Lunchtime Tuesday 8th / Baiona

Slipstream Web Diary
Bill Cuthbert
Tue 8 Sep 2009 14:37

10 o'clock boat time, Tuesday, midday Spanish time moored up in the
marina in Baiona. Sitting in cockpit of Slipstream. Showered, Shaved &
Spanish sun shining down, real risk of serious sunburn though the day,
so all's well. Baines has changed his base-layer &swimming shorts for
the first time since Salcombe,(and as advertised it didn't smell - much
- it was him).
Nick & Baines had a couple of coffees & croissant in a cafe on the
sea-front having been unable to sleep past 7ish, having now got used to
sleeping for no more than 3 and a half hours. Returning after this
treat, they then met the rest of the crew just getting up.
So, to continue the tale from yesterday...the wind was variable, and in
late morning we'd resorted to motor-sailing giving us a more stable base
lunch: salami, grape-juice unfermented for the skipper, fermented for
the other mature members of the crew in a Spanish approach to life. Nick
flew the Spanish courtesy flag, whilst Bill attempted to get to the
bottom of the worst of the three smells - the smell of death from the
fridge - the other competing smells being that from the rear heads,
where the wet oil skins and garbage are stashed, and Baines' black
base-layer. The source of the smell from the fridge was a leaking side
of lamb, which had filled the bottom of the fridge with old blood.
Swiftly resolved, the fridge now smelling sweeter than a babies
bottom.Wind blew up a little, so off went the engine & up went the
spinnaker (after 45 minutes teaching the junior Homan's how to tie a
Bowline, not entirely sure how successfully) whilst we were rounding
Finisterre. Outstanding downwind helming from Tom who is now able to
pariticpate fully having recovered from his previous illnesses. Tom
would now see himself as a specialist downwind helmsman. This may be
less to do with his time or ability in downwind helming and more to do
with the fact that he did no upwind helming at all.
Wind blew up still more making the skipper protective of his nice new
spinnaker after we hit 10.2 knots of boat speeds, so the spinnaker was
dropped (too far - into the water) but we still managed to zip on with
the fore-sail & three reefs in the main.
Cruised on down the coast, rocky headlands, all of them sprouting wind
turbines into the evening. Lovely. lovely. lovely. Glorious sunset, low
flat thin cloud went through an inifinte number of shades of red &
Through this our palates were entertained by the chef's special (well
the chef's only dish that day) of thinly sliced beef, marinated with soy
sauce, garlic and ginger, lightly sauted served with noodles.
The nights are still cold so we were all suited & booted as the sun
felll and the thick dew descended. Sailed on into the early night, but
then the wind dropped so we motored for a couple of hours into Baiona,
which though unfamiliar giving us a few anxious moments was easily and
swiflty accomplished. Tied up & bed.

Solid land underfoot was well received after 4 and half days at sea, a
solid start to the cruise to the Canaries with the fear of Biscay
consigned to the acheivements folder.

Breakages the table (again) ably fixed by Tom - hopefully more ably and
longer term than Baines' attempt last time.
door handle on rear heads

Special events: through last night around 10 ish in the evening we were
sailing gently at 3-4-5 knots in not much wind. Baines & Tom on deck
when a large school of dolphins (maybe 20 or 30, difficult to count
them) came to play. They bounced around the boat swimming from side to
side, seeming to play under the boat swooping from side to side. They'd
surface & breath with an audible sound midway between a "puff" or a
"plop". Billy came on deck drawn by a smell of fish which was probably
Dolphin breath. You could see them swimming underwater, leaving a trail.
We'd not seen it before, don't know whether it was a track of bubbles
(from when they suraced) or phosphorence, it didn't really seem to be
eithermlocal man tells us it's a trail of Mica. The doplhins seemed to
be playing around the boat. They stayed for an hour or so, dissuading us
from starting the engine, but even when they did we were accompanied by
4 or 5 for a good long while as we motored towards Baiona.

The fact that the night watchman in the Marina in Baiona despite a grasp
of english equivalent to the crew's grasp of Spanish (ie none at all)
understanding enough of our attmepted communication with him to trot
down ontothe pontoon waving a torch at us and guiding us onto the

2 pm boat time, 4pm spanish time (Nick & Baines worked this out whilst
drinking their coffee in the cafe this morning). Day so far spent
messing around on the boat, sorting those things that had gone awry (or
we'd noticed were awry) on the trip from Cowes some easily accomplished,
some not so. The track on the mast for the mainsail proving
particlularly challenging, but we think that we can see that way to fix
it (we may be wrong, we've been wrong several times today!). The
mainsail is off to the sailmakers and the beer is cooling in the fridge.
Decks covered in drying kit & airing sleeping bags, it's almost possible
to breath the air below decks . Tom & James spent much of their day
organising flights home...the rest of us are hoping the best of the
sailing is yet to come.