Wanderings

02 October 2022 | Cabo Finisterre
22 September 2022 | A Coruna
10 September 2022 | Falmouth Harbour
30 August 2022 | Noss on Dart Marina
24 August 2022 | Portland Marina
19 August 2022 | Portland Marina
11 August 2022 | Gosport Marina
31 July 2022 | Home port Brighton
19 August 2021 | Brighton
17 August 2021 | Portsmouth, Gosport Marina
11 August 2021 | Newtown Creek
10 August 2021 | Cowes
10 August 2021 | Gosport Marina
02 August 2021 | Chichester East Head
27 July 2021 | Brighton
12 July 2021 | Newhaven Marina
28 June 2021 | Newhaven
07 August 2014 | Brighton Marina
07 August 2014 | At sea, Hove and Brighton seafront
05 August 2014 | Island Harbour Marrina

Corme, Camarinas and Finesterre

02 October 2022 | Cabo Finisterre
Kevin | Hot and sunny today.
Throughout Spain, Galicia is known as the region of a thousand rivers and most of those rivers vent into estuaries that feed into the sea through the many "Rias" or bays.
Wanda is exploring some of these Rias and enjoying some warm sunny weather.
The first of these is Corme. We are rediscovering the fun and simplicity of anchoring rather than finding marina berths.



Wanda always feels so much more comfortable at anchor. She is held only by the chain rode and bobs with the small waves, swells or wash from passing boats in the way she was designed, completely different to being tied to a pontoon or the land with warps that snatch and hold her with unnatural restraint.
After a very relaxing couple of nights we moved on the the next Ria, called Camarinas.





Again we are anchored. Anchoring should be relatively stress free, both when finding a space to "drop the hook" and also when raising anchor to leave. As we arrive we often prevaricate and discuss at length where to drop; considering the depth, state of tide, positions of other boats etc, then how much chain to pay out, more chain means better holding but then the swinging circle is larger, if space is tight, its a compromise. However, this is normal and has the advantage that there is not so much close manoeuvring as in a marina; with the inherent risk of hitting things. Best of all, its normally free!
Leaving from anchor is also relatively easy, often the mainsail can be hoisted whilst still on the anchor, because the boat will always be oriented head to wind, which is ideal for hoisting sail. The chain is winched up into the chain locker with the electric winch, this also involves what we call "splonking", I've no idea what the technical sailing term is, but as the chain piles into a pyramid in the locker it needs knocking over before it blocks the hawse pipe, it needs "splonking". It gets splonked as each 10m of chain is recovered. One of us raises the anchor and splonks whilst the other helms. Again its relatively easy compared to manoeuvring out of a tight marina berth.
After a couple of nights here its on to Cabo Finisterre.



Yep Finisterre is also the name of the sea area used in the shipping forecast. Its lovely here and we will stay a few days. Today we walked up to the lighthouse, along with a surprising number of tourists. It slowly dawned on us what all these people were up to. They are pilgrims! Finisterre is the site of a Christian pilgrimage and the town is full of pilgirms. All with rucksacks and walking sticks and dangling shells, many have trousers that unzip to turn them into shorts. In order to fit in we quickly found sticks, but without the shells and zippy trousers we were fooling no one.
On return to the village, we had a long seafood lunch at a shoreside restaurant where we could see Wanda peacefully bobbing at anchor, then a leisurely row back for an afternoon nap.
Roast chicken and salad for tea.











Ou est les Douanes .... Falmouth to A Coruna.

22 September 2022 | A Coruna
Kevin | Sunny and hot!
It was the Brest of times, it was the worst of tides.
So after a few days patient wait at anchor in Falmouth, we made a dash across the channel aiming for the nearest official port of entry. Brest.
Post Brexit, we must now check in to the Schengen area at a port of entry and start the clock that allows us to stay in the member countries for 90 days out of any 180.
A not very pleasant 36 hour passage with sloppy seas and adverse tides bought us to this surprisingly enjoyable and welcoming town.



Philippa the flag officer hoisted the French courtesy flag.

Attempts to get our passports stamped, failed; the Douanes office was shut. Later, when Philippa spotted some of these guys she asked if they could stamp our passports. However they had more important business (they were hassling some young Dutchmen) and realising we were leaving shortly; they indicated not to bother!
This was good news for us. We cannot begin to use up our Schengen time till the clock is started!
After a couple of days recovery and a pleasant stroll around a very French town, packed with a history of WW2 and past conflicts; we were ready to move on.
Biscay beckoned, and off we went leaving midday on Sunday and arriving in A Coruna Spain early morning Thursday.
Biscay was kind, the weather was dominated by a high pressure system that kept the skies blue and the rain away. Plenty of wind though, and we enjoyed F4-5 on the beam for most of the passage.

We are rusty sailors, and it was a steep re-learning curve as we remembered the watch routines and rediscovered the cadence of life at sea, as well as how to sail the boat!

Making landfall in the dark was a little frightening, it is always fraught with difficulties, and best avoided. On a dark night the approach meant we could only see the lights of the land and of other vessels. It is very difficult to judge distance and perspective. We were thankful we had AIS; receiving information about other vessels, and transmitting Wanda's speed and direction to others. Boats are shown as little moving green triangles on the chart plotter; these identify speed and direction of the marine traffic. Like a game of trust and space invaders Philippa studied the chart and gave instructions "..turn 10 degrees to port ...". I would blindly respond (as usual lol).
On entering the harbour it became even more confusing, as the brain attempts to make sense of the limited information, the perspectives and distances become dangerously deceptive. At one point on the approach I nearly turned to avoid imminent collision with a vessel that was 2 miles away!
Anyhow having got to the marina the Marinero came out at 4am on a workboat to pilot us on to a berth. How kind.
We have checked in and here starts the Schengen clock! We can strike our Q flag.
We are now resting in A Coruna and enjoying the town, we are meeting many fellow cruisers, all with the same excitement, optimism and trepidation as ourselves. Most are aiming for far away countries, oceans distant. Philippa and I enjoy strolling around the marina looking at the many boats geared for long distance cruising. Little ships with the familiar accoutrements of their liveaboard gypsies. All sorts from solo sailors to families with children of all ages; they are always friendly, we meet with the familiarity of those who have a similar lifestyle and a shared appreciation for the joys and fears of long distance sailing. We meet, perhaps share some stories, tea, snacks and information. Then its often goodbye and "fair winds". We hope, and will likely meet many of these people again; albeit in a now distant port or anchorage. Inshallah.
Pizza for tea.
K
No wind

















Farewell to Falmouth

10 September 2022 | Falmouth Harbour
Kevin | Weather; fine
A proud mother, but her baby is sick and misbehaving. Guppy the outboard has just been to the doctors but even after a second opinion and expensive treatments he is still not cured. However, we have oars for our tender and to avoid delay we aim to leave in the next few days.
Falmouth is lovely, we stayed in Pendennis Marina for a few days, its expensive so we have now moved out to the adjacent anchorage. It has been windy but it is sheltered and Wanda always sits more comfortably at anchor. The £10 per night harbour dues seem fair as they include use of the dingy dock, water, ablution block and rubbish collection; altogether more suitable. There is also a water taxi service if we do not fancy rowing. Perfect.

We are waiting for a weather window to cross the channel, or should the gods look kindly, a longer passage to Spain.
We are looking forward to trying out our new satellite communications. Its "Iridium go" and will allow us to get weather charts at sea, send email, and even make phone calls. Its not cheap but when sailing offshore accurate weather forecast is priceless, and essential to maintain perspective and sanity! We will keep you posted.
Salmon and broccoli for tea.

Dartmouth Revisited

30 August 2022 | Noss on Dart Marina
Philippa Hutchings | Sunny and hot
Wanda has booked into the marina at Noss on Dart. This is run by Premier so we can use the remainder of our "free" visitor nights.
We visited Brighton friends Gill and Mark who now live in Axmouth. We spent a delightful few days with them over the bank holiday weekend. The weather was kind, we took the steam train into Dartmouth and a river cruise up the Dart. (We passed Wanda; she was moored on the outside of the jetty at Noss).
Gill and Mark now live in a large country house with extensive grounds and formal gardens. A big change from Brighton life. As always they were excellent hosts and we all enjoyed an indulgent, relaxed and happy few days; for which we owe them many thanks.



We stopped at a wonderful beach near Paignton called Broadsands. It's a safe sandy beach crowded with families on holiday, it has colourful beach huts, with green rolling hills as a backdrop it seemed the quintessential English holiday scene. So sweet after many months and years overseas.



The forecast is not too good for a few days and we have an outboard engine problem. It is brand new but refuses to start properly. It clearly needs some attention; this weather delay may give us the opportunity to fix it.


Pip has taken the water taxi to town for food shopping.
She said she will choose something for tea.






off with the old ... on with the new

24 August 2022 | Portland Marina
Kevin | Sunny and hot
Time to bend on the new main. The weather was kind and allowed us to hoist the new sail for inspection. This let us reeve replacement reefing lines and also check our new stackpack and lazylines. Luckily our existing cheekblocks were suitably positioned on the mast for the new system.
Following a few "discussions", measurements and adjustments it all worked!





We took an evening stroll On Chesil Beach; this did not evoke the same angst nor the sexual tension found by the couple in Ian McEwan's novella (of the same name). It was just cold and windy!



We took the opportunity to fill up our diesel tanks. Pip recently scored a 50p boot fair buggy. This snuggly fits 2 jerrycans and makes fuel & water collection a whole lot easier. It always becomes an event; we get stopped and we proudly let sailors and strangers coo over the buggy and contents.



Pasta Pesto for tea.






Welcome to Weymouth

19 August 2022 | Portland Marina
Kevin | Its been raining but a lovely sunny day now
No wind on Tuesday so we motored from Gosport to Hythe marina up the Southampton Water. Our new outboard engine needed a first month check by the retail mechanic to fulfil the terms of the guarantee. This complete and an expensive but comfortable berth for the night, we could then move on to a nearby anchorage.



Wednesday, and Wanda sailed across the Solent to Newtown creek. This is our favourite Solent anchorage. Mooring buoys are available but we found those that were unoccupied did not have enough depth. We left the creek and anchored in the bay for the night.


We upped anchor at 4am Wednesday morning and made passage to Poole via the northern passage out of the west end of the Solent. Poole harbour is home to some the most expensive real estate in the UK. Some of the big harbourfront houses have their own moorings, a fabulous location for your family pile.


Poole was very busy and we were lucky to find a marina berth for the night at Poole Quay Boat Haven. We received delivery of our new mainsail, cover and lazyjacks. This is a big investment in Wanda and our current adventure. It was very exciting to receive delivery but we could not bend it on as delivery was late afternoon and we had limited time as we had to leave first thing Thursday.
Another treat was that Philippa met one of her sailing heros. The marina is home to Pip Hare the British single handed ocean racer who had a good showing in the Vendee Globe and other offshore races recently. She sailed in on her new yacht Medallia and was sat in the cockpit when Philippa walked past and took the opportunity to introduce herself.


Thursday saw a great motor sail from Poole to Weymouth, Portland Marina. We avoided the overfalls by taking the inner passage past St Alban's Head; hugging the cliff near enough to throw a biscuit, as the old sailors would say. Presumably referring to a ships biscuit, staple fare on the old ships. Philippa chucked a ginger nut proving that we were not brave enough to sail that close!


Its Fish and Chips for tea.
Vessel Name: Wanda
Vessel Make/Model: Van de Stadt Seal
Hailing Port: Brighton
Crew: Philippa and Kevin Hutchings
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Breavean leaves Brighton
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