Global Voyageur

Be a virtual voyager - join the tartan navy to follow the Mackays on their return to Scotland

21 June 2012 | Clyde Marina, Ardrossan
20 June 2012 | North Channel, Irish Sea
17 June 2012 | Bay of Biscay
15 June 2012 | Coruna Marina, La Coruna
14 June 2012 | Marina Coruna, La Coruna
13 June 2012 | North Atlantic Ocean
12 June 2012 | North Atlantic Ocean
09 June 2012 | North Atlantic Ocean
07 June 2012 | Ponta Delgaga
06 June 2012 | Ponta Delgada
04 June 2012 | Angra
02 June 2012 | Horta, Faial
01 June 2012 | Horta , Faial
28 May 2012 | North Atlantic Ocean
25 May 2012 | North Atlantic Ocean
24 May 2012 | North Atlantic Ocean
23 May 2012 | North Atlantic Ocean
22 May 2012 | North Atlantic Ocean
21 May 2012 | North Atlantic Ocean
20 May 2012 | North Atlantic Ocean

Motorway Madness!

14 June 2012 | Marina Coruna, La Coruna
Susan Mackay
The gale lasted twelve hours with the barometer bottoming out at 1010. During the early hours the reefs were gradually shaken out so that as we approached the traffic separation scheme 40nm off Cape Finisterre we were carrying full sails once more averaging over seven knots. It was now dawn and although still very overcast the visibility had improved much upon yesterday so we could clearly see them as they kept coming. This shipping lane is a big one, twenty five nm across double lanes each way, a dual carriageway of the high seas. Donald stayed up, an extra pair of ears and eyes. The north to south lanes went without a hitch, nipping between the ships with plenty of room to spare. We counted eight ships on the AIS for these lanes. The south north was a cause for concern when one ship off our starboard quarter did a complete U turn inside the zone, his speed dropping to 1.7 knots. He gradually drifted out of the lane. We were two thirds of the way across and watching him carefully knowing we had plenty of time to cross ahead of his bow. After over half an hour he resumed his course and full steam ahead at 14knots he headed straight for us. David called him up. Had he seen us? “Keep out of my way”, replied the officer on the bridge. David pointed out that he was outside the zone and that we were a sailing yacht but he would have none of it. Our CPA was far too close. David called him again, explaining we were now through the zone but still he insisted we must keep out of his way. Donald started the engine ready to take avoiding action but suddenly he changed his course to go behind our stern. David thanked him and he replied that we would do best to stay at home!

Closing the coast, Cape Finisterre looked rather dark and foreboding to match its rather fiercesome reputation, but as we surfed down following seas along the north west coast, the sun came out, blue skies peeped through clouds of charcoal. Sailing dead downwind, occasionally surfing up to 10knots we had now just fifty nm to go along the Galician coast and in the far distance we could identify the massive wind farm at Camarinas, later the lighthouse on Islas Sisargas, which Donald likened to a crouching lion, finally the towering Pillar of Hercules, such a distinguishing landmark at the entrance to the bay of La Coruna. The wind was blowing 30 knots as we rounded the huge breakwater but once inside, oh, I know we will be as snug as bugs. With Emilia just in front we went straight to the fuel dock. David did an amazing job of manoeuvring Voyageur alongside in the winds. We only needed 175 litres but it is still cheaper to fill up the tanks here rather than in the UK. Besides, once the low has blown through there is a period of no wind so are quite prepared for a spell of motoring when we come to move on. By the time we were settled in our berth it was sundowner time but not a trace of sun was to be seen. The weather is definitely closing in and we were so happy to be tucked up in here but poor Pinta have still another night at sea and are not due in till tomorrow morning. I think they may catch the edge of the storm as they arrive, the marina staff saying that it will blow thirty knots in here tomorrow. We dined in the marina restaurant and had a really terrific meal with an excellent bottle of Rioja. My goodness but we will all sleep soundly tonight.
Vessel Name: VOYAGEUR
Vessel Make/Model: Amel Super Maramu 2000
Hailing Port: Rhu, Scotland
Crew: Susan and David Mackay
David first learned to sail on a Loch Fyne day boat out of Helensburgh Sailing Club on the River Clyde in his mid twenties. With the arrival of a family he did not do any more, until in 1984 we bought our first boat, “The Golden Soak”, a Matilda 20. [...]

Our motto:Carpe Diem

Who: Susan and David Mackay
Port: Rhu, Scotland