Sunday, 10 October 2010

Local Knowledge

At around midday of the day we arrived in Gijon, battered and bruised, we said goodbye to our crewmate Magda, who departed for the UK from Gijon airport.  We then made some enquiries into getting our alternator repaired, hung out all of our very soaked wet weather gear and then got a few hours sleep. Later that day a diesel electrician arrived and took the alternator away, promising to get it repaired as soon as possible.

Drying out

Sail repair required
On Thursday morning, we started with the necessary work to repair the various breakages of Biscay.  We did our best to repair torn sails, a failed winch and broken jammers, as well as lots more drying out.  I was sent up the mast to replace a failed navigation light, and by that evening we'd earned a few ice cold beers at the local terrace pub, where we watched a fascinating display of a local tradition - pouring locally produced cider into a glass from above one's head (apparently it brings out the flavour!).

Beer at sunset
Our trusty marine electrician arrived in the early afternoon of the following day, with good news, and soon we had a fully charging battery.  We decided we should probably make the best of the spell of good weather, and so departed for A Coruna on Friday evening at around 17h30.  We had checked the weather information for the trip, and expected variable southerly winds, with an expected maximum of around 15 knots.  Our friendly electrician did offer up the advice of imminent bad weather, but we were confident of the forecast.  With a full night of uninterrupted sleep the previous night, we were in good spirits.

The weather held into the late evening, and Russell set up a hand-line and within 20 minutes, he'd hooked us the first of 3 fish!  Soon after eating a delicious dinner, the watches began as night fell, and we settled into our nightly routine.  Biscay was, however, not done with us, and after a few hours of rain and changeable wind, we were hit by a squall at  03h00 on Saturday morning.  We were driven further inshore by a northerly blast of 30 knots, and in our attempts to get further out, our depth gauge started showing dangerously shallow water.  We managed to get out however, and held out through to Saturday lunchtime, when the weather started to improve.  By Saturday evening we were approaching the north-west corner of Spain where we could start turning south towards A Coruna.

Russell with dinner
The night continued into the early hours of Sunday morning, with clear skies and a magnificent array of stars, and we held our plotted course under engine, as the wind had died down.  By 05h00 we were on the approach to A Coruna harbour, and were moored up by 08h30.

A hot shower, hearty breakfast, and a bright warm day marks the start of our brief visit to A Coruna.  Lets hope the weather window holds for our trip to Porto in a few days.  This time, however, local weather knowledge will hold more weight than flashy forecasts...


  1. Coodos to local knowledge. Be safe. Am glued to the Spotnik tracker. xxx

  2. Tanya, I am sure they will be alright, can't be different, it's time only for good winds and Sun now :-)
    And by the way Russell, that poor fish looks rather scared or at least disoriented under that praying or 'love at first sight' gaze ;-)
    Good luck Guys!

  3. Woot! Nearly there! Hope it's going easily for you all :)