On the move again....life at 20 degrees (angle, not latitude!)

Wild Carol does Australia
John and Fiona Fraser
Sun 19 Jun 2011 11:26
47:33.65N 3:54.01W
Noon, Sunday 19th June
We left Loctudy at 0800 HW this morning.  The weather has improved considerably but the unsettled conditions continue and another Atlantic low is on its way. Basically we are heading south (no choice, wind continues from SW) and hope to get far enough south to bypass any strong winds from the next low.  Then we'll turn west and probably have to motor.  Our next stop is La Coruna in NW Spain where Alex will take his leave, then we'll quickly keep going, weather permitting.  Currently sailing at 6.4 knots on a close reach with a 1.5m swell.  Overcast.
So- that's the important bits out of the way and so let's resume the general tone.  We were all pretty glad to get into Loctudy after the Biscay sent us running for shelter showing us with no doubt who was the Boss.  It was quite surreal to see how quickly conditions changed from a 'normal' seastate to ' life in a washing machine'. There was a reasoned debate about our options and Loctudy was top of the list. Night sailing was magic with the seas roaring up behind us from both sides. There was a full moon and if you took a quick glance over your shoulder from the helm you would see the white tops of the waves as they moved ever onwards - lifting the stern of Wild Carol sharply upwards, the nose just about buried in the sea ahead and as the waves past under us the bow rose up and the stereophonic sound of the spray on both sides of the hulls lowered us back into the seas again - all ready for the next wave was not long in coming. As dawn slowly broke the horizon became more pronounced - not the usual horizontal line that most of us are familiar with - this one was just a bit different. In an ever moving procession there was an endless march of cresting waves all black as can be with the moon just highlighting the tops as they broke - but soon to be replaced by another and then another. And so it went on for some hours with the boat corkscrewing ever onwards to Loctudy.  It was nearly 2000 hrs on the 16th before we were within the bouyage of Loctudy. We were soon joined by a couple of large dolphins on the way into port. One in particular was running right alongside the hull and then proceeded to escort us right into the berth where it nearly got trapped in between us and the quay. Whilst mooring at the bow the dolphin came right alongside squeaking and blowing bubbles - close enough to touch had we wished.  However it soon departed to play with the next arriving yacht - I reckon they do this with most of the yachts coming and going.  Graham expressed disappointment with their departure - obviously having bonded with them, such is his charm that he has an uncanny ability to communicate with creatures on all levels.
We had a busy few days in Loctudy catching up on repair jobs to the Navtex which upon examination by Alex was found to be well and truly knackered. Upon opening the said unit and loosening off a few screws internally, several electronic components fell out from the PCB. Satisfied that he had done as much as possible to establish the total knackeredness of the unit it was re-fitted to plug the holes up and no doubt John will have another expensive trip to the next chandlers soon.
Loctudy was a fine place. Mainly fishing with a large harbour and several fish mongers selling a huge range of fish and shellfish.  Alex with Graham 'assisting' prepared a fine meal of crab claws and salad for starters followed by baked Lemon Sole served with new tatties and glazed carrots. All washed down with a fine chilled white wine.  Desert was a large French cake/spongy thing which was served with lashings of hot Creme Anglaise. Simple food for simple sailors.
However as John has already reported above we are now moving onwards towards La Coruna - weather permitting. But before I move on let me share with you a wee amusing tale from the shower block. Readers of a more delicate constitution please scroll to the end of this text. The previous day Alex had gone up for a shower and had all but got ready to start. He put in his token and nothing happened - no water, nothing. He redressed and left fairly disgruntled to go  back to the office for another token. This morning we were up early for our shower and being wise as to which cubicle to avoid we spent our tokens wisely in our respective cubicles.  Soon after we had finished and were preparing to leave, another sailor came in and headed directly for the broken shower. Before we could stop him he had closed the door and started to get ready. A few minutes later we heard the unmistakable sound of a token entering the unit, dropping down and then the unmistakable sound of no water - soon followed by a very loud French curse of ' Zut' !  I have to confess that Alex and myself could barely contain our laughter at this and we felt for just a second some guilt at our schoolboy humour. The very dry, unwashed and somewhat annoyed Frenchman left the shower block in a marked manner muttering other French curses under his breath as he legged it to get another token.  But readers, I now take you back to the fine yacht Wild Carol.  I served up underway a hearty breakfast of porridge, baguette with locally produced honey followed by scrambled eggs on toast. We are now washed, fed and ready for the next series of ravages that the Biscay can throw at us - Bring it on we say !!!   Catch you later with more tales kind of centred around showers.....  you have been warned. Max :o)
PS Max took so long to write this that it's now twenty past one and inevitably we are now motoring to windward in a big swell.  Our sailing time was short-lived!
Dinner time on Wild Carol
 A bonny view