Bayona / Peniche / Cascais
12/08/2010, Cascais, Portugal
We left Bayona the following afternoon in what was very thick seafog - apparently a local phenomena when the wind blows in from the West bringing the cold sea air in contact with the warm air over land. At first we thought it was smoke from a fire as we were sitting in a restuarant having a drink, but then soon realised what it really was!
We were down to 100m visibility which was strange considering the afternoon before was lovely and bright. It was the start of another overnight passage to Peniche, as the only place to stop between Bayona and Cascais as our next destination.
Soon into the sail we had left Spanish waters and entered Portugese, so a change in courtesy flag was necessary.
After almost 24 hours of sailing in the fog and one close call with a container ship - it was going to miss us by 0.4 of a NM with a length of 400ft, so after numerous calls on the VHF and no response, we altered course, and then heard the rumbling of his engines not too far off - a bit of a close call when they are that big!
Peniche was just an overnight stop so we left mid morning sailing onto Cascais, arriving in at about 1730. Winds were up to 30 - 35 knots on the stern and we hit a top speed of just over 14knots coming down one of the waves which made for some exciting moments. On average though it was more comfortable at about 10 knots!
Cascais is a great little town and the marina has good facilites ( although the laundry is a bit expensive at 5 Euros a wash, on top of the visitor fee of 71 Euros per night for our length) with free wifi near the restaurants. The town centre is only about 15 min walk away and has several small beaches right in the bay. After 2 nights in the marina, and saying goodbye to Sarah and Fern, we haved moved off onto anchor in the bay just outside the marina while waiting for our next crew member to arrive - Hamish's brother in law - Patrick.
Camarinas to Bayona
10/08/2010, Camarinas, Spain
From Camarinas we sailed to a Spanish town called Sanxenxo near Ria de Pontevedra.
We had an early start to make the most of the day and managed to sail around Cape Finisterre on a beam reach with the genoa to starboard. Finisterre is reknown for strong winds but we were lucky to have a NE blowing which made for a nice semi-downwind run, with just a bit of swell rolling the boat. By early afternoon we had to start the motor as there was not enough wind, and ended up motoring all the way to Sanxenxo.
As we were coming into the Real Club Nautico de Sanxenxo marina (new marina with good facilites and wifi), there was a load of little kids in tiny yachts being towed by an instructor in a rubber dinghy and they were all shouting out to us 'Hola!' So cute - just like a little mother duck and her ducklings.
We moored in the marina and went ashore for some well earned showers and meals. Paella all round with some potatos bravas and calamrie for good measure!A great meal, but in true Spanish style we didn't end up eating until about midnight! There was a small supermarket just 10 mins walk into town and plenty of restaurants and bars to choose from. The ones along the boardwalk of the marina looked to be very flash, but a little further into town and the prices were a little better for the budget.
After a lazy morning and a breakfast of bacon and eggs we departed the marina for a close by island called Isle de Faro for a lunch stop. Which seemed like a total luxury as we have been eating ' on the hoof' since we departed Lymington. After anchoring for about an hour, and Hamish being the only one brave enough to go for a swim ( water temp 16 degrees), we sailed around the corner to Bayona and anchored safely off the new marina after being promptly told we could not use one of the moorings we had initally secured to by the staff of the Monte Real Club de Yates. It was a great excuse for Hamish to put the dinghy in again anyway and ferry us across to the town for a walk around.
A little bit of history for you, Bayona was Columbus' first mainland landfall in 1493 after returning from the New World, and is commemorated by a replica of the Pinta, permanently berthed in the harbour.
On the way into harbour we had a good look at the Parador Conde do Gondomar, which is an old castle turned into a state run hotel, I would say one of the ones with a better view!
Bayona is a busy little town - full of local tourists and a nice place to stop, although we found it difficult to locate a supermarket close the anchorage and ended up just buying what we needed from a mini mart type place.
First Port of Call
08/08/2010, Camarinas, Spain
After a few false starts from Lymington / Portsmouth / Yarmouth / then Falmouth ( 4th time lucky) we decided it was finally time to leave the UK.
After the chartplotter was fixed and reinstalled we left Portsmouth and had a leisurely sail up the Solent and picked up a buoy in readiness for a 4am start. The original plan was to cross to Cameret in France and after passing across the second shipping lane decided to head for Falmouth instead. So back through the shipping traffic. Thank god for AIS which is a fantastic bit of kit and has paid for itself several times over already. Re-routing to Falmouth was a much better idea given the prevailing winds and only added about 30 miles extra. Stopping in Falmouth also allowed us to catch up with the previous owner and ask a couple more questions about how he did things. So after leaving Falmouth early on Thursday morning the 5th August, we arrived into Camarinas in the Spanish Ria's at 6.30am today.
With the boat on a constant heel we were against the wind for the first 2 days, making life aboard a little difficult and things like brushing your teeth became huge tasks in themselves. By the third day we had 25-30knots behind us, so made for some interesting surfing down waves all last night and no-one really slept all that well with the motion of the boat changing every 2 seconds. All in all approx 400 nmiles under our belt in the first hop!
We have spent the day in port just catching up on sleep and Hamish and I have put the dinghy in the water to come ashore for some minor provisions before we leave tomorrow morning for our next destination, Sanxenxo another Ria that is meant to be quite good, approx 60 miles away.
Gone, but not far!
We have finally departed! But only from Lymington to Portsmouth as lady luck would have it, when we started the chart plotter up yesterday morning, we found that the back light had broken in the repeater screen up on deck, so have gone straight to the dealer who can fix it today (apparently a common problem) and we can be on our way again this afternoon, only 24hrs late.
On board we have Alan, a professional delivery skipper who will be giving us his local knowledge all the way down to Faro over the next 3 weeks, also Fern a yachtmaster in her own right that also has a share in a Sunsail boat and sails all over the world, but has done most of her training in and around Lagos with rusailing.com, and then Sarah, who has done numerous
sails in the Solent and is looking to expand her sailing experience.
As I am now considered a passenger and strictly no heavy lifting or winching, I am in charge of the Galley and making teas, while giving orders on who can do what to help me!
So we have a full contingent and good mix of experience, and everyone is very enthusiastic!
8 of our friends decided to charter a yacht to sail for the day and also to see us off from Lymington, so we rafted up early
afternoon just outside Newtown Creek, and they were kind enough to provide us all with lunch before waving us goodbye, and
giving a few obligatory honks on the fog horn. While they headed back towards Lymington, we turned to go downwind and came
across a fleet of Extreme 40's competing in Cowes Week, which was great to see. We were approached several times by the race officials in black RIBs to ask us politely to move away from the race markers, and seeing how fast they came at us I understand why.
Being just after 5pm on a Sunday afternoon it was also peak hour for the Cruise liners to make their way out of Southampton.
So we have spent the night in Haslar Marina, and are about to be on our way across the English Channel and into French waters.
Stepping the Mast
June has been full of all important tasks, the biggest one was replacing all the guard rails and standing rigging, and when you have a performance enhanced size rig at 18m, this is no mean feat.
We also took advantage of this time to replace the radar dome and re-cable all the electrics for the navigational lights and radar.
If that wasn't enough to try and achieve in 2 days, Hamish then decided it would be a good idea to give it a wax and polish, all the while saying, ' we won't ever have to do this again'.... I hope not!
Long time, no posts!
23/07/2010, Lymington, UK
I know it looks like we have dropped of the face of the earth, but packing up our London life and getting the boat ready has taken up every waking moment for the last couple of months.
In the last month we have had the mast out and replaced all the standing rigging, installed a new 4kw digital radar, new E120 and E80 chartplotters, an AIS class B, new VHF c/w second station and a million other jobs all in preparation for our 1st August departure. Yep, that's right, we depart Lymington on 1st August!!!!
We move onto the boat today and hopefully I will have more time to catch up and add some retrospective posts detailing what we have been doing.