Captain’s log: Allegedly “a gentleman never sails to windward” so, with a certificate signed by HM the Queen to testify I was once both officer and said gentle person, I was very pleased with the Rally decision to delay the push south by 24 hours. However, even with the wind blowing from the north, all was not well as, when we fired up the mighty Yanmar to head to Wednesday’s start line, Arkyla’s over-charging issue reared its ugly head again. Trying to keep revs as low as possible so we wouldn’t cook all the electronics, we watched somewhat frustrated as the fleet charged off in the near calm leaving us with a splendid view of a score of sterns departing Bayona!
Once out of the Bay however the wind filled a little and we set the twin headsails to head south to Portugal. The twin headsail set up did not work well in Biscay; the following seas repeatedly knocked the stern off kilter inducing roll which kept collapsing the genoas. A new approach was needed for this leg so, in a bid to gain some more stability, we kept the main unfurled too. This certainly helped reduce rolling, but also closed the angles that we could comfortably sail, so our course was dictated by wherever directly downwind would take us. This was not a problem for most of the passage except, in the instances when we ventured inside the 50m contour, when we found ourselves amidst lobster pot minefields.
Nonetheless, the passage was not without its uplifting moments. Several times a family of dolphin surfed our bow wave; more a bow-ripple than a wave to be honest, but the company of these magnificent sea dwellers never fails to raise spirits onboard even when the sails are slapping against the shrouds.
With 4 miles to go, stomachs growling, and time marching on, we reluctantly (and hopefully) fired up the engine again to take us the final stretch into Pavoa de Vazim. Tied up at 1955, in the bar for 2000!
First Mate’s log: Now that I, the First Mate proper, am on board, I feel I should add my own brief reflections:
- Due to aforementioned visits by dolphins, I am convinced that I have become a dolphin whisperer
- I have discovered that the festival of Sao Joao is primarily focussed on bopping hammers on bystander’s heads
- Povoa de Varzim is a shopper’s paradise for sparkly sandals
James & Jenny Kenning