River Sailing

Hélder Ventura

To be arranged 6h EN/PT/ES 1-6 To be arranged

Come visit the Ria in a sailboat!

Start with a visit to a real boatyard shop and a close look at the most used techniques to recover the history and charm of these boats. Then, enjoy a ride in a refitted sailboat through the northen branches of Ria de Aveiro, close to Ovar, and stop at several piers to learn their stories.



Price: 
To be arranged

Duration: 
4h

Available hours: 
Tide related

Available days: 
To be arranged

Location: 
Aveiro

Languages 
English, Portuguese, Spanish

Nº of people:
1-6

Accessibility: 
Suitable for children

 

What to expect from this program

The Ria is navigable throughout the year. In this northen branches there are some sailable areas, depending on the tide, where you can visit several piers with interesting stories to be told. Because it is a very ancient territory, very old, where many generations have passed, it is possible, knowing the places and the people, to always find a reason of interest, and we try to discover these stories to use them in the tour so that people actually perceive the character of the places. Sailing by itself would be attractive enough, but it will be even more interesting to visit the Ria and to learn about all these stories, these experiences of the places and of the people.



Who is the Friend?

Hélder Ventura is from Ovar and knows this territory since childhood. He has been involved with the boats, with the Arte Xávega, with the fishermen and with the stories about the Ria, all his life. With the passing years, he kept a deep connection with the sea and nautical activities, having done spearfishing in the river and sea, scuba diving, as well as other activities. Initially he wanted to be an oceanographer, but ended up becoming an architect.
Meanwhile, he developed an interest in museology and noticed that in Aveiro, more specifically in Ovar, there were some very interesting stories related with Recreational Boating and all the heritage built around it. Bearing this in mind, he and a group of friens decided to create an organization to register this facts and promote the attractivity and development of this reality.



Read the complete story

My name is Hélder Ventura, I was born nearby, and I’ve known this territory since I was a kid. We used to go to the beach in Furadouro and the Arte Xávega, the boats, the fishermen and all this imagery of the Ria have always been a constant presence. I remember when I was a kid being on Areinho beach, a river beach where people always met, just watching the boats pass by, and then, as I grew up, I was always very connected to the sea and the boating – I did submarine hunting in the Ria and in the sea, diving, etc.

Initially I wanted to be an oceanographer, but I then took the architecture course. In the meantime, I was interested in museology and realized that there was a very interesting history related to recreational boating here in the region of Aveiro, more specifically in Ovar, and the entire heritage that recreational boating has built, human, social and material, of boats, and also of infrastructures that were created to support this activity. And with this backdrop, with this wealth and heritage, we decided, me and a group of friends, to create an association to record these facts and promote the attractiveness and the development of this reality.

This activity in the Ria is ancestral, as the sail was the system of locomotion of the boats that made the regular transports to carry salt, materials, goods, etc. The Ria was also always a space of leisure, a space of pilgrimages, parties and mobility between the riverside towns. There are stories of the Nobel Egas Moniz, and his friends, Eça de Queiroz and Raul Brandão.

Then came the social transformations, the abandonment of agricultural practice and fishing, and the transfer to industry creates here a different social territory, and modernity arrives to the Ria by means of boats and the practice of sailing and motor boating.

The time it takes to recover a boat depends on the type of boat, on the state it is in and of course the time it is invested in it. Some boats, because they have an important history or design, or because they record interesting constructive techniques, take longer to be recovered, even because they are usually in very poor state of repair. To recover a boat, and being these boats made of wooden, first it is necessary to identify the woods with which it is constructed, the pathologies, if there are rotten parts, if structurally the boat is solid or not and, if it is not, to replace those pieces; this bearing in mind that the boat will be recovered to the function for which it was created, which is to sail, cruise and be useful. A museum piece usually has another type of restoration, tries to preserve the object as it is and does not change much. In order to put a boat ready to sail preserving its identity, it is necessary to change it a lot, and I think we have been able to do so using new techniques related to the products used, and it is possible to put a boat, even in poor condition, in good condition of navigability.

The Ria is navigable throughout the year. It has different moods and characteristics throughout the year, of course, but it is navigable, although not at all hours of the day, as it has a very marked influence of the tides. At this northern top of the Ria de Aveiro, where we are, there are some navigable arms, depending on the tides, and where there are several piers that can be visited, piers with interesting stories to be told.

As it is a very ancient territory, very old, where many generations have passed, and where much imagery have been created, it is possible, knowing the places and the people, to always find a reason of interest, and we try to discover these micro histories and to use them in the visit so that people actually perceive the character of the site. Sailing by itself would be attractive enough, but I think it will be even more interesting to visit the Ria getting to know and carrying with us these stories, these experiences of the places and the people … I at least see travel like this … as an experience which transforms. I think this is the difference between tourists and travellers.

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