High Seas Position report, via ssb, Bay Biscay
14 August 2013 | Biscay Day 3
Nichola / Dry, mostly clear sky WINDY!!!
Biscay Day 3 Midday: Plodding along still at 4 to 5 knots. Wind has stayed from the north west since last night so we can keep our course. It's been blowing mostly a F3 to F4 but we're now getting a few F5 gusts. Our speed isn't great with the swell now from behind throwing us around.The forecast is for the wind to pick up to a F5 or F6 as we get closer to Spain, hopefully the wind will stay down until the morning.
6pm The sky is blue with some white fluffy clouds, it was warm enough for shorts earlier which could be the first time I have ever sailed on Emerald in shorts!
A German family on their yacht came over for a brief chat on VHF and we took photos of each others boats to hopefully exchange by email as they are headed for La Coruna.
Pasta 'n' Sauce out of a packet for tea with added pancetta and mushrooms. Reminded me of student days!
10pm It's been blowing F4 to F5 the last few hours as we head closer to the squeeze of air over north west Spain and we seem to have found a mysterious current which is adding to our boat speed. From what I'd read there aren't really any currents in Biscay, but I'm not complaining that there is one, anything that gets us there sooner is very welcome. Or maybe it's a whale pulling us along (a suggestion of my sleep atarved mind). It's cloudier and a bit cooler than previous nights with the moon getting fuller and so providing more light. We are racing along at the moment, kicking up spray in the swell with phosphorescence twinkling away.
We knew the stronger winds were due, we just weren't sure when they'd arrive.
We were doing 7 kts but the waves and swell were making our motion very uncomfortable so the first reef went in just after midnight. An hour later the second reef followed which eased our motion better and we were still doing 7 kts. The seas were very uncomfortable and the noise inside the boat made getting any sleep impossible. I feared opening cupboards tomorrow with some of the clinking noises coming from them.
Day 4 I was very pleased when daylight arrived, even though we could now see how awful the sea was at least we had warning when a monster wave was coming to throw us on our side. With winds gusting F7 the sight of land at 7:30am was very welcome. We double checked the pilot guide and almanac that said Ria de Cedeira was good for entry in strong winds. The last few hours were like a roller coaster ride you've had enough of and want to get off but can't. We'd had hardly any sleep and moving around the boat was very difficult as the boat lurched and rolled. Our boom end ended up in the water as we were rolled on our side and we had fishing boats to avoid too. Our hope that as we got Cape Ortegal behind us the wind would calm was wrong as it picked up to F8 as the wind accelerated around the headland. But the sight of two other yachts heading in filled us with more confidence. The engine not starting knocked that confidence back but finally it fired into life. Then as we rounded the headland off the ria entrance the wind dropped to a F2, the sea with barely a ripple. A golden sandy beach could be seen in the distance, the sky was blue and suddenly it seemed like a different world completely.
So we have arrived, those fears of what I would find in the cupboards were unfounded as nothing so far has been found to be broken. Emerald looked after us well. Our longest passage so far at 426nm taking 3 days and 8 hours, giving an average speed of 5.3kts.
Can't quite believe we've finally got here after our liferaft-induced delays. We're having a glass of fizz to celebrate. I'm a little concerned about the sounds of VERY loud music coming from shore affecting my catching up on sleep, but if it goes on late into the night we'll just have to go join them! There are also a couple of 'barca de morones' buzzing around disturbing the peace.
There were 4 other boats in the anchorage when we arrived, a few more have come in since but there is loads of room. A big sandy beach ahead of us and a little town to explore tomorrow when we finally make it out of bed!
(so far we have two Brits, a Finnish, a Swiss, a German, a French and a 'spainish' boat in the anchorage)