Lagos2Brighton – Baiona…


Its daylight, Bruce has taken to playing chicken with tankers and container vessels. I know that we may well have the collision regulations on our side but I really don’t want to test some bleary eyed tanker captain’s grasp of them!

Bruce hails MV Chopin, a tanker, in the hope that they will change course by 1 degree and not just run us over. His request falls on deaf ears, there is no response on the VHF, but we can tell by the AIS display on the chart plotter that the tanker changed course by 1 degree – enough to put 1nm between us and them…at that very moment there is a bang and the main sail flies away from the boom…the sail is flogging wildly and we see that it is only the knot in the outhall that has jammed in the clew (corner) of the sail that  is stopping it flying away even more. Its a good thing I have hoarded some old halyards (ropes) and we have some spare blocks (pulleys). Bruce and I manage to rig up a contraption to bring the sail under control and we set it with one reef in. We then set about getting out of the shipping lane. Excitement over. We then have time to consider how a stainless steel fitting that is meant to run along the boom and hold the clew (corner) of the main sail in place can just fracture and snap!

The rest of the sail is without major incident. More dolphins – 150 at one point – I wish they would leave us alone….the forward heads water input pump stops working forcing us to use the aft heads only. The aft heads are manual and we are all grumpy at having to pump to flush the toilet.

We finally see land on the 6th July, we dock at the town quay at 1900. Happy to make port, happy to be in one piece and looking forward to eating something other than”pasta surprise”. We take Bruce’s advice and avoid the Royal Yacht Club – choosing instead the town quay.

Unfortunately, the facilities are far from salubrious. The toilet block is a porta-cabin on the quayside – easily accessible from the road, peeling lino and spitting and gurgling hot water cylinder. I suggest that we will move the boat across the bay to the Royal Yacht club where Jaz and I had arrived after our Biscay crossing. Everyone agrees enthusiastically.

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Outhall jury rigged… Dolphin watching…
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Pesky dolphins, haven’t they go better things to do? I love night watch…
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Bruce creating decorative Monkey Fist lashings… A welcome cuppa..
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