We pulled up anchor at
4:26AM in the rain and dark on Tuesday 19th August and made it as
far as San Vicente de la Barquera 43:23.29N 4:23.69W
We spent the night at
anchor again opposite a very large port. We awoke to the alarm at 4AM got
ourselves dressed, pulled up the anchor and sailed off into the darkness once
again. The harbor was flat as a tack as we crept out of port, until we were
confronted by the huge swell that had been pushed across the Bay
of Biscay over the last few days from the strong North Westerly
Winds. It was not uncomfortable though due to the large rollers being so far
apart. We just went up and down, however this time Silky slowed with every
rise of the water. The wind was all over the shop most of the day so I used the
wind vane mode on Atrie - our much loved crew member the Auto Pilot - as hungry
for power as he may be he is still the best behaved crew member we have.
The wind began to pick
up as the morning went on as several cold fronts passed us causing rain and
large gusts. We were very aware that if we were stuck out in this swell for
long in a storm we would have one hell of a battle on our hands, so our plans
to make Ribadesella in a day and daylight were put to one side and we headed
for one of the refuge ports I had selected during the route plan.
The coast line along
this part of Spain reminds
me a lot of the west coast back in Victoria.
If anyone has driven west of Apollo bay you find yourself in open low lying
land one minute, only to be cruising along cliffs beside the water the next. I
think I have already mentioned the swell so no need to bring that up but both
places have surf.
The first port we headed
for was Pta Torco de Afuera, however once we got close enough to see our
leading marks in we turned and headed back out into the deep. It was low tide
and only about a meter of water would have been under us across the breaking
bar so that probably meant a disastrous end. Any-how we had another plan up
our sleeve. About 13 more miles on, thinking it should only be a 2.5 hr sail
down the road it turned into a 5 hrs journey tacking our course through the
head wind to make it there. I dare say we went another 8 miles that in the
right winds we would not of needed to do. All hard work too.
Silky is designed for
cruising and not to race especially upwind so she is good for about 55 degrees
either side of the tack, unlike some of the more modern boats that will go 30
degrees into wind at full speed where we lose about 20% of our power. To be
totally honest as much as I love this whole sailing thing, big swell, horrible
wind and going nowhere in a hurry is not a lot of fun so I do not plan on
intentionally doing that again soon. Our plan is to spend 2 days here in this
beautiful little fishing port and wait for the wind to swing to catch the
breeze as far as it will take us.
As we finally sailed in
yesterday afternoon, Fi and I worked as a cracking team to guide Silky in the
channel now that the tide had risen to park her in our resting place for the night
next to a large fishing fleet. You will see we have tied up with lots of rope
out. I did not want to make the mistake of tying up tight only to have silky
hang from her cleats as the tide goes out.
Anyhow I am really glad
we pulled into this very beautiful spot check out the view from our cabin
window. We also ate out again last night enjoying the lovely Spanish treat’s
you find in any bar. Red wine and beer to wash it all down of course. We
figure having not paid to moor up for the last week we can afford it.
Special comments by
Fiona: Getting up at 4am only to be confronted with huge
swell and unpleasant wind again is not my idea of fun. But you have to take
the good with the bad with this sailing business and not every-day is going to
be paradise. Thanks to Ben’s smart route planning we did not have to endure a
whole day and night of unpleasant wind and swell. Ben navigated me in as I
took the helm into our home for the night. Again, I’m loving eating out on
tapa’s and the wine of course. It makes it even more pleasant when it is so
Destination – San
Vicente de la Barquera
Wind Direction – North
West West (On the nose)
Average Speed 4.1 Knots
Top Speed –6.7 Knots
Total distance – 47.4
Nautical Miles (only 33 the way the crow fly’s)
Travel Time – 11.42
Temperature – 18
- Fiona (Hating the wind and tacking all day)
Missing Work - I do not
Expenses – €33 Dinner
Next Destination – La Coruna or as far as the wind will take us.
La Coruna being a long long way away.