Luanco - 20 July - 43 37.2N 05 47.04W

Charles & Maggie Bevis
Sat 20 Jul 2013 19:12
After a good meal last night and a peaceful nights sleep, we enjoyed a slow start this morning.

Realising that when we sailed from Bilbao to Santander, we had left Basque territory and entered Cantabria, we omitted to take down the Basque flag until after we left Santander; fortunately no-one seemed to notice our blunder. There is a courtesy flag for Cantabria but as we'll barely be here, we haven't bothered to purchase their flag, but it's not as important here as it is in the Basque region to "show the colours" and few other boats are flying it anyway.

As we had to wait for the rising tide to provide sufficient water underneath and around us for our exit, it was 1:15pm before we could actually leave. A stiff breeze within the town and harbour made us hopeful that we might actually be able to get the sails set.

Leaving the harbour we were met by a thick sea mist and only reasonable visibility and that's the way it stayed all afternoon. The sails were out, then they were in, then out and finally in again. What wind there was came from the SW, not helpful and the swell and chop combined to reduce our speed to 2 to 3 knots. We motored 99.9% of the way - again! The sun remained obscured by the mist/haze and it was cool for most of the passage.

Today's plan was to sail to Gijon, but as we approached there seemed little to recommend it, so we continued along the coast a little further and are now tucked up in a small uncharted marina at Luanco.

The harbour master is a very happy (and very good looking) young man, who is super efficient, friendly, speaks no English, but was clearly pleased to have us visit here.

For every port we have visited in Spain so far, we've had to complete a form and today was no exception, although there was a space provided for charges, when asked how much for our berth here for the night, the response was nada (nothing). So for the second night in succession, we have a free pontoon berth and free electricity.

As there is little else to tell you today, let me introduce you to our two additional crew members, who have been with us since we left Falmouth. The first crew member, who we first met at the Christmas market at Salisbury Cathedral last November, is Popeye and he lives in the saloon and happily bounces around, telling us how rough or calm it is. His bunk is the first handle on the port side hatch cover in the saloon. His opposite number is Captain Flint. A well travelled soul, originating in, would you believe China? He found his way across the seas all the way to Falmouth and now lives on the first handle of the starboard hatch cover. He has the occasional bad habit of repeating everything you say, twice, so when we have company, we have to switch him off, until such time as we've been able to down a bottle or two, then he's allowed to join in! I'll post their pictures for you so that you can see why they keep us entertained and why they remain on board with us.

If you think that living on board a boat for months on end is not for you, and that you'd miss some of your home comforts, let me tell you that we want for nothing. I have my washing machine, granted its all done by the turn of a handle, but it works a treat and although towels and bedding are a bit too much to handle, it washes the "smalls" very well indeed.

We also have a bread maker. Whilst in France and able to purchase their delicious goodies whenever we could, we began to wonder if we'd ever use it, we now find that we bake with it regularly. Spain is not famous for its bread and having broken a tooth on a slice last week, let me tell you, baking our own bread is a lot cheaper than an emergency visit to a Spanish dentist and a lot tastier too!

Add to that list our juice maker. As long as we have fruit and veg on board, we can produce some delicious, healthy drinks most breakfast times and the fish benefit from some tasty and healthy pulp too.

We have proper mattresses to sleep on, comfortable seating, electric fans to keep us cool, heating to keep us warm, fridge, freezer, proper cooker, microwave, hot and cold running water, 2 bathrooms with showers, plus a further shower on the transom, etc., etc.. We can change the scenery as often as we like, we've no idea what is going to happen or what we are going to see each and every day, it's a full on adventure. We also have good clean fresh air 24/7. So, now are you convinced that living on board a boat is great? We have no doubts at all - it's brilliant.

Tomorrow we leave for xxx? Watch this space.