The roaring 40s ... knots
27 June 2013 | Barbate, Spain
We have been in the marina at Barbate for 6 days and the winds are not abating or changing direction. We have seen more wind here than during all our sailing on the last year. In fact, more wind than what we saw with hurricane Sandy in the Chesapeake. With Sandy we saw winds on the 30s, with a single spike of 42 knots. Here, it roars at 30 to 48 knots for most of the day. We registered 52 knots in the wind instruments last Tuesday. Boats have been coming in with tales of 45 to 50 knots and wild waves as they were trying to approach the Straits. Last night a boat came in with her genoa in pieces. The forecast continues to be for Easterly winds of this force until mid next week.
We found a good mechanic to fix the starboard engine. As we suspected, the coupling plate between engine and transmission was broken. Out of the six screws holding it, we found one at the bottom of the bilge and one still attach; the other four had disintegrated. We are now waiting for a replacement part - hopefully should be here next Monday, so we will be ready to move as soon as the winds are favorable (or, at least, less unfavorable).
According to the mechanic, getting things wrapped around the propeller could have caused for the coupling to break. We certainly have had our share of lobster pots, fishing lines and plastic sheets stuck on the propellers. To get some peace of mind, we asked the mechanic to check the other engine's coupling. He gave the OK to the port engine. We also have replacements for the shroud's attachments coming so Por Dos should be ready to sail again shortly.
In the mean time, we are learning about tuna fishing with nets called "Almadrabas". Apparently, the best red tuna is caught here with a unique 400-year old technique of fixed trap nets. Every restaurant in the area had tuna dishes: tuna salad, tuna stew, tuna sandwich, tuna tapas, grilled tuna, etc., etc. I have not seen a tuna dessert yet, but I would not be surprised.