We made it to Spain!!
We are now relaxing in the Spanish port of La Corunna after a somewhat eventful trip across the Bay of Biscay. We started in the the French port of L'Aber Wrac'h on the Brittany coast and were joined by Doug and Lance, our crew for the trip on Saturday 10th July. Plan A was a nice long Sunday lunch, then watch the football final and leave on Monday about lunchtime. The trip across to La Corunna was about 450 miles and we anticipated arriving about Thursday lunchtime. We then got the weather forecast and due to some bad weather due on Wednesday night, about a force 7/8 wind, we were advised to leave a day early. We were also warned we may get a bit wet on Sunday as well.
Sunday dawned bright and sunny and it was all hands on deck to get ready to leave. When we left the marina there was about 1-5 knots of wind, bang on the nose - sailing therefore impossible, so we motored on. Once we had rounded Ile D'Ouessant and turned south the wind should have been directly behind us most of the way south but this was not to be. Despite the lack of wind there was still a fairly large swell, which was having a corkscrew effect on both the boat and the crews stomachs!! During the evening the wind picked up and off we went under sail.
One thing we were not prepared for was the squall/storm that hit us overnight. For about the next 12 hours we had huge swells, high winds, and waves breaking over the spray hood on the boat - one wave actually landed on top of the bimini!! This largely continued until late Tuesday night. We had covered over 150 miles under sail in the previous 24 hours but the wind and tide were pushing us east, away from La Corunna. By this time we were all getting very tired. Eating had gone out of the window a while back for two of us - the Biscay diet is not one I would recommend. Also sleeping, showering and even going to the loo are damned near impossible at 45 degrees in a swell!
We decided that instead of carrying on to La Corunna we would stop in a port of refuge on the Spanish Coast for the night. We pulled into San Crispian about 2am, about 70 miles east of La Corunna, dropped the anchor, and celebrated our arrival on the Spanish coast with a cup of tea from a proper mug and a slice of jam and bread - we know how to celebrate!! But seriously the tea was the best we had drunk in days - it's just not the same from a thermal mug!! After about 5 hours sleep we set of again in the morning, bound for La Corunna.
The weather again was swelly, rough and generally unpleasant with the promise of worse to come, so we got as far as we could before the storm hit and anchored in a lovely bay called Cedeira overnight. We had now lost the advantage of leaving a day early. After another night of uninterrupted sleep and a shower, we set of again and arrived in La Corunna about 3pm on Thursday.
I have attached some photos we took to try and show the size of the swells, some are of a boat we passed which was about 40-45ft which kept disappearing under the swell, also there are some photos of the water breaking over the boat hull and very relieved crew having a well deserved day off in La Corunna before leaving on Friday bound for Muros and then Vigo.