5th June 2008 - Safely in Bayona

Bali Hai
Neal Stow
Thu 5 Jun 2008 23:31
We crossed the line in Bayona at 3:55 this morning - in third place (before handicaps).
The good weather continued from yesterday morning and we sailed across to the inner approach to Cape Finisterre.  It was a bit overcast but with 12-15 knots of wind a very good sail.  The major highlight however was the egg and bacon butties that John prepared, Andrew attempted to catch the moment on camera for posterity but unfortunately the sandwiches were so good that they had been gobbled down before he had a chance to get his camera ready.
It was close to Cape Finisterre where we caught up with Arwen.  We were coming up behind when she suddenly put on a burst of speed and pointed up wind much better than we could.  We were commenting on how well the Hanse sails and how Bon and Jacky's experience of racing was really showing when Jacky came on the radio and admitted that they had turned on their engine.
Soon, however, the weather turned cold and rainy and with winds head-on we also had to resort to the engine.  We motored alongside Arwen for most of the night in poor visibility relying on radar and AIS to avoid the oncoming ships.  At first we were going fairly slowly with the plan of arriving in Bayona in daylight, then we had the idea that we could motor ahead faster and sail for the last hour at about 5 knots when we had turned east towards Bayona.  So we increased speed, turned towards Bayona as scheduled, put up the sails but then immediately the wind died to absolutely nothing.  As a result, we arrived in Bayona under engine and had to attempt our first stern-to Mediterranean style mooring in the dark.  The only plus was that there was no wind.
Things did not start well.  In getting the boat ready we had to remove the dinghy from the davits and one crew member (who shall remain nameless - for the time being) managed to drop one of the very expensive davit handles in the sea.  After that however all went fine and we managed to reverse into our spot without a hitch. 
The crew then did a very good job of tidying up the boat (considering the early hour) and deploying the new fancy carbon fibre gangplank.  They then went to town for a coffee.  I exhausted and feeling grumpy about my lost handle went to bed.