Saturday 2nd & Sunday 3rd October 2010
Well after arriving in Baiona on Friday the wind picked up yesterday, it started raining at 6pm and hasn’t stopped. The wind has been SW, averaging 30 knots and gusting up to 45 in the shelter of the marina, so definitely a day for bunkering down and waiting. The rain is very heavy and the dinghy is full of water but the decks are really clean! It is though surprisingly warm as the wind is from the south rather than the north.
The marina is not great and fairly expensive, and we will be here for a few days, so we had considered anchoring in the bay, but thankfully Mary persuaded Alan otherwise. One boat on a mooring buoy in the harbour had drifted into the marina and someone had to swim out to rescue it!! We are definitely safer here. We are also a lot more sheltered than in the snooty yacht club marina where on stern-to moorings several boats are heeling over at least 30 degrees and the dinghies have all blown off the rack.
Anyway despite all of this Baiona is actually a really nice city. On Friday night we wandered round the town and had beers in a couple of the bars. Yesterday we walked around the old castle and watched the waves breaking on the rocks. We met up with another Bowman 40, Betsy, formally Migrant, which we looked at and nearly bought in Lymington before we saw Stella. They came for drinks on board last night which was really nice and we swapped more Bowman stories. We have just been out for another walk and got absolutely soaked. Around the other side of the castle we had to hold on to each other in the gusts to stay standing up which induced much laughter. Judging by the devastation the wind must have been even stronger in the night.
Since writing this the wind has come around to the NW so we are a lot more exposed and the 40+ gusts are more sustained. We are now beam on to the wind being blown on to the pontoon so the boat is heeling over more. Alan has had to pump out the dinghy as it was too full of water to lift so that he could move it to a safer place. We have also taken down the wi-fi aerial so no more internet or weather forecasts until it improves. The pressure dropped 20mb in 10 hours to 992 and then rose again to 1000 in only 2 hours so we must be in the centre of the low. I am snug and dry down below whilst Alan is still on deck tying things down. We seem to have fared better than Betsy the other Bowman who’s guard rail broke due to the pressure on the fenders.
Back on line now and everything is a lot calmer. The forecast for tomorrow looks OK but there are more fronts and lows moving across during the week so we are still not sure when we can leave. The route to Lisbon can be very dangerous in a large swell and many of the ports are not safe to enter in bad conditions. We heard this morning that Pavoa de Varzim, one of the few safe harbours which we were planning to stop at is full and turning people away. We will monitor the weather and probably head to Lisbon in one go when it eases but the sea is likely to be rough for a while now. We have become a bit spoilt having had lovely weather for most of our trip even if we haven’t had enough wind to sail.
Sunrise In the marina
Castle overlooking marina
Walk around the Castle
Posh Yacht Club – but like all ‘yacht clubs’ in Spain it’s really a posh members club, not a yacht club and does not allow visitors.
Yacht adrift in the marina