It’s been a tricky few weeks working our way along the Portuguese west coast. There have been a few days with good sailing conditions and some wonderful destinations, but on the whole we’ve been motoring a lot more than we’d have liked, dodging gazillions of poorly marked lobster pots along the way.
We’ve grown to love our radar, and have relied on it to get us through the dense summer fog banks, made all the more interesting by the crazy fishing boats who don’t bother with automatic identification systems (AIS), and just motor around without a care in the world, not even sounding a horn to announce their presence.
To help, we’ve made good use of MARPA (Mini Automatic Radar Plotting Aid) to monitor their whereabouts:
The red triangles are dangerous targets which, once they’ve been manually identified, are automatically tracked by the radar which sounds an alarm if they get too close.
Here’s Helena adding targets while we both keep an eye out for anything we may have missed with the radar, like the lobster pot on our port side:
Even when we get close, and know that there’s a boat out there, it’s a relief when it is finally spotted and we know we’ve passed it safely. Can you see the fishing boat in this photo?