Not A Headwind!

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 add).

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.

Bob Cat:

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 Publishers. 2010)