Sunrise Ohlao

September 2007

Part Two

Isla da Culatra, Portugal

to Rota, Spain


  Anchorage at Isla da Culatra


September 12, 2007

We finally left Lagos and headed for Olhao. It was a beautiful day, but with absolutely no wind so we motored. We didn't have the chance to test our newly repaired radar/chartplotter to see if it worked under sail.

We entered the narrow entrance with the tide adding 4 knots to our speed. The river splits to the towns of Faro and Olhao, but our goal was the tidal lagoon between the mainland and the sea. There are supposed to be many types of birds, including storks, but we didn't see any. It was really nice to be at anchor instead of in a marina. We enjoyed the quiet and calm evening.



The 49 meter high lighthouse was built in the 1930's and can be seen 25 miles away


We anchored off the the small fishing village on Isla da Culatra. About 3000 people live on this beautiful strip on land, with no roads and no cars. Ferries connect them to Faro and Olhao.

The tides here are not close to the 40 foot tides we had in the north, but it still was about 10 feet according to my calculations. We anchored in 18 feet of water at high tide and that evening when the depth was falling below 10 feet (we touch bottom at 6 1/2 feet) I was hoping my figuring was correct. It turned out to be right and we had a relaxing night at anchor.



September 13, 2007

Our next stop was Mazagon, a major oil port. We checked into the marina but they didn't have keys to the gates at the end of the pontoons. Apparently we were supposed to hail a guard when we wanted to exit and enter. That was a bit scary so we didn't leave Tenaya, didn't have showers and never saw the town.

morning sail


We left the next morning, heading the 60 miles to Rota

Coastal Town


September 14, 2007


What a nice town! The marina is situated just off the ocean and next to the historic old city center. It's a wonderful area to wander around, snaking through the narrow streets. The moorish influence is obvious in the architecture. There are many arches We also visited a few small but beautifully decorated churches.


Katie here, my parents and brother lived here for a while in the late 50s, before I was born. The base was new then and I'm sure the outlying town as well as the seafront has grown since then. At the moment there are a few ships in the naval harbor but nothing like the aircraft carriers in San Diego Bay.


Rota from the sea.


Rota lighthouse

One of the arches, lighthouse in the background.


Rota ships

Rota has an American & Spanish base with a large harbor.









 Early morning start

The next morning we left at sunrise. It would have been fun to stay here longer but we want to arrive in Rota by the 15th, a day before our friends arrive. So far, many places we have stopped are locations we would enjoy exploring longer and many places we wish we had been able to stop. Maybe next year we will move slower and spend more time at each location. This year we need to reach the Mediterranean and Morocco to re-set our 18 month clock of time we are allowed to stay in the European Union.


Rota Beach

The beach at Rota



Rota Belltower

Churches in Rota


Rota Church


Rota Virgin

A statue of the Virgin Mary at a roundabout.


Jim, Lori & Dan

Lori Lynn & Dan arrived today after a long flight from California to Madrid, another flight to Jerez and a taxi ride to Rota. As always they are in good spirits and ready to go.


September Part Three.

Our next stops:

Barbate & Gibraltar