Category: France Page 1 of 5
This will be the fourth and last update via ham radio on this crossing as we expect to arrive in A Coruña in a few hours. The plan has changed to go straight to A Coruña despite Cedeira. We are not sure yet, if we drop the anchor or prefer a mooring in the marina. Decision will be taken upon arrival. The coastline of Galicia looks very interessting with steep hills and the BLUE WATER around us is simply amazing. Our Bay of Biscay crossing comes to an end and was a very encouraging experience at sea.
Wind and swell has slightly increased to 17kts and 1.5m. We are still sailing close to the wind at 200° with a reef in both – main sail and foresail – to accomodate speed of the different boats and ensure staying together within 1 nautical mile distance from each other. Just downloaded the latest weather forecast from Saildoc and the Grib file shows perfect conditions for our landfall. We have around 55 nautical miles to go and the forecast predicts wind shifting from 260° towards North at 285° and speed going down slightly. Upon arrival we shall have 7kts wind and less than 1m swell – good conditions to arrive. Knowing these changing conditions on a longer leg is quite comforting as we are not running into the unexpected.
I just took watch back from Susan after enjoying a couple of hours sleep in the cockpit and have to say that these two hours make a big difference compared to no sleep at all during the single-handed-one-night-trips done along the North Sea and English Channel so far.
Dawn will start in about 1 hour and we look forward to a loud cheering *Land, ho!* once the coastline of Galicia will appear at the horizon at our bow….
After a comfortable sunny day in light winds and little swell we are now heading into the second night and plan our landfall tomorrow sometime around noon. Our current position is 45° 04” N and 007° 24” W and we have done 250 nautical miles in now 40 hours, which gives an average speed of 6.25kts. We are sailing clause hauled towards a westerly breeze of around 10kts and latest weather forecast recieved via Grib files predecit slightly relaxed wind angle lateron and perhaps a couple of kts more windspeed. We have to face it as it comes but the weather routing up to know was not only precise but also giving a very good level of comfort and good predictability about the voyage.
We caught up with some sleep during the day, enjoyed the BLUE WATER and hoisted the Spannish flag under the lower spreader bar of the mast. Unfortunately no dolphins today.
By the way, the moon came out late last night after pushing the clouds away and we had some nice twilight sailing under the stars next to our friends Ralf and Inge from SY malwieder. The photo will follow. Hopefully tonight will be similar but the weatherforecast also mentions some shows….let’s wait and see.
Twice a day we hook up over the ham radio with Intermar e.V. to receive additional weather information and exchange our ship’s position with them. Very nice catch-up. Additionally we have established a radio call among the Trans-Ocean e.V. yachts out here with Short Wave Radios installed. Besides ourselves, these are namely SY malwieder, SY Charisma, SY Dawn, and SY Moana.
We look forward to our landfall in Galicia/Spain tomorrow.
We have done 100 nautical miles now since left, or in other words in 16.5 hours. This gives an average speed of 6kts, which is not bad but also due to favorable tide streams. 3 hours under engine, another 3 hours under engine together with sails up and balance 10.5 hours under sails only. Our position is 47 degree 03 minutes North and 005 degree 53 minutes West. Water depth is around 2500m and we are crossing the Audierne Canyon shortly, which brings us into even deeper water around 4500 plus meters. The fascinating BLUE WATER is expected upon sunrise!
The night is again pitch-black but pleasant. The moon has just come out but is not very strong. Wind around 10kts keeping the 6kts speed in the boat in a swell of around 1m on a course about half to the wind. I have just downloaded the latest weather GRIB files with Winlink and they forecast similar conditions over the next couple of days. Two times per day I get updated GRIB weather files to check any changes on short notice.
While SY malwieder is sailing with a qauter of a nautical mile distance sailing alongside next to us, SY Charisma is a bit further away in parallel, about 10 nautical miles off but still within in reach of VHF radio for regular calls. Three more fellow sailors are crossing a bit behind us: SY Dawn, SY Rare Breed and SY Moana – all members of Trans-Ocean e.V.. While Susan is sleeping, I am typing these lines to get them online. Shortly I will have another VHF call with Ralf from SY malwieder to synchronize our approach on the upcoming hours and days until landfall in Spain.
Will keep you posted.