Rally Portugal - Plymouth to Bayona: Day Four

Zipadedoda of Dart
David H Kerr
Wed 7 Jun 2006 22:15

South Biscay by Night and Cap Finisterre


At the time of writing this we are at 42 degrees 16 mins North, 9 degrees 05 mins West at 2200 on June 7th. Expect to be in Bayona, moored up at around midnight.


Last night in south Biscay was one of the most challenging nights we have spent at sea. We knew from the forecasts that it was going to be windy and rough with 10 foot waves predicted. ( Easterly 6 or 7). We reefed up the main with a deep reef, full stay sail and heavily reefed Genoa. Crew went below at around Midnight, and I was left to deal with the fun. By 0100 on the 7th, the wind was averaging 30 to 35 knots so the Genoa was furled away as we were going too fast. Half an hour later, it was constant 35 knots with gusts of 40 knots and big seas. The boat was heeling heavily in the rolling seas and the end of the boom was regularly burying into the wave tops as the rollers past under us. Fortunately we have a very stout boom preventer so no damage was done. We stayed the course all night, and it was without doubt one of the most exhilarating sails of my life. Two life lines on and sometimes laying down in the cockpit , but actually standing up right as the boat heeled right over. By 0900 the wind started to drop off and the seas calmed down remarkably quickly. Then the wind moved South East and more or less died away. So the iron sail has been working hard most of the day as we motor sailed into the breeze.


This passage has completely vindicated our decision to buy a Contest yacht and one with a Cutter rig. It preformed so well we could sail all night in the difficult conditions, on course to our destination whilst others were forced to heave too and take a pasting.


We were not the only ones to have a trying night. A Dove descended on the boat and spent several hours perched on the radar dome, to get his (or her) strength back, before flying off once we neared land.


More sprinklings of Dolphins and some Sun fish. But once again the fish we laughing at my attempts to join us in the galley.


Go to go now to attend to the final pilotage before our arrival in Bayona.


Bonners Knockers…………………



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