The End of the World - Fisterra

Thu 26 Jul 2012 08:46
42:52.00N 09:17.00W

The next step of our journey south took us around the most westerly point of mainland Europe, just above Fisterra, (Finisterre - the end of the world), I couldn't help but think of all those adventurers who set off into the blue, heading west beyond the end of the world.

It was a lovely morning as we made the usual preparations for a day sail - awning down, sail covers off, hatches and port holes closed, a quick check around for anything that might fall when we're rolling in the swell, or heeled over in a breeze. Then snubber off, engine on, and gently forward as we raise the anchor. But Camarinas had a parting gift that morning, whilst we busied ourselves a pod of dolphins fished in the bay, not common short beaked this time, but darker, and well, less sleek.. they were just as long but seemed a little stout compared to the others we'd been enjoying the company of - bottlenose. We weren't yet sailing so they didn't come close to enjoy our bow wave, but it was lovely to see them arching out of the water and hunting together in threes and fours around the bay.

During the morning the wind gradually picked up and what started as light winds sailing, looking for enough wind to keep the sails filled, turned into a glorious race in the sunshine, with the wind and swell behind us. We happened to catch up and pass a dutch couple we had made friends with whilst enjoying the beach in Camarinas, they had goose winged their poled-out jib and main, going pretty much straight down wind, we were gybing our way along, keeping the wind not quite behind us, so our paths crossed a couple of times and they were good enough to photograph us - it's hard to get pictures of the boat sailing as we are always on her!

It was superb sailing - she was racing along and every time the swell caught up with us there would be a deep swooosh as we surfed the crest for a little, with a push on the stern to starboard, feeling the pressure on the wheel as you hold her straight, followed by a swing to port as the wave went past us, lovely rhythmic sailing. We saw 11.3 knots on the boat speed - flying along!

As we rounded up to come inside Finisterre the wind picked up dramatically, in fact we weren't yet around the point before we dropped the main and headed up the Ria to find an anchorage.