Gosport UK to La Coruna Spain

Moxie - Beck Family Adventure
Mike, Denise, Asia and Aranya Beck
Thu 22 Jul 2010 09:46
43.22.063N 008.23.096W

We have arrived in Spain! 
Land Ahoy!  Our first sight of Spain.
A much appreciated farewell from a few of our friends, thanks to all of you!
We left Gosport on Sunday afternoon 18th July 2010 straight into a slight southwesterly (exactly the direction we needed to go) so right away it was on with the engine and round to the fuel pontoon to top up and fill an additional 80 litres into Jerry cans.  A shame we could not have waited for a more favourable wind however our dates had been sorted for a while and we wanted to make it to La Coruna by Friday in order for Ken and Ian to catch their flights back to the UK.  Ken Walker is a Yachtmaster Instructor in Gosport and has trained and mentored us through from Day Skipper. 
Motoring was a theme that was to be with us for quite some time.  We'd worked out our range under power as follows 235l tankage, + 80 litres spare 315 litres (say 300) at 3 litres per hour which is a number the previous owner had given, 6kts so 600NM range, plenty for the entire crossing we thought.  Unfortunately our engine hours display, typically it seems for Volvo, ceased to work some months back and never made it to the top of the snagging list for repair.  By the time we reached Casquets (just off Alderney) - and still using the engine  it was clear that our  3LPH was a tad conservative and that unless we had some change of wind force and direction we would have to stop for a top up.  We'd sailed for a total of about 1.5 hours at this stage.  Moxie is so heavy with gear that she will hardly shift in a F3 now and anyway the SW was persisting.  It was obvious that we were consuming more than 3LPH and although the wind direction was now better for us it was only F2 or 3 so the engine stayed on all the way through to Cameret, France where we stopped for 20 minutes to refuel.  We'd used 182L - 5.35LPH at 2500 rpm, for the next hop we will try 2000RPM.  The stop in Cameret meant navigating through Le Four on a spring tide in the dark, I'm not sure we would have been allowed to attempt this without Ken.
Le Four, perhaps just as well we only saw the light!
After our bump and go it was now off to Spain, 300 miles or so across the Bay of Biscay.  Navigating across Biscay is a bit less demanding, we encountered our first Purse Sein fishing boats and a few cargo vessels but not much else to report.  The sea was kind to us and the sails came up, the wind came WNW 3-4 VMG was looking god for a Thursday night arrival.   We arrived in La Coruna at 20:00 on 22 July first stop was the fuel pontoon however it was not working, we were then directed to our pontoon by the very friendly staff that came to take the lines.  I was half expecting Ian to jump ashore with a pre packed bag and hightail it for solid land and a solid meal.  Ian had suffered terribly for the entire trip and had had to either be on deck or sleeping, to his credit he manned it out without complaint and kept to his watch duties.  In the entire 5 days Ian's diet consisted of dry weetabix and flat full fat coke.  We had invested in some very expensive travel sickness watches for Denise and the girls before we left which seem to have paid dividends as it was only Asia on the morning of day 3 that was ill.
La Coruna and time for a beer!  Thanks to everyone that made this possible, and to Ken and Ian for helping us arrive safely at the beginning of a dream.
Castillo de San Anton next to the marina in La Coruna.