SV Accomplice Blog week 3 21/8 to 27/8
Wed 28 Aug 2019 07:08
The Bay of Biscay finally released us on Friday morning, safely arriving in A Coruña on the top corner of Spain. We were forecast a quiet crossing, but this is the Bay which offers you delights but in return expects payment for them.
A startled Mike, I have never seen Mike move so fast, took control of the helm and yelled “whale!” as he witnessed a large whale surface beside Accomplice and duly dive as we all reacted to the alarm. The depth gauge jumped into life as it recorded the whale beneath the boat descending into the great depths below. Mike was visibly shaken by the experience, and I was grateful I hadn’t seen it given its proximity to our fragile world.
This encounter was later followed by a whale breaching vertically twice about 100m in front of us, completely out of the water and flopping back down with an almighty splash. Absolutely amazing to be with this immense sea creature in the middle of the ocean, just you and your little boat and miles of sea.....Probably a once in a life time moment (let’s hope!!).
The wind had turned NE and strengthened nicely, as is the way though our direct course was SW, dead from astern, not always an appealing point of sail. We were expecting a veer to a more easterly wind and positioned ourselves for a beam reach on our final approach to land (wind over the side of the boat.....fast and comfortable). This was just as well as the wind continually edged up as we came within 100nm of land. On our final approach we spent a dark night tramping along in a F6 with F7 gusts, max wind 34knots. Matthew navigating, Mike ship movement watching and Andrew on the helm.......and Janet perhaps rather thinking she was elsewhere! Fortunately the sea state was kind and we took relatively little spray in the face. Once the coast was reached we navigated around shipping and then the wind died to nothing and we motored the final few dawn hours into A Coruña and tied up under the harbour tower.
Poor Janet spent the whole 3 day passage in the cockpit, unable to go below, pole axed with sea sickness.
It is good to have this passage behind us now, the Bay is always a worry as when the weather changes you cop it one way or another, be it sea state or wind from an unhelpful direction or more likely both.
A Coruña is now our home for a week or so as we say farewell to Mike and Matthew and await Matthew’s return on Friday for the next leg down the Portuguese coast to Lisbon.
We have spent our time well tending the boat’s needs and exploring the city by day and night. We have been surprised with what it offers. From lovely beaches, coastline, historic buildings, old town alleys, tapas, sea food and is alive with people strolling, running, cycling, fishing, sailing.....oh and the ice cream, it is delicious and of course it would be rude not to sample all the flavours!
We took a train ride into Santiago de Compostela (shrine of St James) and explored the medieval city, marvelling at the architecture and cathedral. A few stolen moments sipping cool drinks, in the square admiring all the grandeur around you and just watching the ebb and flow of people. We did find it funny the number that were limping, with crutches, sticks, poles, bandaged etc these were the ones that had reached the end of their pilgrimage after days of walking...we did see a few on the train though lol. And we did on occasion limp a bit ourselves not to be outdone, and mention that we too had had quite a hike up from the train station 😉
Andrew and Janet
28.8.19 A Coruna, Spain