SEA Currents: Corwith Cramer
August 01, 2015
38° 32’N x 009° 21’W
Description of location
Sailing out of the River Tejo towards Spain
Weather / Wind
Warm and Sunny, 20°, winds West by South West
a dozen common dolphins jumping out of the water and swimming alongside the Cramer
Hello! This morning we set sail for Spain. We left Lisbon today at around 0900 and we've been making great progress all day long. We sailed down the River Tejo and under the April 25 Bridge, which closely resembles the Golden Gate Bridge. It was an amazing sight to see in the early morning light. We had a pilot help navigate us to the mouth of the river and then watched as a small boat pulled up alongside us, and with the grace and skill that only can come with years of practice, the pilot simply walked off the Cramer and onto the small boat while both ships were moving along at a steady pace. It looked like something out of a Bond movie.
While sailing up the river, we passed many of the beautiful historical sites and monuments that we had the pleasure of visiting during our four days on shore in Lisbon. We were so lucky to have an extra day on shore thanks to the navigational skills of our Captain Doug, and that extra day was absolutely needed. During our four days, we were just barely able to scratch the surface of all that Lisbon has to offer. We visited the Baixa, which is an area of the city formed on a grid system like New York City. Built in 1755 after a series of earthquakes and floods that ruined much of Lisbon, this area is very historic and architecturally beautiful. The cobble stone streets are full of street performers, cute shops and cafes.
We also visited an area called Alfama, which is a very old part of Lisbon that was mostly spared from the damage caused by natural disaster in the 18th century. Full of winding streets and breathtaking views, this was one of my favorite places to visit. We sampled local cuisine and listened to traditional Portuguese music called Fado. There were many local shops in this area selling handmade pottery and tile work, a staple of this region.
On our last day in port, we took a train to a small hilly town outside of Lisbon called Sintra. This area is renowned for its elaborate castles and palaces. I could have spent a week in this town alone. There were dozens of old buildings to explore and things to do. We only had a few hours before curfew at 1900, so we had to use our time wisely. We ended up taking a bus up to the very top of the largest hill where sat the remains of a Moorish Castle from hundreds of years ago. We spent the day exploring all of its nooks and crannies, and it was very rewarding to climb all the way up to the top and see one of the greatest views of Sintra and the surrounding towns.
It will be sad to leave Lisbon but it has definitely become one of my favorite places to visit. I would love to come back some day with my parents and siblings, because I know they would love it as much as I did. We have had a beautiful day of sailing so far, and we even saw a pod of dolphins! There were at least a dozen and they all seemed very excited to see us. They were riding our bow and jumping in and out of the water with ease. Though this is not the first time we have seen dolphins on this trip, it is always exciting to see them again, and this time was no different. A really great way to end a fantastic week in Portugal.