13 degrees C in the morning. We have been spoiled the last montth or so, with ever lasting sun and warmth. Time to go south (or fire up the cabin heater) We choose to continue south. Very light and variable winds forecasted for today, and that was correct. We woke up in a wrapping of dense fog. Later in the morning it seemed to lift at sea even if it linguered inside the ria and over the mountains of course. At 11 AM we decided to go around 20 miles to the next Ria expecting to motor most of the way but since it's not that far...
This part of the coast is called 'Costa del Muerto' (coast of death). In bad conditions it' must be a scary coast to be approaching, but the name emanates from history. This was one of many places on earth, where the locals lit fires at night i stormy weather so causing the sailing ships to believe that the fire was (the origi of lighthouses) showing the safe entrance. When the ship got wrecked, the locals took whatever they could salvage, often killing the surviving sailors in the process. A horrifying grim act by today's standards, but nevertheless quite common in many parts of the world in the past.
During the day we passed 'Cabo Villano' (Cape Evil) and tomorrow we expect to succesfully pass 'Finisterre' (land's end) - the most westerly point of Spain - before going south to the 'Rias Bajas' (lower Rias) before crossing the border to Portugal.
The fog came back after an hour or so, and we practised radar navigation again, motoring inside a confined universe of humidity and a very narrow horizon of water, often a mere 50 meter away.
Much to enhance our overall mood, the fog lifted magically when we entered Ria de Camarinas. The entrance is straightforward, epecially compared to most landfalls in Swedish waters and the anchor sooon landed in 6,5 meter of water inside the breakwater again.
The remains of the day was spent, changing galley pump with united force, and then renovating the old one. despite being the same make, they obviously didn't fit exactly the same hole pattern. Anyone who has experienced this ?? ;-)
Yesterday our new galley pump arrived. The staff at the chandlery were very helpful and the parcel arrived exactly as said. Impressive. The often commented 'Manana' attidtude is something we haven't encountered at all. On the contrary, the Spanish are helpful, interested and very pleasant to deal with all in all. (at least that goes for the people in Galicia)
Yesterday we had the Customs visit us too. Three uniformed gentlemen in a RIB. Even they were very polite and correct and we had a quite amusing chat while they briefly overlooked our documentation. Apparently they are busy during the winter season with refugees trying to enter Spain, Mostly Maroccans as I understood it. We were allowed to stay, maybe an advantage of the European Union.
Yesterday night we were invited to a birthday party on board 'Zephyr' from Jersey, who were anchored close by. We first met them in Ria Vivero and had a quick chat there. They are on the same route as us basically, so we'll probably see them around from time to time. A very entertaining evening with Steve, Colin and Danielle.
Thank you so much and welcome onboard 'Röde Orm' the next time we'll see you!
it was raining during last night, it rained on and off in the morning and then it just poored down all evening and night. At least 55 mm of rain in a bucket in the cockpit. Shocking, since we haven't had a drop in at least a month iIIRC. Add no wind and a three meter swell and this was not a day to remember for great sailing. All of you who have been on the water no what I am talking about here.
The Iron Genny had to work during the approx. 30 miles to the westsouthwest where our chosen stop was. A smaller Ria with one litlle fishng harbour each side of it. Corme and Laxo. Corme is protected against the N and E so was our choice for the night. In the poor visibility we could just about get an impression of the town and it's surroundings. Must be very pretty on a clear day.
We anchored inside the breakwater and spent the remains of the evening arranging all our wet gear in the cabin trying to get it dry with the aid of oil lamps.
...before we took off.
Oatmeal (swe: havregryn) and müsli. Impoosible to find oatmeal in France or Spain adn all the müsli has sugar and chocolate added to it. NOT FOR BREAKFAST! Please... so what am I having for breakfast then? Bread, toasted beside the coffeepot on the stovetop of course! with butter and marmelade. This is OK, but those occassional mornings when I discover that we are out of bread and NOT in the mood to bake. Or in a hurry to get under sail, go with the tide and so on...
So the advice, to people who, like me are addicted to that stuff, bring as much as you can carry!
Isabelle : Given that she s french, and they arguably have the best food in the world, the kist woud simply be too long for a blog about sailing. I'll give her the tip to write a book about it. That book would be a best seller.
Fortunately, since we left France just a couple of weeks ago, we still carry a few 'survival packs' of cheese, foi gras, pat'e etcetera, but they won't last that long.
That said, there is lot of good food around here too. especailly the fish- and seafood departments are nice in 'los supermercados' and there are a great variety of cheese and salami style sausages. And teh best thing last - the 'jamón curado' The ham, dried and salted. No better ones to be found on the planet I believe. 'Pata Negra' and 'Serrano' are not the only brands, there arre a plentiful. Unfortunaely they are as expensive here as they were in Sweden, but one lives just once, erh?
Some wise person said: 'cruising is doing boat maintenance in exotic places' and by God, he/she was spot on.
If I may say so myself, we did a quite thorough job on Röde Orm before we left Sweden. In addition to this, we carry a lot of spares. Engine speres, tools, material to do at least provisional repairs at sea or in 'out of the way' places.
And still -after a mere 1600 miles and a couple of months on the move, we have not only found a couple of more things to put on the 'to do'-list but also a simple breakdown where we where without spares.
We have 2 manual bilge pumps on board and repair kits (gaskets and valves) for both. The same goes or the head(toilet in 'landlubberish). We've also got three footpumps for water on board. In the galley (kitchen in landlubberish) on each for fresh- and seawater respectively and another fresh water pump i the head. I was certain we had repair kits for those too. Not so, I discoverd after digging everything stored in three cockpit lockers out. Almost one cubic meter of 'stuff'.
Thats the reason we will have to stay two more nights in La Coruna in an uncomfortable anchorage with wakes from ferries, freighters, fishong vessels and tug boats around the clock.
The bonus is obviously that we'll have time to see a bit more of the town. We are reluctant to leave the boat unattended for more than a couple of hours in the morning though. In the afternoon there is usually a fresh Force 5-6 and the depth is over 20 meters gproviding a less than satisfactory scope on the anchor rode. We've got 60 meters of chain +40 meters of line out. More than that is not possible since the boat could swing too close to the channel.
And the other repairs, wonders the observant reader...?
The wooden members at the stern of the boat, where the windvane is arrached, need to be reinforced, since they are not providing a solid enough base for tha attachment points of the wind vane gear. (This is the mechanical self-steering device). The most important crew member onboard, probably. The vane also needs new lines, since the old ones are staring to show signs of chafe. This little project, together with some electrical installations (newly bought cabin lights) will wait until we reach Lisboa. We will stay there for a while anyway since Isabelle's PC has broke down despite a new hard drive i n the UK, and we will also investigate the price level there for ordering a dodger(sprayhood) Since we will be mostly coast hopping on our way down there we'll do fine withour using the wind vane more than occassionally.
There's always something to tend too, thus no risk for boredom
but actually working. In truth, the living expenses are lower now when we live onboard and cruise. But we do need 'douhg' for food, fuel, marina fees, an occassional dinner at restaurant and miscellaneous small boat related expenses that do add up.
So, at anchor and with access to wifi, I am trading on the financial markets. this week I have been sitting in the cabin in front of my computer from 9AM to 10.30 PM. first the swedish exchange and then the NYSE. Phew, I do sleep well at night after a working day like that.
Thought I had to share this with you, so you won't think that we're on a never-ending vacation.... in fact, we are better off than that in my opinion. We ar on an open-ended life-style journey.
Trully, earning a living as a stock market trader/private investor is no for everyone. For me, it seems like the perfect occupation living on a boat. The only thing I need is the internet and a computer... yeah, my head obviously :-D
The weather is warm and sunny mot of the time, but the wind outside our sheltered Ria is in the 25.35 knot range( 6-7 B) so it is a good opportunity to try and top up the cruising kitty. Today, it's Friday, and we would like to go to La Coruna to explore this medieval town in the weekend.