Yacht Ca Canny ARC - Crew Change and loss of our creative blogger

Yacht Ca Canny
Geoff Rogers
Mon 16 Jun 2014 16:06
It's is now Monday the 16th of June I think! Steve Chalker has long since left and his stories of Ca Canny's crew will be missed. Farewell, Ohura, Scottie, Bones and Sulu.

We have a new crew or nearly - Ian Pringle and Brian Hunkin joined in Porto before we sailed to Figueira Da Foz where Tony Frazer joins the crew today.

Crew changes are not easy for the crew or the skipper - the team has learnt to work together and bond with the boat and it becomes a bit like a surrogate mother - particularly when the wind is blowing and the waves get bigger. We have all become close to the boat - forged by various experiences: getting a rope wrapped around our prop in Ushant, the loss of the liferaft blown from its cradle in heavy weather ( never needed it anyway), the strong wind warning that turned into a full gale in the middle of Biscay at night and the dash for a port of refuge in Camarinas in another gathering storm which then went on blowing for 3 days.

The mini rally we formed with the other boats in Camarinas and wonderful setting of the Baiona marina below a fort have also been highlights for me. The Skipper even got to diving under the boat in murky visibility to check the propeller and tighten a few screws with the help of Torsten who just happened to have a diving compressor on board. Fortunately we had 2 doctors and an undertaker in the party so everything was covered.

The adventure continues. Steve told the story of the race to Oporto. But the race from Oporto to Figueira was cancelled because the harbour was cloaked in fog and skippers left at their own discretion into sea fog which gave us about 100-200 mtr visibility. Radar on, we left the harbour and formed what felt like an Atlantic convoy screen - Ca Canny tucked in behind the lead boats who enthusiastically used their VHF radio' s to give warning messages about other rally boats that had no radar signature at all, fishing vessels and a pod of dolphins which visited several boats. No periscopes were however spotted and the fog lifted after a few hours and we motored in very light wind most of the 68 nautical miles to Figueira finally dodging many hundred fishing pots rounding the headland towards the harbour entrance - not a route to take at night!

The rally has now settled into an easier pace and it has got a lot warmer - Bimini up on the boat in temperatures of 33 C plus. Found a great Tapas bar with the smelliest goats cheese ever.........

Tomorrow Peniche - known in the winter for its enormous Atlantic rollers and surfing records!
A small fishing village where we will be rafted alongside each other. Stories are now turning to what we do after Lagos - Ca Canny will be stopping there for a year but others are going on to cross the Atlantic and thence around the world, some are going to the Azores and back but many are turning left into the Med. It's the personal stories motivations and plans which are the most interesting for me...

Geoff and Ca Canny Out