Close to La Coruna
Saturday 9th August 2008 44:15.30N 007:09.75W
Hi to our many blog watchers. If Google earth is working you will see that we are well on our way across Biscay. We departed from Loctudy, southern Brittany at noon on Thursday into a blustery force 5 from the south west with a promise of better weather to come. We motor sailed for the first fifty miles into short 4mtr seas on the nose. It was difficult to do anything below, so we sat it out in the cockpit until dark , then set a heavily reefed main and genoa a course of 205 deg mag to the south, during the night the wind increase as it backed to more than force seven at times. We had a couple of large waves come over the top of us filling the cockpit. Tim and I were both the worse for wear, suffering from sea sickness in these rough conditions. Jake was fine, he must have some salt in his veins. We set two hour watches overnight with the off watch crew trying to get some sleep. By Friday morning the wind had dropped to a force 4/5 westerly and the seas had moderated to allow us to shake out the reefs and make a direct course to La Coruna some 300 miles south sailing at 6.5 knots on a course of 220deg mag. I had some sad news from Corrie that my sailing and great friend Phil who was with us on the last Biscay crossing had taken a turn for the worse in his fight against cancer, Our thoughts and prayers are with him on his journey, I am sure his spirit is here with us on Libertad. As I write this blog Tim and Jake are busy fishing on the aft deck trailing a lure 100 metre behind us. No luck with the fish as yet but they did catch a seagull yesterday that pecked at the lure and hooked his beak, Tim released him without harm after I convinced him they didn’t make good eating.
We had a large pod of bottle nosed dolphin come and play yesterday. Tim saw some whales spouting 5 cables ahead of us on his watch.
We are now just 80 miles from La Coruna and hope to dock before midnight. I am hoping this fine weather holds for a few more days so that we can round Cape Finisterre soon and head south to Portugal and Madeira.
Nick will be joining the crew on the 12th August for the run down to the Canaries and I think Bob will be back fully recovered from his broken wrist on the 26th or 27th August. We have all missed him and it will be great to have him back to share some of the work and all of the fun.
The sea is oily flat with just that pronounced Atlantic roll, the wind has deserted us and we are motoring at 6 knots with all the hatches open to air the boat, the sky is blue with a smattering of fair weather cloud on the southern horizon.
For those that have been following these blogs from the beginning you will have noticed that crew have been hard to keep, first with Bob and then Martin, I am pleased to report that both are doing well with Bob re-joining us soon and Martin returning to New Zealand possibly next week . I would like to say a few words on record about the present crew, Jake a young man who has just graduated from University has be an excellent crew and great company always willing to help, standing his watches without complaint he will always be welcome on Libertad. Tim joined us in Falmouth to replace Martin and has been excellent despite suffering from sea sickness at times he has worked hard, always turned out on watch whatever the weather and has been great company. As his dad I could not be more proud of him, I am looking forward to sailing with him in the Caribbean, thanks to you both, I couldn’t have done it without you.
We hope to be in Las Palmas by the end of this month, Tim will return home sometime next week leaving Jake, Nick and myself to continue on to the Canaries.
Somewhere in the Bay of Biscay Yours Paul