Tag Archives: sailing

Anchored

Sunday – Huw continues with electrics and Bernice with some more cleaning too. There’s Macaroni on the menu for dinner tonight but it turns out a bit salty due to choice of cheese we think.
Monday – is a bank holiday here. We get to finally meet the Czech crew ( Mila & Marketa) as they return having slept on beach all night – arrived back late last night and didn’t want to disturb us to come pick them up. They’ve had a great time around the island and are buzzing with stories. They went ashore to catch up on emails etc and and missed an invite to another Aussie boat – ‘sunburnt’. Good fun evening was had by all. There were 3 couples and guy from 4 other boats – sunburnt, dream catcher, sealife and cosi-mos….. (we think)
Tuesday – we go ashore and check out some shops, essentially looking for a pipe-cleaner for our camelbaks when we come across bargain new walking sandals for Bernice :0). We also decide to investigate an address at the port for having some mail sent to us as we’re going to be here longer than expected. After this we shop for some snacks as Ozzie has invited all the aussie guys from last night onto our boat. It was again a fun night as we gathered more info about types of boats and the pros and cons of life at sea. One couple left Australia 10 years ago and haven’t got back yet! They’re on their way back now though. Bernice had a rough nights sleep last night, thirst getting the better of her as she wasn’t so keen to quench it with the home made water on board (most boats going across oceans have water makers – take onboard sea water and de-salinate it (take salt out it)) it being made from water around this busy industrial port.
Wednesday – we’re sail mending in the morning – there are repairs that need re-repairing! Then in the afternoon we go ashore to see John and Cindy, John we met last week.
Looks like we’ll be here till early next week maybe till the 10th ….. Hhmmm
Thursday – woke up v v close to another boat and we had to lift anchor and move boat back away from it. Expecting rest if our crew today. M&M are thinking of going away for weekend as we’ll be here longer now. We might try and catch up with Siobhian again if we are here that long. See how things pan out after tomorrow and Huw’s birthday

Executive meeting

We arrive on board Executive late afternoon (our new home to cross the atlantic, a 73ft catamaran) and spend the evening getting acquainted with Ozzie.

The other crew aren’t about – the Czech couple have taken themselves off round the island and decided on another night away, and the Swedish couple have delayed their arrival till the 3rd. Huw gets some info about how all the boat systems work – Ozzie has tasked him with working out why his boat systems have kindly decided to stop talking to each other – so tomorrow will be a good day for that while the boat is still quiet.

Some wet stuff is falling from the sky today…. We have vague memories of what it is and relax knowing it’s not life threatening. A good day for chores. We’re at anchor in the bay rather than on a pontoon, this means the only way ashore is via the boats tender rather than a long walk along the floating pontoons – our means of escape up till now. A totally different view of our surroundings out here. The harbour is really busy with big cargo ships and even cruise ships and so the landscape is in constant flux – who needs telly!!!

Huw makes progress with the IT systems on board and Bernice busies herself as galley-slave (galley – boats kitchen) conjuring up a chilli for dinner later tonight.

George….

I forgot to mention George. He’s a fully fledged but understated member of our crew and really coming into his own now. He’s the autopilot and we let him take charge when the engine is running and the sea state is good. He does a really good job and during today a real bonus as we could all relax an enjoy the sun. But it’s 0217 now and we would have found this night time watch quite tedious with nothing to do now George is at the helm, except we’ve started doing some Michel Thomas Spanish! And that seems to be keeping us awake.

It’s all swell out here

Day two of a likely seven, having left Baiona on our way to The Canaries and we’re having a fantastic time. As the weather forecast is predicting no wind in a few days time so our skipper has decided that rather than continue down the coast with another proposed stop at Cascais we have decided to sail out west towards Maderia, that way maximising the wind we have and staying with it for longer.
The down side of this is we have the wind directly behind us and our point of sail is what’s called “goose-winged”. This means we have our main sail out one side of the boat and our headsail our the other. It causes the boat to waddle like a goose which is much more pronounced with the massive swell we’re sailing in!

The Bay of Biscay

After 24 hours run down the Channel we rounded the headland at L’Oeusant (or Ushant as we call it!) and down into the Bay of Biscay which has a fearsome reputation for rough crossings – especially at this time of year. However, the weather gods were with us even though it was Force 7 – Gale 8 (really windy) it remained off our aft quarter (behind us ish) which meant an we continued the downwind blast under headsail only for another 24 hours.

We put up the mainsail with a reef in it (this means we don’t pull it all up) when we rounded Cape Finisterre and then took this out when the wind dropped further about 6 hours before arriving at our destination.

A whole day of dolphins (dolphin wednesday) topped the trip off. We safely arrived in Baiona at 0455 UK time Thursday morning being beaten by The Great Escape – a mere 40 mins ahead of us.

Some admin, sleep and a nice meal ashore tonight will set us all up for the next week long leg at sea to Las Palmas in the Canaries

English Channel

Following a quiet night out in the thriving metropolis of Yarmouth it was a very early start to catch the tide … and not just for us the UKSA training boat moored alongside also had get up to let us out – sorry lads!

We then left in convoy, us + ‘Great Escape’ which is skippered by Em our skipper’s partner … so no competition to get to Baiona then 😉 Dan and Em own and run Skyelark as a charter business … You can see more pictures of the boat and the trips they offer at www.skye51.com

The Channel was it’s usual delightful choppy self – the only up side being that the Force 5-7 (windy for you non sailor types – we will try to give helpful hints un brackets along the way) was from the North East rather than the usual South West which meant we could sail down wind under head sail (the one at the front) only.

The whole experience was finished off by having a large pod of dolphins take a break from their fishing to follow us for a while 🙂 toptastic!! :0)

We took the obligatory seasick pills to help us find our seasickness and apart from a bit of queasiness when it was our turn to do lunch 1st day we were fine.

With 3 pairs of crew we went on 3 hour watches which meant 6 hours sleep before the next one. So pretty good.

Are we nearly there yet..??

…well Yarmouth (the Isle of Wight one obviously) so no not really!!! We’ve stopped the night here as there is a storm forecast overnight and the skipper decided he’d rather not be introducing us to his pride and joy in the dark, in a gale in the middle of a shipping lane – good choice we think. So nice meal, glass of red and a water taxi ashore for beer is the new plan 😉