We've crossed the Bay of Biscay

The ODA diary
Erik L. Roede
Fri 16 Aug 2013 11:50
43:22.0000N 008:23.7000W
imageAfter an easy four-day passage we have arrived in A Coruña on the Northwest corner of Spain. Our first night headed South from Dublin was windy and we made good progress to the Southwest in preparation for the SW and S-winds we knew would come. Unfortunately the wind shifted southward earlier than we had hoped for and we got pushed back towards the South tip of England and closer to Brest in France than we would have liked. At the same time the wind steadily died, and going into the second night it was finally time to turn on the engine. The next 38 hours were spent under power on a glassy flat sea. We saw nothing to the rough Bay of Biscay that sailors through the ages have grown to fear. Halfway to Spain, where the sea was more than 5000 meters deep (!) we even stopped for a swim!
Here in A Coruña we say good bye to Espen, Mathias and Isaac. They have been great fun to have on board and I believe it has been a memorable experience for them to spend four days at sea.
Today Tobias and I are joined by Kjersti and Christian who will be with us all the way to Morocco.
A Coruña is a rather unusual place. It is a big city, but definitely out of the way of nearly everything. In a week we have not met anyone that speaks more than a few basic words of English, there are virtually no tourists here other than those that arrive by boat across the Biscay, and strangest of all, there is quite a bit of bagpipe music here! We thought we had left that behind in Scotland, but for some reason it is popular here. The most noticeable difference is the warm weather! We have now left Northern Europe and its rain and cold winds, and are now enjoying sunshine and warm days.
A highlight was a visit to the famous cathedral at Santiago de Compostela. We saw many pilgrims who have walked for more than a month from the French/Spanish border to get to Compostela and the cathedral itself was impressive.
We are waiting for a part to repair the refrigeration on board, and then we start heading South towards Portugal. We have plenty of time, so we will travel slowly southward and visit the tiny fishing villages and white beaches on our way.
Internet service has been rather sporadic and it has been difficult to get online to update this blog as often as I would like. Hopefully we will find better service here in Spain and Portugal.