Coasts of Portugal and Galicia
This year is very different compared to last years cruising along the Costa del Sol in Spain. As expected we have more wind against us, but what we didn’t expect are temperatures that only match what we are used to in Denmark. Also, we haven’t had a single swim in the water yet. Negotiating the wind up along the coast of Portugal takes time, and in the end our project is transporting the boat back to Denmark, so we have a schedule to keep.
Like being on skiing vacation
It has been some rough and boring sailing by motor in waves, and as we didn’t have sealegs from the beginning we have experienced nausea and seasickness. Good thing the crew is tough. Thea didn’t get seasick at all, and has made the most fantastic meals, which we barely deserved due to the lack of appetite. When getting ashore after a tough day the humor has been intact. It reminds me of then we go on skiing vacations, where we sit around the table in the evening, enjoying and laughing from stories of crashes during the day, just swapping the crashes with level and content of vomitting.
Much is still as it used to be: The beautiful nature we sail along, being on the ocean, and of cause the dolphins, which there have been many visits from, and which always can raise the mental health on board. We have sailed along beautiful Lisbon in very nice and warm weather, and have experienced Porto with dancing citizens in the streets. Porto is also a fantastic city.
A new thing has happened as well. Lennarth helped getting Junes new fishing rod up and running with wheel, line, and all kinds of bait. All we need now is for the fishes to get hooked.
Kind and beautiful Portugal
We left Portugal and is now back in northern Spain, but luckily we will be back at some point. None of us have been in Portugal before, but we are really fascinated by the nature, cities, and especially the people and their hospitality. One example of this is in Leixoes at Porto. Fueling at the marina was not possible, so we had to use the nearest gas station. We had three 20 liters jerrycans. The owner of the local chandlery immediately offered to drive us, and had 2 more jerrycans we could borrow so we were sure to get enough fuel for a full tank. And we did get enough fuel, or rather too much, as we were not even able to empty the two borrowed cans. We emptied the extra liters from the borrowed cans into the fuel tank of an irish boat nearby in exchange for a beer and glass of wine, and a nice chat on their boat.
Preparing for the Bay of Biscay
Friday morning we sent Freja, Thea and Lennarth with a taxi and bus to Santiago airport to fly home to Denmark. Laura, June and I sailed the last 50 nautical miles to La Coruña, where Nanna was to be picked up friday evening. Again we had to motor, this time due to no wind. We now experienced sailing in fog with visibility less than 0,5 nautical miles.
Here in La Coruña we are looking for the right weather window for crossing the Bay of Biscay, to be as sure as possible that the 3 to 4 days we expect it takes doesn’t end in too bad weather, no wind at all or too much wind against ud. A weather window fulfilling these requirements seems to be available from sunday and the following 4 days.
The waiting time is spend relaxing. For June and the girls this meant going shopping, for me it was working on the boat just being me. I installed new LED navigation lights, which consume significantly less power, reset the charge controller for the wind generator and sun panels because I couldn’t connect my phone to it, thereby not knowing the state of batteries and how much the generator and panels are charging. I also installed the AIS, but this didn’t go as planned. I can make et send and receive positions and we are appearing on different sites showing AIS boat positions. A link where you can see our position is posted on our Facebook page later on. What I haven’t succeeded in was to make the chart plotter see the AIS, so we can see other boats on the display. I received help from different sailors, including our danish neighbor. Everyone is helpful and wants to help and we enjoy being part of this.
There is another sailing family in the marina, which we have followed a lot during the last year, where they have been cruising the Caribbean. It’s the family Veber in s/y Annalisa, and you can follow them on www.thomasveber.dk. They are currently on their way home to Sweden, but due to engine issues they have been stuck in La Coruña. The issues have now been fixed and they have just sailed off.
Today we do the final provisioning and preparations of the boat. I’m sure I’ll spend some time studying weather forecasts for the next four days. The plan is to sail off tonight, and then we will go off the grid with no internet, mobile coverage, etc. We are looking forward to trying that.