Barracuda's Blog

The adventures of Kate and Graham and our OVNI 395.

16 August 2017
15 August 2017 | A Coruna, Spain
13 August 2017 | 45 due north of A Corona
12 August 2017 | 185 miles due north of A Corona
11 August 2017 | Roughly 150 miles west of Brest
10 August 2017 | Off south coast of Ireland
08 August 2017 | Cork, Southern Ireland
07 August 2017 | Youghal, Southern Ireland
06 August 2017 | Kilmore, Southern Ireland
05 August 2017 | Kilmore, Southern Ireland
04 August 2017 | Wicklow
03 August 2017 | North Channel
02 August 2017 | Port Ellen, Islay
01 August 2017 | Loch Sween
27 July 2016

Flying the Flag in A Coruna

18 August 2017
KW
Kate's turn for the blog today, and I'm scratching my head to remember what we have been doing. We seem to have adapted to Spanish time rather quickly, so yesterday was a very late start, followed by a gentle amble to the daily market for seafood, and then a goodbye to David, who was heading back to Scotland laden with chorizo. Thank you David - it was great to have your time, great experience and fine company these last few days. Supper last night - once the boat chores were done - was langoustines cooked on board, with garlic mayo and crusty bread, washed down with a little pink Rioja. Strangely, my morning tea didn't arrive till 10am.
Today has been filled with more boat chores. The autopilot, which gave up the ghost just half an hour out of Cork, is now on its way back to MEI in Southampton. Then this morning we discovered a freshwater leak, and had to trace its source - which was the hot water system. We now know far more about the calorifier than we ever thought we would need to, but it's fixed now. A couple of lines were showing signs of chafe, so those were dealt with, and there has been optimising to do for Mr Windy P's set-up. And on the domestic front, there has been yoghurt, water and ice to make, laundry to deal with, bilges to clean... and of course planning to do, as we decide when to leave and where to go. Our original plan - 35 miles round the corner to a lovely-looking anchorage - are a bit stymied by the weather which makes the passage look fast but the anchorage look pretty unpleasant. So, we shall probably stay put for a couple of days longer. What a shame. Late this afternoon there was a flurry of activity in the harbour, with a stream of boats arriving, including several Brits. One was another Ovni 395 - a sister ship - with, would you believe, a Tayvallich man on board. A very sociable time on the pontoon.

Santiago de Compostela

16 August 2017
Today was our first trip away from A Coruna by train to Santiago de Compostela - the third holiest site in Christendom. Well worth the visit - amazing buildings and interesting people there. Many people still walk tens or thousands of Km to get there on pilgrimage. Others do the same cycling. There were lots of people arriving at the cathedral in the centre, many having come a long way. Walking around this lovely mediaeval city was quite enough for us, and the journey home on the train passed in a sleepy flash.

Getting to Know A Coruna

15 August 2017 | A Coruna, Spain
GW
Yesterday was spent settling back in after the trip over - washing the boat, the oilskins, our clothes and us, and starting on a few bits of minor maintenance. Nothing we want to change after this good shake-down, but we need to get the Auto Pilot fixed - that will be sent back to MEI in the UK for sorting out, but we can live without it for a while as Mr Windy P has done us proud. Walked out to the Tower of Hercules lighthouse (last surviving working Roman lighthouse, albeit rebuilt in the 18th century) and got to know the back-streets which are an interesting mix of old and new. In the evening went for our first promenade with the Spanish out in glamorous, noisy numbers. The evening seems to start around 8 or 9pm and go on till 1 or 2 in the morning. After a great meal, found with some difficulty, somehow we ended up at the Oktoberfest (in August? in A Coruna?) to finish off the evening - this town knows how to party. Today we had a stroll and visited the local castle and somehow the day passed, eating tapas and enjoying a slower pace of life.

Arrived A Coruna - Now to enjoy the delights of Galicia

14 August 2017
GW
So yesterday we arrived in A Coruna after three days and 14 hours at sea and about 524 miles covered on the ships log, averaging 6.1 kts. That was a really fast passage. Top boat speed was 10 kts (G at the helm!). Top wind speed was 36.6 kts - which K noted was a force 8. Numerous ships were avoided as we crossed the shipping motorway - we give thanks to the inventors of AIS and good binoculars. Best meal voted as Khozani chicken eaten at the cockpit table - thanks to Cameron for leaving us the recipe. Best bit of kit voted as Pacific WindPilot - Mr WindyP steered us nearly all the way which was particularly useful given the Autopilot went T-Up just as we left Cork. Mostly a fabulous sail but the wind gods did give us a wee message at the end of the trip. As we approached the NW corner of Spain expecting force 3-4, the wind gradually increased to force 7 gusting 8 - we reefed down and enjoyed an exhilarating sail home but it was a good reminder of who is really in charge out there. Now parked up safely and ready to enjoy the delights of Galicia - yum!

Approaching Spain

13 August 2017 | 45 due north of A Corona
GW
Mid Day Update: We now have about 45 miles to go to the Spanish coast. The last 24 hours have seen a first for this trip - we are actually on port tack - hard to believe that we come all the way from Argyll and this is our first wind from the east. Another first - whale spouts - as we were settling down to supper in the cockpit last night there were a couple of spouts in the distance - yeah! We sailed yesterday until the wind dropped as forecast around 5pm and then motored through the night until the expected easterlies kicked in. Plenty of overnight shipping to negotiate as we found ourselves coming down through the main shipping pathway from the English channel down to the NW corner of Spain. We now have 15-20 kts on the beam and Barracuda is surging along.

Barracuda in the Bay of Biscay

12 August 2017 | 185 miles due north of A Corona
GW
We now have 185 miles to go of a 500 mile passage and so far we have sailed all the way with the Wind Pilot steering us day and night. Sailing off the continental shelf is always interesting as the depth goes from 200m to 4000m in the space of a few miles. We had a great porpoise / dolphin show last night - loads of them playing with the boat for a while. Not many vessels out here but had to do a bit of tanker-avoidance during the night; after a VHF discussion with them it was easier for us to move. I guess size does matter. Winds have eased per forecast so we now have the cruising chute up again. Breakfast highlight was Kate'€™s boat-made yogurt -yum!

Under way for Spain

11 August 2017 | Roughly 150 miles west of Brest
GW
On route for A Coruna, Northern Spain. Reporting position at mid day. A good and reasonably steady 15-20 knt breeze stayed with us for the last 24 hours so enjoying a fast sail south. Mainly westerly with a touch of south in it but good enough to allow us to build some westing initially to stay off the Bay of Biscay and then drop onto a due south course bound for A Coruna. Getting our sea legs and working a watch system. About 1/3rd of the planned 500 mile journey now done. Passed by some of the Fastnet race yachts on their way back towards Land’s End.

Under way for Spain

10 August 2017 | Off south coast of Ireland
GW
Departed Cork at first light bound for A Coruna in Spain. A gentle breeze from the north west is pushing us nicely along. David getting to know Barracuda again. We have the cruising chute up to help maker progress.

Having a corking time in Cork

08 August 2017 | Cork, Southern Ireland
Thank you wind gods for a really great sail - wind near on the beam as we headed south and west from Youghal to Cork along lovely Irish coastline. The Wind Pilot was deployed to steer us most of the way. We are so pleased with this bit of kit. Arrived in Cork as a hefty squall came through – Parking Wind as we call it. Tied up at the Royal Cork Yacht Club – the oldest yacht club in the world – with all the facilities we need for a refresh. Cameron leaves us here - Thank you Cameron for your observant crewing, excellent humour and fine cooking. You are most welcome anytime. And so now we prepare for David’s arrival and starting across Biscay bound for Spain, a trip during which there may be a break in transmission of updates to our loyal readers.

Plodding south west

07 August 2017 | Youghal, Southern Ireland
Once again the wind gods were not on our side but we kind of knew this would be the case today. We are moving down to Cork where Cameron will leave us and David will join us and we have flight bookings to work around. So today involved one long motor sail southwest into a south-westerly. Mehh! That said the rain stayed off but there were some spectacular clouds and big rain showers going on around us. Our destination was Youghal - pronounced more like Youl by the locals – we think – but the accent here is very strong so we are not very sure. A fruitless fishing attempt led us back to the store cupboard for dinner. Good mooring bouys provided by the town which turned out to be sitting in a 3 knot tidal stream during flood and ebb – makes for an interesting night.
Vessel Name: Barracuda
Vessel Make/Model: OVNI 395
Hailing Port: Argyll
Crew: Graham and Kate
About: Learning as we go....
Extra: Look to this day for it is life...
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