Trip across Biscay - Dingle to La Coruna 22-26 July

Sat 26 Jul 2008 16:46

Leaving Dingle, Ireland in the sunshine was quite a change, but there also wasn’t much wind to sail either.  We motor sailed for the first 10 hours, but we took advantage of the weather to sail in between The Skelligs Rocks which were quite dramatic.  We even saw some ‘day-trippers’ being dropped off by a RIB -  looked abit hairy to me. 

Between the Skelligs Rocks


We sailed most of the first night with the full cutter, a couple of rolls in the headsail and a reef in the main, which later became 2 reefs as the winds built up to a Westerly F5.  

This was the first time we had used the Hydrovane, self steering system nicknamed “Arthur” and he behaved in an exemplary fashion.

The following night as we were going over the continental shelf (where depth changes from a couple of hundred meters to 4000 metres in a space of less than 30 miles), the seas were lumpy and rolly and as Nimue hit one of the waves, the VHF ariel on top of the mast decided to part company with it.  However, it didn’t fall off straightaway and we were therefore left with a kilo weight or so of metalware hanging by a cable, swinging and crashing around the top of the mast and making a “hell of a noise”.  Luckily it managed to get it self trapped in between the port shroud and the next morning Michael put the topping lift around it to secure it further.  As we were sailing later on that evening with a SW F5 blowing, we both heard a ‘sploosh’ as the ariel decided to head for Davy Jones Locker.   

Nimue's VHF ariel hanging on by a thread!!

After this we saw a dolphins playing on Nimue’s bow and a pod of pilot whales in the distance, the first of the trip.

We had received a forecast for F3/4 westerly winds for the rest of the trip, but unfortunately these didn’t materialise and the wind subsided quite substantially and we ended up motor sailing for the last 36 hours and arrived 550 miles later into a very sunny La Coruna

Half way across - after having a shower

As the saying goes Red Sky in the morning Shepherds warning - but where was the wind??


We both quickly got out of our winter woollies and donned on the summer shorts ……………..sheer bliss.  We spent the next few days tucked up in La Coruna Marina, spending time washing, cleaning, fixing etc, before leaving to explore the Spanish Rias on our way down to Bayona.  More on these to follow.