Emerald Tales

Currently in Portugal after 7 years in the Mediterranean

23 February 2024 | Porto Santo
22 January 2024 | Madeira
15 December 2023 | Porto Santo
13 October 2023 | Porto Santo
15 September 2023 | Porto Santo
09 August 2023 | Porto Santo, Madeira
28 July 2023 | Porto Santo, Madeira
23 June 2023 | Porto Santo
15 January 2023 | Porto Santo
15 September 2022 | Porto Santo
19 August 2022 | Porto Santo
29 July 2022 | Porto Santo, Madeira
02 October 2021 | Faro, Portugal
06 June 2021 | Alcoutim

Here be dragons breathing very hard and making lots of wind

24 August 2013 | Camarinas to Muros; 42nm travelled
Nichola / Mostly sunny, lots of wind
Cape Finisterre
Well we survived the Costa del Morte and the end of the world (Cape Finisterre), it was getting into the Ria de Muros that proved to be the problem.

Having got up in the dark (7am here), by the time we'd faffed it was light enough to leave and most of the other boats in the anchorage had already gone. We wanted an early start with winds around the corner forecast to be stronger later in the day. Out of the ria we were able to get sails up with a F4 to F5 off the aft quarter giving Emerald plenty of power to sail well. The sky was blue and this time we could see the jaggedy coastline. We took the pilot guide's advice, giving the headlands a couple of miles offing.

On past Cape Torinana (with the most westerly lighthouse in mainland Europe) the winds increased a little and our course put us with the wind almost dead astern so we goosewinged for a while. Another course change to pass Cape Finisterre on a broad reach, Emerald's perfect wind angle. With the wind up to a F6 we were making good speed even with the following chop and swell knocking the wind out of the genny every so often

Having passed the dreaded cape we expected things to get easier, but oh no. Onwards towards the Ria de Muros entrance, our course now with the wind forward of the beam and picking up to a F7. More close hauled as we neared the ria, so I took over on the helm as the autopilot sometimes gives up in these conditions. And it was fun too! But the fun ended as we turned further towards the entrance, the wind howling out on the nose; yes we could have tacked back and forth but we'd had enough now, so engine on motoring into the chop.

Wondering when the wind was going to ease and whether we'd find any shelter, we followed in a boat who had gone out, turned round and gone back in. This gave us hope as they must be heading back to somewhere sheltered. It seemed like an age as we looked out for buoys and tried not to get too splashed from the waves breaking on the bow but more like an hour before we rounded into Muros Bay.

When we don't know a place, it's always a relief to see other boats anchored where we plan to go (though not too many, need some room for us) and as we turned around the point towards Muros we saw 7 or so yachts anchored in the bay. With the wind changing from nothing to gusting F6 boats were lying in every direction but we got space and so far the anchor is holding us well.

Muros anchorage
Our sheltering hill and the anchorage at Ensenada de Muros

With a big hill to the north of us there is reasonable shelter here from the forecast NE winds. When it drops to almost nothing it's lovely, then a gust will arrive, the white horses racing across the water towards us from the east as the wind howls around the next point.

The forecast is for strong winds for a few days yet so we'll be here for a while.
Vessel Name: Emerald
Vessel Make/Model: Kelly Peterson 44
Hailing Port: No fixed abode
Crew: Colin 'Skip' Wright, Nichola Wright
About: One from Northern Ireland, one from Yorkshire, UK
Extra: Emerald has been our home since 2004. We've sailed around the UK, the western Baltic and have spent 7 years in the Med. We're currently in Portugal, planning a refit. Lot's more information about us and the boat can be found at www.yachtemerald.com
Home Page: https://www.yachtemerald.com/