Lagos2Brighton–Crew change over..

Having arrived at Baiona and moved over to the Monte Real Club de Yates, we feel a lot more relaxed. We can shower, get the washing done, have a cool beer in the yacht club – this is more like it! Amazingly it is also cheaper than the town quay !

We arrived on 6th July and we know that Sam’s flight – from La Corunna is Sunday afternoon. So other than trying to work out how she will get there it is nice to now that we can have a couple of days relaxing and sampling the life of the nearby town.

Inspired by Bruce’s enthusiasm we set to cleaning the boat on Saturday and give it a thorough wash down including the bilges….enough said about that. We reward ourselves with a relaxing coffee and cake…and then some cool beers…at the yacht club in the afternoon. I hurriedly exchange emails and texts with Jaz who is trying to source the replacement boom fitting for the outhaul, and get it to Martin who is flying out to join us.

In the evening we discover the lovely restaurant Jamoneria Jaquey VI. This is a lovely Galician restaurant. The food is base around the products of the Galician Deli that it is attached to with hams of different ages and qualities cut off the bone – and accompanied by a lecture from the enthusiastic waiter -  this, combined lovely Portuguese wine, cheeses and great seafood salads, make for a delightful evening out.

We have to say goodbye to Sam early on Sunday morning as she gets the bus to La Corunna, in the meantime Martin is on his way from La Corunna to join Joe, Bruce and myself for the final leg across Biscay.

Once more I pore over the weather data, routing options.Trying to estimate sailing speed and fuel calculations for the journey home. I am very aware that I cannot afford to be complacent. This may be the second time I am crossing Biscay in a month, but I have the utmost respect for that stretch of water and its fearsome reputation.

The weather is garbled as it has been for months. a succession of “small” lows means that any crossing will experience winds from pretty much all directions. Motor sailing may dominate the crossing if we have to get across in 4  days and avoid the prospect of F8 and F9 gales that are forecast.

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Jamoneria Jaquey VI Octopus salad …
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Last look at the bay.. Monte Real Club de Yates

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..

Relaxing in Baiona..

WCC have organised a prize giving dinner. It is reasonably formal – for yachters anyway. I wear a jacket, Jaz is in heels – and other clothes of course!.

I am so concerned about Jaz tripping on the pontoon, that as I follow her up the stone steps that lead to the raised terrace and lawn of the Monte Real Club Yates where the reception is already in full swing…I slip and graze the front of my left leg quite badly. Blood all over my cool man-in-Havana slacks. I tell Jaz to go on, and I return to the boat to patch up.

Needless to say by the time I get back to the reception all the rally folk are concerned and chide me for not getting it looked at professionally. There are 2 doctors in the group who just give me knowing looks. I decide I will ignore it and it will go away. This wasn’t a great decision, as I would find out in the days to come.

The reception and dinner is great and amazingly we win 3rd prize in the cruising group for Leg1 – crossing Biscay. Jaz gets a a tea towel and I get a prized club tie for the Monte Real Club Yates. Fair, I thought.


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Reception on the lawn Stella, Hilary and John
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Reception on the lawn Leg 1 – 3rd Prize

Monte Real Club Yates, Baiona

A very welcome stop for  a few days at Baiona. There are tours arranged to Santiago de Compestela, there is a prize giving dinner at the club (sorry Phil, jackets required), and time to repair all those bits that have fallen off or broken.

Its great in a way that due to the delay in leaving the UK all the crews know each other so well already so it was lovely to meet and greet “old friends” and congratulate them on their huge achievement too.

It is also an opportunity to have a real shower and get all the clothes washed!.

The Monte Real Club is very posh, and has a great commanding view of the bay and the marina. The beer is great, the wifi works,  and the large mahogany loungers very inviting. Time to kick back.

WCC are busy organising local marine engineers to help the boats fix stuff…we asked for someone to have a look at the generator. They changed the fuel filter and fiddled about for 2 hours. Unfortunately 133 Euros later the generator still wasn’t behaving itself. But I didn’t regard it as such a problem that I wanted to spend any more of our valuable time on it. Too much to do, to see, to eat and drink.

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