North West Spain - Sada

Mike and Liz Downing
Mon 25 Aug 2008 20:44
On the morning of Sunday 24th August, we arrived in Sada Marina, La Coruna in Northern Spain, we'd turned the first corner and crossed the Bay of Biscay. A week earlier we thought that we were destined to spend the winter in France due to all the low pressures and strong winds. We had left Haslar on 31st July and sailed to Poole, where we had to get the gas regulator replaced as we had a leak despite the system being replaced only last year. We anchored in Studland Bay, Poole for a few days waiting for the weather and sailed to Brixham when the winds came round to the south. We stayed there for only a day as the winds turned west and allowed us to sail south, crossing the Channel to Morlaix in Brittany. The strong westerly winds returned, so we took the opportunity to go up river for 5 miles and shelter in the Morlaix lock in the town centre. After 4 days the weather had improved enough to go further west to L'Aber Wrac'h on the north western tip of Brittany. We stayed there for nearly a week waiting for the winds to change from strong southerly. We left L'Aber Wrac'h on Thursday 21st August with a possibility of a 3 or 4 day weather window (lighter winds from the West and North West) for us to get to Northern Spain. It took us 3 days to cross the Bay of Biscay and we caught up with another Hallberg Rassy, a 36 footer called Zephyr. He had been waiting in Brest for the same weather window and we were close enough to him for us to take photos of each other sailing, and we kept in touch by VHF over the next 3 days. He will be doing the ARC as well as us later this year. The first day we motor sailed, the second day we were sailing at 7.5 to 8.5 knots without needing to adjust the sails for 24 hours (we had the working Genoa full out and 1 reef in the main). On the third day, the wind dropped out completely, the sky was clear and blue and to stop the sails slapping in and out due to the swell, we took the sails down and motored. There was a 1 to 2 metre swell from the north west throughout. We were privileged on the last evening to have a small pod of dolphins come to the boat and bow-ride - perfect. We motored in slowly, past La Coruna and arrived at the marina at dawn on Sunday 24th. It's actually quite warm here and we've been able to take our fleeces off for the first time. Hope this continues as we head round the next corner and go south down the Portuguese coast.

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