Position: Approaches to A Coruna
Course: West Speed: 7 knots
Wind: Northeast, fresh
Weather: Sunny, mild
At last a beam reach, and not a headwind. Looking at the weather maps it
appears that we can expect a lot more favourable winds as we head down the
west coast of Spain and Portugal. I will keep my fingers crossed, maybe we
will be able to catch up on some time, we need to if I have any chance of
staying on schedule.
A Coruna was a wonderful stop. I got quite a bit of maintenance done, got to
see the old city - very interesting, and had the opportunity to socialise
more than I have been accustomed to for quite a while.
My first encounter with A Coruna was when I strolled through the old city on
my way to meet Oliver and Sandride, a very nice young French couple cruising
the Spanish and Portuguese coast this summer with their two year old son,
Manolo. Typical of old European cities the streets were narrow and chaotic,
old buildings, some very old, presented an eclectic mix of styles while
somehow keeping a unity of design that created a peaceful and relaxing mood.
I guess such an old city has evolved over the centuries, the styles change
gradually and therefore blend in with each other. A feature that struck me
were the heavy wooden doors painted in a variety of bright bold colours,
mostly green and red. Every second door seemed to be a bar or restaurant, I
was later to learn that the Spanish, in particular the Galicians, enjoy
their night life. Unfortunately I managed to miss my meeting with Oliver and
Sandride because I went to the wrong 'X' on my map, I thought it odd that
they would want to meet outside the supermercado. Not to worry, I decided to
do a little shopping myself, including a couple of bottle of the very cheap
wine, and strolled back to the boat for a quiet meal aboard and to sample
some of the wine. I found the wine confirmed the adage that you get what you
pay for, the really cheap stuff is absolute plonk but pay just a little
more, about 4 Euros and you start to get something very drinkable and good
value (I didn't work this out all in one night by myself I should hasten to
Yesterday was another busy day working on the boat, getting a bit more
de-rusting and painting completed, but then in the evening had another
attempt to meet with my French neighbours, this time successfully, meeting
in a beautiful plaza, three sides surrounded by tasteful four story
apartment and the magnificent Palicio Muncipale on the northern side. The 'palace'
apparently is the mayoral offices for the city, very ornate. We enjoyed a
cerveza and some pulpo on the calle de vino then went to meet up with three
friends of Oliver and Sandride's, locals who gave me a small insight into
Spanish life. While I was once more in the situation of being on the outside
of a lot of the Spanish conversation (I regret that my language abilities
are totally abysmal) they were very nice people whose English was relatively
good and they made me feel very included. Later we ended up back on Sylph to
sample one of the better bottles of wine I had purchased which got the
thumbs up. A late but enjoyable evening.
This morning I awoke to mild headache, and slowly got into the day. The
flags were limp and the sea's surface mirror smooth, no wind, so I had no
need to feel guilty about a slow start. I spent the morning topping up the
water tanks and changing a fuel filter, by which time it was about 1 p.m.
when Oliver brought to my attention the breeze starting to pick up on the
waters outside the marina. I wasted no time in getting the boat squared away
and an hour later we were hot on the heels of my French friends who had
gotten underway about half an hour before me. As we rounded the breakwater
the wind freshened, helping Sylph to clear the harbour and for me to clear
my head, then once around Pta Herminio we were able to ease sheets and bear
away before the fresh north easterly.
I am not sure where next, an overnight sail and then tomorrow we will see
where we end up.
All is well.
A crowd of people descended upon my normally quiet abode last night, how
very strange I thought, but I got quite a bit of well deserved attention so
I guess such intrusions can be tolerated from time to time. One of the
Spanish gentlemen was a veterinarian and advised the skipper that I need
some grass in my diet. I think, gentle reader, that you and I know that I
have been communicating very clearly that I need something in my diet,
though grass isn't quite what I had in mind.
With the wind now at a significant angle on the bow (remember the formula
for the relationship between quality of sleep and the wind's angle on the
bow*) the V-Berth has become a very pleasant option, and skipper Bob has
cleaned it up a lot recently so if you will excuse me I am going to seize
the moment .. Zzzzzzz.
* Bob the Cat, "The Science of Feline Cruising", (Annapolis, MD: Two Bob