October 26, 2020
When we where ready to start sailing from Viana do Castelo there where some really big waves that where about to hit Portugal, and we spent a lot of time researching before we decided that we would give it a go.
Here is two pages we found useful:
And from those pages we found this website:
which shows green, yellow or red on each harbor to give indication if one should try to enter or leave. There is a comment in Portuguese but that could easily be copied and translated.
Anyway, when we decided to leave Viana do Castelo the waves where about 4 meters high with a period of 10-12 seconds coming from north-northwest. We where a bit nervous when we departed from the river, but everything went fine.
We started sailing along the coast and the height of the waves where definitely noticeable (almost no wind at the bottom and a lot of wind at the top) but while at sea there was no problem at all.
Later in the evening we had next nervous moment, entering the Douro river in towards Porto in the huge waves. A boat we where in company with (Freyja) called Douro marina and they said it would be safe to enter. The sun was just about to set when we started heading in towards the river and the waves got bigger. We could se them hit the pier and the beach next to the entrance. Even the big ships outside moved a lot in the waves.
We tried to enter in the middle of the entrance, not to close to the pier and not to close to the beach either, and we managed to enter safely. The pier is towards northwest and if the waves would have been any other direction it may not have been safe to enter. We entered in high tide which should also be safer than low tide.
Once it inside it calmed down a lot and we could slowly make our way into Douro Marina, which is pretty close to Porto.
Here is video from when we sailed along the Portuguese coast. We speak Swedish in the videos, but have added English subtitles on all of the videos.