06/18/2012, A Corunia
Well, the picture shows the next morning and a storm battered Rosalyn tucked up with her new pal and a much better sky behind. Not for much longer though, because another day's slog awaits.
A fairly uneventful passage, this time. The only excitement was when I nearly collided with a large whale. I leapt for the wheel and the autopilot in a panic, only to realise I had dozed off and dreamt it.
Now Rosalyn and I are safely tucked up in the Royal Club marina in A Corunia. Another small milestone in our epic skive from reality.
A long list of jobs compiled for tomorrow, and the rest of the week. As well as doing the washing up before Jan gets back.
Off to bed now.
06/17/2012, Puerto Alumina
The forecast was pretty good, well, for Biscay it was good, not much wind, no rain until midday and 18 knots of wind for the last couple of hours. What more could I want?
I was sitting at anchor, had just finished checking the weather and was about to drink my morning cuppa when I heard the gentle rumble of an approaching boat. Ah, I thought, my new friends are just passing by to say goodbye, so I ambled towards the companionway steps when suddenly there was a loud bang and shuddering. Luckily for me Rosalyn is built like a brick greenhouse so not a drop of tea got spilt.
I accelerated up the steps, slipping expertly into the well practiced meercat stance at the top, to be greeted by the rather odd sight of a fishing boat protruding at a right angle from our stern, aboard which was a little old Spanish gentleman waving his arms about, slapping his head and babbling something in Spanish which was probably 'Aren't I a muppet then?'
The poor man was horrified. He was probably thinking his retirement dream was over. He looked very white for a Spaniard. Anyway, we inspected the damage. His prow had glanced off our stern and ended between the stern and the suspended tender. Any further to the left and its anchor would have been lying on Jan's pillow.
Rosalyn only had a wind genny stay come adrift but the fishing boat had a trashed pulpit. Which was probably nothing compared to the embarrassment and damaged pride of its owner. I eventually quietened him down by shaking his hand and repeating de nada over and over. Which I think means no problem or something similar.
Classic error though, switch on autopilot, switch brain off!
Just to cap that one off, my tea got cold!
I eventually got going, saying goodbye to Roy on the way and a little later passing Wendy and John on the high sea.
The sun shone, the wind tried to blow, and about 3 o'clock the rain started. Then about 5 miles from my destination, it came out of nowhere, well, the north west, and so suddenly I had to pinch myself, 32 knots of wind and waves like you wouldn't believe. Oh dear, I thought.
I battled on to near the entrance of the Ria I was heading for but by the time I got there the wind had veered northerly and straight down the Ria. Well, If you have ever sailed up the Stour in 15 knots you would have an idea what 32 knots, funnelled between two mountains might be like.
So I turned around and battled back to the last refuge. A commercial port called Puerto Alumina, So called because it is the home of one of the biggest aluminium processing plants in Europe, and a ship, to which I am very gratefully tied up to.
Tomorrow's forecast looks good!
06/16/2012, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire and Hampshire
Hours in airports. The joys of the M25. Not sure I can remember how to drive a car. No beach in sight. Sleeping in a bed that doesn't rock is very odd. Rick isn't here with me. Continental IT doesn't work in the UK.
Hugging the kids.
Sloppy, girlie movies.
Dinner with mum, dad and Jen.
Get to see some mates.
And given that the weather is the same here and in Spain, it isn't too awful to be home...... :-)
Biscay can be a quiet cruising area at times, the odd fishing vessel....
06/15/2012, San Esteban De Pravia
Well, another day, another wind, too much of it as usual. I found out about a lovely anchorage outside a cute little retirement village, just along from Gijon. Another English chap whom I met on the fuel pontoon heard about it from someone else. The almanac briefly mentions it as a quayside with possibility of tying alongside, and the chart shows a large shallow area, too shallow for us. However, the whole basin has been recently dredged and now contains 4 English boats and a Frenchman, all at anchor, well sheltered from the wind with a view of this pretty little village with an Alpine like backdrop. Blast, I have to leave tomorrow, good forecast!
I say 'I' because one half of the team, is currently languishing in the bath back home in Blighty! having been unable to resist the demands of kids and employers if only for a week.
Wednesday morning saw us dropping Jan on the town wall at Santander to wait for her flight and myself turning west for a 15 hour trudge, ending in Gijon. A very quiet coastline indeed. In fact the only significant entry I made in the logbook was 'Passed a fishing vessel. I waved. He waved back'.
A short kip, then onwards to my current little corner of paradise. Tomorrow and Sunday, all being well, another couple of gentle trudges and we will be in La Coruna, another milestone on the voyage.
I say 'we' because when I am sailing solo I think of Rosalyn as company. I could go on to explain why sailors think of a boat as female, something to do with being contrary, temperamental, difficult to handle, etc, but as I don't think that way myself, I will say no more.
In fact, I will say no more as I need to try and remember how to do passage planning for tomorrow, my navigator not being here to do the job!
Santander is a beautiful city. There are some amazing buildings, including the bank HQ, several enormous churches and a very funky looking festival hall. Everywhere seems to be very clean and well kept, the beer is good (and cheap!) and the customs blokes in a sleek, black, very fast looking motorboat were very polite. There are signs of the economic situation as there are in England but the city remains bustling and vibrant. We are anchored just off a golden beach which is mostly empty at this time of year but still groomed every night. Maybe beaches are all like this in Spain but this is my first walk along a groomed beach, with boardwalks and specific access for wheelchair users (with shade), plenty of rubbish bins and fresh water showers. I am not generally a beachy person but this is very pleasant. I still have no desire to make camp and get my knotted hanky out but a stroll followed by an ice cream was just the thing!
And we found a mozzie net to sleep under so we have finally stopped adding to our collection of bites!
I am home for a few days as of tomorrow and, if the wind and swell let up a bit, Rick may get a bit further along the coast whilst I am back in Suffolk - hope the weather is good at home........