46 04.621N 006 07.973W

Tue 7 Jul 2015 15:27

Date:                Tuesday 7th July 2015


Position:          46° 05.31’N 006° 07.33’W (Somewhere mid Bay of Biscay)



I left Ste-Eventte at 10.30 am on Monday morning bound for La Coruna.  I had ordered some bread from the boat boy I been dealing and he said his mate, who was on duty the next morning, would deliver it to me.  The morning came and I saw him visiting all the other boats around me but somehow he kept ignoring me.  He went away for a short while and on his return I managed to catch his eye and he came over a little sheepish.  He admitted that he had sold all the bread and had none left for me even though I did order some the night before.  So the choice now was to go ashore to do some shopping and leave later or, to leave as planned.  I had everything else I needed aboard, except bread, so I decide to leave.  Once clear of Ste-Eventte I put up all the sails and made good progress for a while.  But there was to much south in the wind and after four hours it became obvious that sailing on the course I was on was taking me further off my rumb line and possibly adding hours onto the journey.  Reluctantly, I started the engine furled the genoa and started to motor sail for the rest of the day and throughout the night.  Nothing much exciting happened that day, just one incident.  As I stepped down the companionway into the cabin I noticed some water by the locker under the oven.  Water in a boat is never a good sign so I investigated.  Opening up the locker the bottom had about an inch and a half of water sloshing around which made me panic for a short moment.  There is an emergency foot pump in the locker so should the electric pump for the fresh water fail you can still pump the water from the tank.  Had this failed and was I loosing my fresh water supply into the bilge?  I checked the tank level and it seemed fine. The next possibility was that it was just bilge water that had made its way into the locker because we were heeling over at an acute angle.  This is what the problem turned out to be so I set about emptying the bilge.  I couldn’t use the pump as the boat was heeling over so much so I had to do it by hand.  The problem with bilge water is that it is usually full of oil and diesel, which was the case now.  As I scooped the water out, drips fell on the cabin sole, which soon became like an ice rink.  A sudden swell hit the boat and as I put out my hand on the cabin sole to stop myself from lurching forward it slipped on the oil and fell into the bilge.  Of course my hand had to find the only nail in that part of the bilge and I came out with a large gash on the palm of my hand.  Bilge duty temporarily stopped while I attended to my hand.  The gash was about twenty centimetres long and three centimetres deep, not quite deep enough to require stiches thank God but deep enough to require holding the edges together in order for it to heal.  I cleaned the wound up and found some surgical strips in the first aid kit and applied them, which, so far, seems to have done the trick.


I tried to get a little sleep last night by cat napping on deck but it was difficult with the engine going and the swell kept knocking me off the seat.  By 5 am just as the sun was beginning to rise I noticed the wind had shifted around to the SW a little and if I were lucky I could just get enough of an angle to set sail again.  This I did and with Henry in charge of steering, I have been under sail since and making good progress.  A pod of Dolphins came to visit late in the afternoon but did not hang around for long, just a few brief leaps out of the water to show off and then they where gone.  Shame! I would have liked them to stay around a bit longer.  Anyway, I am just contemplating what to have for supper, Thai pork curry or more of the beef stew and potatoes?  I think I will have a nice cold G&T while I make my mind up and get ready for the night watch.  Don’t worry Bobby; I won’t touch the port unless it is a real emergency.


Bye for now.


Signing off Ted