Spanish diversion

Ananda's blog
Keith and Stella Myerson
Fri 8 Jun 2012 15:54

43:07.59N 09:10.60W

Flaming June?  Certainly not in this part of the Atlantic, as we headed out to the northeast of the Azores.  Nor, it would seem, for the Jubilee celebrations back home.  We set off from Horta with fair winds and good sailing conditions and set a course for England and home.  But the weather gremlins had not finished with us yet.

NW tip of Sao Jorge, Azores.  The  lighthouse on the top of this sheer island gives some idea of the scale of the cliffs.  



We sailed past Sao Jorge, enjoying the skilful soaring and wheeling of the skuas and storm petrels, then on past Graciosa as night fell.  We continued on towards England for another 2 days with perfect winds, but the grib weather charts told another story.  A major depression was heading our way on its course towards Ireland, where it was predicted to produce storm force 10 winds.  We were directly in its path.

A change of plan was called for, and so we turned Ananda 20 degrees to starboard to head towards northern Spain.  This would not only keep us out of the strongest winds but presented a possibility of reaching shelter before the bad weather arrived.  So the race was on – Ananda versus the depression (ex Bertha) – and we set more canvas for extra speed.

Conditions held and on we went , sliding down the waves at up to 10 knots, though with conditions gentle enough to watch films.  Only the anxiety of our race with Bertha marred what would otherwise have been sailing at its best.

And the result?  We won!  Ananda crossed the busy shipping lanes off Finisterre and sailed into Camarinas, N Spain just as the wind was starting to rise.  We had sailed almost 1000 miles in 6 days, not bad considering we didn’t use our spinnaker.

As we lay at anchor the wind and rain howled over us and we nervously kept an anchor watch.  But all held securely.  Time now for a couple of days rest whilst the next depression passes, then hopefully on towards home...

*     *     *     *     *