We'd been wondering for several years what one could do in August, when it's hot, crowded, noisy and expensive.
Well, Culatra quite fits the picture of cool, cheap and quiet and we decided to just stay put.
It did get crowded in the anchorage in the beginning of August with an invasion of Portuguese and Spanish boats. Seventy boats we counted around us some days, and we could see even more in the anchorage off the northeast tip of the island. All full with cheerful holiday celebrating families and fortunately none with ghetto blasters. Those Spanish and Portuguese tend to anchor right in the middle of the pack (mind you, the Dutch as well, they're so used to being in crowded spots) and use just a tiny bit of anchor chain, but the few times a boat started dragging nothing serious happened.
We had been planning on moving to the anchorage at Portimão, but that being a much smaller bay we thought we might as well let the hook get settled even more.
On the beach appeared sun beds and sun shades for rent and a place to have a massage, but it never got really crowded.
One day we got talking to a very nice Portuguese man from Lisbon who was anchored nearby. He gave us a very special present: a bottle of wine of more than 100 years old. The wine, not the bottle; a forgotten cask had been found in his winery. A real wonderful taste it was.
For some days one of the forest fires that had been raging in Portugal was quite near, sending us hot dry air on the northerly night winds.
And a lot of ashes and dust! Of course we have no right to complain, a bit of deck cleaning is nothing compared to the fact that scores of people died in the fires.
Boats of many nationalities we saw anchored at Culatra: British, Dutch, German, French, Belgian, Irish, Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, Finnish, Swiss, Austrian, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, New-Zealand, Australian, Russian, American, Argentinian and for the first time we saw a sailing boat with a Moroccon flag outside Morocco.
But this was the first time ever we've seen a boat with this flag:
We also met up with several boats we'd seen before in the past years. That's one of the wonderful things of cruising: meeting new people, and every goodbye gives a chance of meeting up again.