07 August 2007 | Ilas Cies (Off Bayona)
You've heard us all wax eloquently about the bounties we have seen, tasted and experienced. Most of it is true. Five days have now passed since our arrival in Bayona. The passage was easy in the end, though six days is still a long time at sea for us. Little or no wind was the norm, as well as the hum of the diesel. It was hot near Sao Miguel, but as we climbed higher in latitude, the evenings and nights started to get cool. I was wearing a fleece with shorts and socks most nights on watch, as were the others. Lots of stars and the moon was with us as well. Al is a great fisherman and eventually was lucky with the tuna landing.
No vessels were sighted on the passage except a sailboat heading west in the distance, until we entered the shipping lanes heading north and south from the English Channel and Gibraltar. Then it became very busy with many crossing situations one after the other. These are busy lanes and one would want to try and pass through them while it is light, as even with AIS and radar it was a challenge keeping track. The fastest vessel was travelling at 25.4 knots, with our AIS system showing a CPA (closest point of approach) of 2 miles.
We had hoped to arrive in Bayona in daylight but it was not to be. The entry is straightforward and well marked but with all the shore lights it was very difficult to see many of the marks except for the lighthouses until you were right on top of them. The stars were especially brilliant that night and as we closed the harbour, the moon rose directly on our bow. It was beautiful. There are two choices for marina and we chose the commercial marina instead of the Yacht Club. Perhaps that was a mistake because the Yacht Club was old and well established with lots of history on the walls. They had apparently sponsored at least one America's cup boat as well. We were fortunate to be invited there to lunch by Bill Foss (CCA), yesterday after a RCC bus tour of the area. A local friend of the RCC and the CCA, Alfredo Lagos was gracious and invited us along for the tour although we were not taking part in the rally itself.
Bonnie and I were sad to see my two brothers go and honestly it is taking us a while to adjust to being alone in a strange land. It doesn't take long to get back to normal over Chiperones and beer, though!
All the best from Aisling I
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