ARC Portugal Ca Canny - Exhilarating sail across the first part of Biscay

Yacht Ca Canny
Geoff Rogers
Tue 3 Jun 2014 11:25
As mentioned on yesterdays blog, there was a dramatic photo shoot under Ca Canny yesterday. So following this blog entry we are going to try and upload one or two images of the drama (the sat-phone data connection is not 100% reliable so if they don’t appear then you’ll just have to wait....oooh the suspense). The prop shot is particularly good when you consider that Ian was simply waving the boathook under the water and hoping that he was pointing the camera in the right direction.
After the prior nights drama the winds picked up shortly after leaving the welcome company of Robert et al on Zoonie and we were soon well under sail. Ca Canny really picks up her tails above 18 knots of wind and the weather provided in spades – sailing at well over 7 knots for long periods of time late into the night. Shaking out the Genoa reefs at 2130 wasn’t part of the skippers plan....but Ian and Steve enjoyed taking Ca Canny up to 7.96 knots indicated (the maximum hull speed for the point of sail we were on is about 8.5 knots so we were having a lot of fun whilst the rest of the crew slept soundly – or maybe not given the amount of winch cranking going on)!
We crossed out of the continental shelf at about 2am UTC and are officially now in the North Atlantic with about 4500m of water under our keel. No-one has volunteered to test the water temperature looks v cold and not at all tempting for a swim (despite our off-shore safety instructor telling us that was compulsory for a first time Biscay crossing!)
A hearty breakfast helped the crew into gear this morning but the weather isn’t so supportive. Winds of 10-12 knots have meant a fair amount of motoring so-far today – the engine sounds in good fettle after the snagging yesterday so here’s to it continuing to perform. I suspect a more detailed external examination of the prop will be required once we get to Spain. Talking of which, round about now also marks roughly the half way point from Plymouth into Baiona – we are expecting to be approaching Thursday afternoon/evening. There is some more exciting (!) weather forecast for later on this week (potentially in the next 24-36 hours) so we’ll be keeping a close eye on that.
So with the quietish day on the wind front - time for a food update. After rather spectacular delights of Chicken and Leek casserole with mash on Sunday night (thanks Sue!), we gorged on Stuarts’ fantastic home made Bouef Borgnignon with tomato and basil rice. The whole idea of stocking the freezer full of frozen, but freshly prepared, food has gone done extremely well with the crew. In fact there was even a conversation about 6am this morning about the upcoming Venison meatballs on tonights menu – although the conversation (Stuart & Steve) centered around how a lovely bottle of chianti would have been good to go with it. On that note, there have been a few rumblings of complaint from the crew about the stingy rum rations – we are, very sensibly, running a dry boat. The large stock of tomatoes we had on board is gradually diminishing (I mean I like tomatoes, but we had 6/8 packets of 6!). Ian came up with an idea for a brand new culinary delight in the wee hours of last night – line caught, Biscay salted tomatoes. He’s desperate to use the fishing rod we have on board – even if it is only to cast out a line of small red fruit so that they are ready cleaned and salted for consumption. All talk from early on of landing a tuna fish has dwindled for the time being – although I’m informed that the line has been tensioned enough for a 40lb tuna......yeah right!
Anyway, as you can hopefully tell from the above, all of the crew are in good spirits – plenty of humour (dark and light) to keep things fun. That’ll do for now – love to all those that matter, from all those at sea!
Which reminds me – crew nicknames have been appointed as follows (excuse both the mixed film heritage and the spelling we can’t google check them):
Geoff (Kirk) Rogers – Skipper
Steve (Ohura) Chalker – Comms (but without the high heels thank you very much)
Neil (Tsulu) Hemming – Nav
Ian (Bones) Lake – Meds
Stuart (Scotty) Innes – Engineer
Autohelm (Hal 9001) – Steerage (by way of explanation the autohelm decided to play up yesterday and did not want to be switched off – bit of a problem it’s trying to steer in a direction you don’t want to go “Why are you going there Dave” and you can’t manually override it....fortunately the normal IT solution of switching it all off and on again resolved that issue)