Kinsale to La Coruna

Sat 20 Sep 2008 11:29

Position 43:22.348N 008:22.443W

Saturday Sep 20th

23h00 Irish time

Wind E Force 3

Sea State Calm

Visibility Good

Heading 168 T°

2 Reefs in Main and Head Sail heavily reefed

Speed 6.7 Kts

Wow what a day. Wind speed increased steadily during the day to 5 then 6 and in the afternoon 7,8 and gusting 9. This was not forecast at all and totally unexpected. Wind speeds 45 knots at times!!!. Cerys sailing under two reefs and heavily reefed genoa. Too dangerous to put in 3rd reef as it would have to be rigged (part of the work unfinished on leaving Kinsale). Waves 4-5 metres in height and white streaks across the sea. Nearly impossible to dress this am. Each sock has to be planned and you have to pin yourself into a corner to do anything. Changing underpants would definitely mean a head injury. Lots of bruises. No Cooking. No photos.

Cerys has performed extremely well in harsh circumstances, she has kept us very dry. Only 3 waves have crashed over us which is hard to believe when you see them coming. When they do come over however its like the man from Delmonte has dropped 6 boxes of ‘NO’ oranges from about 30 feet into the cockpit.

Strangely with all this motion neither Ursula and I felt unwell. I did a little the previous evening when we hove to to stabilize the boat for dinner. I ate outside with Tom.

Spotted one whale blowing about 200m off the stern. Anchor came off and damaged the bow slightly. We are not sure how long it had been hanging over for but it had about 3m of chain swinging around against the hull. No serous damage though. As Tom went fwd to get it back on board I saw a whale came to the surface about 15m in front of him. He didn’t see it.

Tried to use the toilet today and had visions of being flung out the door and across the saloon with my pants down. Honestly it probably would be accepted as quite normal to everyone on board. I managed to hang on however. Clamping myself down with my hands stopped me from hovering in mid air during this manoeuvre. Ithink I could manage quite well on zero gravity. The gravity of not being able to manage this on board would be far from zero though.


Wind continued to rise all afternoon and into early evening and began to level off about 19h00. At 20h00 we could see land to our east and this headland off the coast of Spain gave us shelter for the remaining few hours. By the time we were piloting into La Coruna all was calm again and ahuge orange moon was just rising over the town to the north east. Seems strange to see lights again and while it was exciting arriving so close to land again we are shattered tired, a little damp and bruised. Arrived in harbor at midnight Spanish time. A well deserved drink and coq au vin then a couple of quick pints in town before falling asleep totally exhausted.

<<...>> We were very happy with the way Cerys handled this weather. We would be unlucky to encounter such conditions on our transatlantic run. We will also have more tricks in our sail bag by then to manage similar situations. We feel cautiously confident.

<<...>> Pic : RP awaiting the man from Delmonte; Ursula and Jeanot; Tom. In the pub


Ruaidhri Prendergast

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