Wednesday 29th and Thursday 30th June

Thu 30 Jun 2016 17:15
Buenos dias
Thursday 30th June
We arrived in Baiona at 20:00 last night and have now had a first practice at Mediterranean mooring with the boat stern to and attached to a lazy line (at a saving of 18 Euros per night compared to being attached to a finger pontoon in the same marina).
Our passage past the infamous Cabo Finisterre (the most westerly point in mainland Europe) was thankfully most unremarkable weather wise, in fact it was the unremarkable weather that led to the greatest excitement of the day.  We had tried putting the Parasailor up but the winds were just too light so we put it away in its sock; I tried to release the halyard but it just wouldn’t move.  After the two Davids trying with all their might to pull the Parasailor down, there was only one thing for it – David A made preparations to go up the mast at sea (the biggest dilemma here is that the line we use as the safety line is the very rope that was stuck).  All the equipment was out and he was just about to put his posterior in the bosun’s chair when the Parasailor started to flop down of his own accord – a mixture of relief and frustration from David who had sort of been excited by the challenge, but wasn’t going to go up there unnecessarily!  It transpired that extra tape that had been put around the spinnaker halyard to stop chaffing had jammed the rope so it is back to the drawing board to find a solution to that problem.  Later we had a fabulous afternoon sailing with the mainsail and poled out genoa, sustaining an almost maximum hull speed of eight knots for several hours – downwind sailing at its very best. Not to mention at least 10.7 Kts surfing down the waves.

Baiona is the last port of call in Spain for us – next stop Portugal.  It has a secure place in history as Columbus’ first mainland landfall in 1493 after returning from the New World; there is a replica of the Pinta permanently berthed in the harbour.  We are moored in the shadow of medieval walls, next to a good beach so we may well stay here for a couple of days as we are well up to schedule.
We are now on our own for the next 11 days.  Alan left us on Monday, having helped us enormously to grow in confidence.  He was a very easy boat guest and a consummate professional.  He allowed us to lead but was incredibly knowledgeable and gave us tips on everything from pilot planning to anchoring; we have stored away all his pearls of wisdom and since he left we have all been saying “Do you remember Alan said.....”.  Thank you, Alan, for answering all our questions and for making us feel comfortable and reducing our stress – not an easy job where the Addeys are concerned.
David and Jane have just left us to spend 36 hours in Santiago de Compostela before flying home on Saturday.  We have been sailing with them for almost 20 years now and it was very exciting for us all to share the experience of the Bay of Biscay together.  Their input has been invaluable, thanks to Jane, we are now packing the Parasailor away more efficiently and every decision over the last 11 days has been chewed over with them and the jobs and responsibilities, shared.  David is an excellent helmsman, chef and photographer but most significantly, they have been a tremendous support to both of us; we have loved their company and wish them a terrific continuation of their own 10 week voyage in Friday Fizz to the Channel Islands and northern Brittany.
White Satin.