Re: A couple wisely decides to head back in...
Those are normal winter conditions around here. No breakers they say gusting 40 but I don't see the sea that would raise. It seems to me 25 to 30K. The waves are nor even big for what is usual in winter (15 to 20ft is quite usual).
They turned around because they feel not like to go on not because it was dangerous. And they needed not sail for 50 hours either. They had two ports that would remain Open with much worse conditions at about 13/17 hours and both with an easy entrance (Nazaré and Peniche).
Yes that is a dangerous coast and frequently on winter it is better to sail directly from Porto or Leixões to Nazaré (85Nm) or Peniche (115NM) without trying to enter Figueira da Foz were waves can form on the river mouth.
With some wind it is better to sail well away from the shore (6Nm). Waves are a lot steeper near.