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the Degree Confluence Project
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Portugal

49.6 km (30.8 miles) WNW of Cabo da Roca (Cape), Lisboa, Portugal
Approx. altitude: 0 m (0 ft)
([?] maps: Google MapQuest Multimap world confnav)
Antipode: 39°S 170°E

Accuracy: 4 m (13 ft)
Click on any of the images for the full-sized picture.

#2: Map #3: GPS #4: Farilhões #5: Ilha da Berlenga #6: Cabo da Roca #7: Portuguese coastline

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  39°N 10°W  

#1: Cabo Carvoeiro

(visited by Captain Peter, Valentyn Smirnov, Volodymyr Kokorev and Volodymyr Sydorenko)

11-May-2002 -- When we left Saint Petersburg on the 4th of May we had no clear instruction where to proceed, yet. During navigation out of the Baltic Sea our broker was busy with fixing the ship for a new employment. Finally, when we were already in the North Sea, near the Netherlands, we received a telex with our new fixture:

"ORANGES IN CARTONS ON PALLETS LOADPORT AGADIR MOROCCO DISCHARGE S. PETERSBURG. ARRIVE LOADPORT LATEST 13MAY/0500HRS, LOADING TO COMMENCE ON DAYBREAK"

That was quite a relief. We were already fearing the worst, like fish to Nigeria or something horrible else.

On the way through the English Channel (La Manche) and the Bay of Biscay (Baie de Gascogne / Golfo de Vizcaya) there are no remarkable confluences to visit, but the Western Coast of Portugal around Cabo Carvoeiro and Cabo da Roca, offers a point.

The closest port is Pôrto da Ericeira, which has a population of about 5,000. It is a small craft harbor qccomodating mainly local fishing vessels. The harbor is subject to frequent silting and is untentable in SW winds.

Several objects can be seen from the confluence:

The Farilhões are a group of steep, rocky islets. The largest of which is Farilhão Grande.

Ilha da Berlenga, which is flat with a steep, indented coastline fringed by rocks. In Western gales the sea breaks violently on it. Ilha da Berlenga is nature reserve.

From Cabo Carvoeiro to Cabo da Roca the coastline consists of steep, rocky cliffs, fringed by beaches and broken in places by ravines and small valleys.

Portugal came into existence as a nation in 1139 when Alfonso Henriques, a vassal of the King of León and Castilla, declared his independence and assumed the title of King of Portugal. The country South of Rio Douro was at that time still occupied by the Moors but they were driven out during the course of the next 100 years, Lisbon being captured with the aid of a crusading fleet on its way to Palestine in 1147. In 1373 Portugal signed a treaty of alliance with England, an alliance which has survived to the present day.

From the early part of the fifteenth century Portugal was in the forefront of the tide of European exploration. In the wake of her discoveries she acquired a vast empire but in so doing she overspent her strength and was unable to defend her territories. Between 1521 and 1555 her population was halved due to emigration and famine. In 1580 the succession to the throne was disputed and Portugal became part of the dominions of the King of Spain after a brief civil war. This state of affairs continued until 1640 when Portugal once again won her independence under the Duke of Bragança, who became king. Lisbon was destroyed by an earthquake in 1755.

Portugal was invaded by French armies in 1806 who went on to occupy most of the country. The Portguese government appealed to Britain for help and an army was sent to their aid under Sir Arthur Wellesley, the future Duke of Welington. Wellington finally expelled the French from the country in 1812. A disputed succession to the throne in 1828 again led to civil war which lasted until 1834.

In 1910 the King of Portugal abdicated and a Republic was proclaimed. There followed a period of unstable government which, in 1928, had led to a critical political and economic situation. In 1932 Dr Salazar, a professor of economics, became head of the government. He remained in power until he retired in 1968.

In the almost bloodless coup in 1974, the Armed Forces Movement seized power. In 1982, and again in 1989, the consitution was revised in the light of Portugal's continuing democratization. Portugal was a founder member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in 1949 and is a member of the European Union.

Portuguese is the only language in common use in the country. The language derives fundamentally from Latin but contains many words of Celtic, Greek, German and Arabic origin. The language is allied to Spanish to the extent that the inhabitants of each country can usually understand each other, when speaking in their own language.


 All pictures
#1: Cabo Carvoeiro
#2: Map
#3: GPS
#4: Farilhões
#5: Ilha da Berlenga
#6: Cabo da Roca
#7: Portuguese coastline
ALL: All pictures on one page (broadband access recommended)
  Notes
In the ocean, but the Farilhões and Ilha da Berlenga are visible.