Image: sand dunes on Culatra.

A one day motor sail East from Portimao took us to a very different place. Culatra could not be any further from Portimao in terms of culture, space and pace. We arrived in the early evening, passed through the entry channel on the rising tide and found our way to the wide anchorage tucked inside to the north of the island. The anchorage feels open and spacious but is protected by the island to the south and the distant mainland Portugal to the north. Culatra is only about 6km long and less that 1km at its widest. It’s home to about 1000 people and feels rustic, peaceful and isolated.

Within moments of arriving we were in contact with neighbouring boat families and had an invite to a birthday party. Dizzie, Loadstar and TeFiti are all family boats that are sadly heading in the opposite direction to us (they are going west across the Atlantic). However we had fun spending time with them on the long open beach that spans the islands length on its south side which is a winding boardwalk away from the fishing town.

Each day we jumped in the the dinghy for the short trip to the fishing town but always gravitated across the boardwalk to the long open beach.

This has been a great place to be and we hung out here for longer than planned while Phil got over a bug. By the time we pulled up the anchor nature had taken over us and Bella’s raw water filter and log impeller needed a good clean out.

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