Stuck in Bayona
Monday 5th and Tuesday 6th October 2010
It has been a frustrating few days with the weather keeping us in Bayona. Unfortunately it looks like the current situation will continue for several more days. On Monday, following the storm the previous day, the weather was sunny and the wind light. However we were not really ready to go as we needed to get fuel and sort out the boat, which meant that we didn’t have time to make Povoa De Varzim, the next suitable stopping point on the Portuguese coast in daylight, so we stayed in Bayona. We did enjoy (another) lovely walk around the castle.
Today (Tuesday 5 October), the wind was forecast to be southerly at 20 kts with heavy rain, which would make for a very slow and uncomfortable passage south, so we, like all other boats in the marina and anchorage stayed put. Instead of sailing we took the bus to A Guarda and walked around the ancient Celtic village with the remains of 3,000 year old houses. Between the clouds there were spectacular views of the Foz do Minho and into Portugal – where we want to be heading. The bus went along the coast road with good views to seaward, which confirmed that it was better to be on land looking out, than at sea looking at the land!
Celtic Huts in A Guarda (following some restoration!)
Looking across the Foz do Minho to Portugal – “so near, yet so far”!
The weather is now causing a major problem. Tomorrow there is forecast to be a 24 hour window when the wind will be from the North, so we can potentially head south to Povoa de Varzim. However the waves will be very big and there have been several reports from other yachts that Povoa is turning away yachts as their visitors pontoon is not safe in the current conditions. The next port, Leixoes, which is 12 miles further than Povoa, also does not have particularly sheltered visitors berths. The coast between here and Lisbon is very flat and exposed in these conditions with very few places to stop.
Our concerns about sheltered moorings are caused by a very deep and slow moving depression which will pass through on Thursday and Friday, with winds forecast to be even stronger than the storm on Sunday. L As the marina here in Bayona is also susceptible to a lot of surge we are considering retreating back to Vigo and finding a more sheltered marina up the river.
The forecast bad weather for Thursday & Friday unfortunately means we will not be able to make it to Lisbon for the weekend to meet Mary’s sister, who is there for a work conference. However we are investigating the trains!
It’s very frustrating to be stuck in the same place for a week and it will feel even more so if we retreat to Vigo, but you can’t change or beat the weather. To some extent we have been spoilt over the last two months as the worst we have suffered was a couple of days in Camaret and then a lack of wind, which has not delayed progress (merely cost a lot in diesel). At least we have time in our schedule for the delay and we’re not rushing to get back to work on Monday. J
As I type, it’s raining continuously and all the boats in the marina are surging back and forth with the swell. Time to check the mooring lines haven’t chaffed through before seeing what tomorrow’s weather window brings.