25th December 2011. (33:59.6N 13:44.0W). Merry Christmas.
Merry Christmas to one and all from the Atlantic Ocean, 360 nautical miles North of the Canary Islands, and we can now say with confidence…. It’s great to be getting somewhere at last, and warm too … ;)
After leaving Gijon the weather was light and we motor sailed for some time. Refueled in Portugal (Nazare) and then headed South and have been doing some fantastic sailing since. We broke out the new sail, a large red MPS/cruising chute now known as ‘Bluey’, and used her for a while until the winds increased to 20+knots from the NW and we have been goose-winged ever since…. Magic.
For Christmas Day we hove-to in the position above and had a scrumptious lunch thanks to Rocky, with Christmas cake (cheers Mrs Rocky xx) and mince pies, with the traditional crackers and of course a few drinks to celebrate. All in all a great day and spirits, of all sorts, running hi….. I hope it’s obvious in the few photos attached… ;) ……………….. (to be sent later…. )
A few words on the last month just gone. We departed Ardfern in West Scotland in mid November and sailed through the Irish Sea, the Celtic Sea, the English Channel and just recently the Bay of Biscay. Least to say the weather has been against us and has knocked our timing, us and the yacht, around quite a bit. Never were our spirits too low, but at times the situations was demoralizing and it took its toll, whether due to the rough cold seas, the lack of sleep or the yacht breaking at the most inopportune times. With regards to the boat breaking, as said before, the damage has been relatively minor and it’s glad we know these weaknesses now rather than later. Our faith in her still remains strong as she continues to prove she is a tough old bird and safe as houses!!! One thing is for sure, and expressions like.. ‘it was a great experience’, ‘it had to be done’, ‘what a way to prove us and the yacht’.. aside, the three of us agree without hesitation that we do not want to sail in the above waters in this time of year again……. Ever!!!! …… ;)
For now we continue to sail South to the Canary Islands and we will be there in a few days in time for New Years Eve. Though not out of the woods with weather and repairs as there will be much more of that over the next few years (including steering and engine issues to deal with in Las Palmas… but more about that later) it’s great to be doing the sailing we wished for and the weather getting WARMER!!
Once again Merry Christmas and hope all is well, and that you all have a great New Year……
Matt, Rohan and Rocky…….