Whales, Dolphins, Ships, a Fish and Landfall
02 August 2007 | Baiona Spain
Our last day at sea turned out to be our busiest day yet. The day dawned clear, with a beautiful sunrise. Later in the morning, while contemplating his navel on the foredeck, Rob was startled by the blow of a big whale. He rolled over just in time to see its long back descend into the waves, but, alas, it never re-surfaced.
As expected there were a lot of ships last night and today, going in all directions from every quarter. With some deft maneuvering from Captain Rick, we managed to avoid them all.
Today must have been Dolphin Fiesta day, as we were entertained by several schools of dolphins, splashing around the boat, and surfing the bow wave till sunset. Around noon, a small pod of (Pilot?) whales passed behind us, and then Snap! the fishing rod took. Al jumped to the reel and after some expert fishing landed a small 7 lb Tuna. A bloody crime scene then ensued in the cockpit, as it took several whacks of the winch handle to dispatch the poor thing, spraying a major blood spatter in the cockpit (and on us) in the process. After filleting, the cockpit was scrubbed down with seawater to remove the evidence, and we had the best supper yet, with fresh tuna, fried potatoes, carrot and yam puree, and the last of the vino verde (prohibition has been repealed). Bonnie's clusters on the cooking medal now have to be shared with Al for the excellent job on the tuna.
Rick was the first to cry land-ho! but we don't think he had his contacts in because none of us could see it. After convincing none of us he descended, muttering, to look for land on the laptop. The mountains of Galicia were finally spied around 3:00pm UTC, just above the horizon through the haze.
Just after that, about 30 miles offshore, we were visited by a large back sea helicopter, who came up behind us and hovered alongside for a minute or two. We waved cheerfully but got no response, and later figured that they must have been customs or drug police, since apparently Galicia is a major narcotics smuggling area. Luckily they didn't search the boat, as they would have found large quantities of illicit All-Bran stuffed under the fore-berth.
After supper we cleared the decks in preparation for arrival in Baiona. It was a beautiful calm night and our charts did not deceive us as we motored into Baiona Harbour under a welcoming full moon. We tied up at the dock at 12:50am local time, with high fives and hugs all-around.
514 years ago, in 1493, Christopher Columbus also made his first landfall at Baiona after returning from the new world. While our voyage was not quite so epic, it certainly felt that way standing on the dock, finally, in Spain.
All the best from Aisling 1
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