plenty of marinas. It's easy to transit the coast just visiting Lagos and Cadiz, but much more fun to allow plenty of time exploring rivers and inlets. A strong Levanter (easterly) may force a day or three's wait before entering the Gibraltar straits.

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