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Girolle - Day 5 - Battening down the hatches in La Coruna

Hoorah! We made it! We have crossed the Bay of Biscay, albeit not quite in accordance with the ARC Portugal itinerary. After 4.5 days at sea we arrived in La Coruna at 8am, exhausted but elated to have crossed the Bay of Biscay.  We entered the marina literally at the same time as Fair Isle and about an hour ahead of Lyonie (who was only a couple of nautical miles behind us for most of yesterday).  We welcomed Lyonie and her crew to the berth next to us, they looked just as exhausted and seemed relieved to be sheltering from the storm.  We had not met them prior to departing Plymouth so it was good to meet them at last. Adventures such as these foster a great sense of camaraderie.

Some little known ‘Bay of Biscay’ facts about each of us:

Dave - as skipper of Girolle, it has always been his childhood ambition to sail across the Bay of Biscay.  As of today mission accomplished. Tick.

Andy - is a natural helmsman, often ‘adopting the pose’ at the tiller (Girolle has a tiller as opposed to being wheel steered) and managing to steer an almost poker straight course (unlike myself... if courses steered were compared to snakes and ladders, Dave and Andy’s courses would be the ladders, my courses would be the snakes!!). This is probably attributed to the fact that Andy flies planes for a living.

Sue - I can now say I have sailed across the Bay of Biscay in both directions, the first time being back in the mid 1990s when I took part in the Tall Ships race from Porto to St Malo as a complete novice, never having stepped on a boat before. 25 years later I decided to rekindle my youth and give it another go in the opposite direction, not necessarily a great deal more sailing experience in the meantime.

So who won the ‘no shower’ competition? Both Andy and I managed to hold out until we got to La Coruna. Dave will no doubt award us ‘grottiest crew’ status. Feeling clean again after 4.5 days at sea is a wonderful feeling and makes you appreciate daily luxuries that we all take for granted.

I am now battling the sleep deprivation of the past 24 hours so will sign off before I nod off.  The wind is howling, the rain is fairly consistent which is almost drowning out the snoring coming from my fellow crew members!  We sign off today thinking of our new found friends who are out there battling the elements in the Bay of Biscay whilst we have sought shelter on land.  We are keeping our fingers crossed that they are all safe and we look forward to swapping tales with them when we arrive in Bayona.

Author : Sue


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