On our way at last!

Phil & Nikki Hoskins
Fri 26 Sep 2008 12:05
On our way at last! We slipped from Premier Marina – Gosport on Fri. 19th
Sept. arriving La Coruna in Northwest Spain on Weds 24th. The marina here
is a constantly changing vista of arriving and departing yachts all bound
southwards like a migrating pack. Teething problems en route consisted of
changing a raw water pump whilst on a visitors buoy off Yarmouth IOW when
we noticed the starboard engine exhaust output reduced and a difficult to
start starboard engine which, whilst inconvenient was not greatly
significant. Weather on route proved to be all or nothing with a calm
send-off from the English Channel and a very favourable boisterous NE-E
wind to push us across Biscay. Most frustration suffered was not getting
the weather info off the ssb/weatherfax system which can be put down to
insufficient time paid to setting up the frequencies prior to departure.
However, 10 out of 10 for the AIS system we fitted which was worth its
weight in gold. 3 times we were able to directly call merchant ships by
their name and call sign and warn them of our near presence where we felt
the conditions dictated, the most useful being off La Coruna where the
master of a 1000 ft long 197ft wide supertanker kindly shifted just a few
degrees to port to give us clearance – and with very good grace too!
Nights were surprisingly cold and so foulies and extra layers were the
order of the day whilst keeping one of the Webasto heaters going at full
tilt below to warm up between watches. Biscay is a good voyage to put
behind you as having been achieved and we can now press on southwards into
(hopefully) warmer weather.