After a very enjoyable week racing and socializing at the (in)famous Calves Week Regatta in Schull, Neilo met us on Sunday evening, and we were all set for an early morning departure to La Coruna.
We left at 6am in a cool North Westerly breeze, which saw us shooting out past the Fastnet Rock in no time. We had an escort of Dolphins on the way to see us off, and we made great progress, with 142 miles under our belts in the first 24 hours.
Our weather forecasts had shown that we could expect some bad weather on Tuesday evening, so we cooked up a meal in advance, and put away anything that was likely to be crashing around if it got rough. True to the forecast, the wind swung around so that it was coming from the Southwest, and built all day, until around 9pm, when it really blew up, and we battled through about 12 hours of 30 knots and big swell. Even though I’ve done plenty of sailing in winds much stronger, there was something much more scary about knowing it was our own boat, with all our worldly possessions on board, and at least 150 miles from the nearest point of land.
Things settled down a bit on Wednesday morning, and over the course of the day, the breeze dropped off, and we were left with the big lumpy waves for a few more hours. This led to a few sea sick moments, and in general I think at this stage we all felt very tired, and a bit green.
Weather wise, Wednesday night was fairly calm, although we had busy night dodging ships and fishing boats as we inched closer to the Spanish coast.
On Thursday morning, after a brief period of a light breeze behind us an the spinnaker up, the wind died entirely, and we had to switch on the engine. The sea had eventually flattened out, and we were able to finally eat a decent meal again (fresh baked bread rolls with some bacon and scrambled eggs), and put the boat back into some sort of order. Neilo then cooked up a Tapas feast in anticipation of our arrival to Spain, and we had our first, well deserved beer of the trip.
Just as we were all settling down to a little siesta and a quiet afternoon watch, our new fishing line which had been trailing over the back suddenly went off, and we all leapt into action. Without the faintest idea what to do with a fish, we eventually managed to reel in a beautiful tuna – our first catch! After a very quick search through our rather limited fishing library, we worked out how to kill the fish, and quickly filleted it on the deck. Definitely more practice required! A very short while later, we had the very freshest tuna and some veggies whipped up, for a delicious dinner.
After all the excitement, we all had one more night watch to complete, before our anticipated arrival in to La Coruna in the early hours of Friday morning. As is usually the way with boat life, the last few miles actually took much longer than planned, and we eventually arrived into La Coruna at 4am on Friday morning – 3 days and 22 hours after leaving Schull. We tied up the boat in the marina, and went immediately to bed for some much needed sleep.
The following morning, we woke up, and all enjoyed our first shower in 4 days – I’ve never been so grateful for a hot shower in my life. Feeling like a new woman, we went and found some breakfast, and made our plans for the day.
La Coruna has a small little Old Town, and we walked out along the beach to the Torre de Hercules, and then ambled around the Old Town, stopping for Ice creams, beers, and tapas along the way, We eventually made our way back to the Marina, where we sampled the local sangria, and after another round of tapas, retired to bed for our first full nights sleep in a week.
Neil left us early that morning to fly to Barcelona, and Marty and I got started on the list of boat jobs. We walked to the nearby chandlery for a few boat essentials, and found a large supermarket to re-stock the fridge – and indulged in more ice cream and tapas.
Until next time….