Fai Tira in
Bay of Biscay. 47:10.25N 06:16.61W
8th September 2011
was last Tuesday when gently powered away from the mooring at La Coruna. We
all rose early. Most of the tasks had been completed the day before. The last
one was to refuel, so now with the boat fully prepared and a weather window
identified we pointed the bow North took some deep breaths and set out towards
Biscay on what was to be the final
chapter of an epic journey. How fitting, then, that La Coruna should be
our starting point for the final trip. It’s the only place that we’ve visited
twice and two years ago it felt very much like the beginning of the adventure,
providing the trigger mechanism for all the unknown events that would unfold.
Now it was to be the starting point heralding the end of the
impact and memories of this place will, I think, linger long. Starting with
the impressive and unmistakable land marks on the approach. The dramatic
ancient lighthouse, the art work of the standing stones and the massive
concrete and glass structure on the landward side of the powerful looking mole
as it reached invitingly way out into the harbour entrance.
then, most importantly, there were the people and their culture. Never has
manana seemed more applicable. Everything moved at a pace that made sure that
there was plenty of space for proper life to exist within it!
it’s best summed up by the activity of Sunday Promenading. It’s a time when
all the beautiful people, young, old, and in family groups spontaneously
gather in one of the cobbled pedestrian precincts that stretch, tentacle like,
from the central main square. And then, as if pre-ordained, the preening and
ambling starts as they........Well just...... amble.
all seems to happen without any identifiable purpose, as they just stroll,
seemingly content with themselves, the world and just about everything in it.
all appears so natural. After all what else would they do on a Sunday? It’s
all very orderly, very civilized and all
that was it then. Our last visit to a foreign shore as part of this rally was
finally turned our backs on the Spanish mainland at about 9am. We all had a
pretty confident feeling. The US Grib files continued to indicate weather
conditions that should prove favourable and anyhow we’d all crossed our
fingers so it had to be okay........ Well it’s worked in the
about the first 20 miles the winds were light and called for a lot of upping
and downing of sails. However, as evening approached conditions changed. The
sea became a bit more bumpy. The wind started to follow the boat and increased
to a speed of 12-15 knots. We played with the sail settings for a while before
once more settling for a goosewing formation that sent us scurrying along at
an acceptable 5 – 5 ½ knots. These conditions lasted about an hour, then the
wind speed increased to a force 5 and veered to a Westerly direction. The
genoa was promptly pulled through to starboard. Now with the sails in a
conventional setting we were scooting along on a broad reach making about 6 ½
knots........seas a bit bumpy, but very satisfying. If this were maintained it
would certainly have the effect of shortening the
the sun disappeared into a watery horizon, we decided that the sail pattern
would remain, but with the inclusion of a mainsail reef.
we started the night watches the boat speed was being maintained. And so it
was as I emerged into the cockpit to start my watch. The half moon was
illuminating the surfaces of the boat and casting a soft glow of light causing
reflections to bounce off an undulating, frothy and agitated
dark hours of the following morning heralded another change the moon had
disappeared behind a blanket of cloud and the blackness was overpowering. It
was cold and raining, and all of the sailing gains we’d made in the last 12
hours seemed to have disappeared. The sails were tucked away and the engine
was once more humming.
came and went, and so did the dolphins. We’ve encountered miserable, damp cold
and misty conditions, but then also warm sunshine. We’ve almost sailed as much
as we’ve motored. We’re now about 200 miles from Dartmouth and 65 miles from
completing the Biscay crossing. We’re sailing along now Peter’s just started a new watch
and visibility’s down to about two hundred yards. There we are then
what I mean...... “Fingers crossed”!.