Weds 27th Aug – In Spain

Departed the Scillies Friday morning under a gentle NW breeze, too gentle really. Had the cruising shute up for the first time ever, but handed it just before dark. A 24 hr run of just 64 miles which took us into French waters disappointingly slow progress really. Sometimes one needs the patience of a saint to be a sailor. More dolphins and yes out here the water really is blue. On the 2nd day I had changed the yankee for the big genoa but by afternoon of the 3rd day I had a struggle to hand it and rehoist the yankee. Got a bit of a scare when heard tale end of shipping forecast with bad reception Sole gale F8 perhaps storm force 10. Slightly relieved when heard later forecast that this was for NW Sole but bad enough was NW Biscay SW 5-7 and gale 8. I was glad that I was 50 miles or so to the Atlantic side of the continual shelf with plenty of sea room.

It was unpleasant enough as it was but I did see a whale which surfaced alongside. I was first aware but a mist or spray past the sprayhood as it blew and there it was about 15 feet off amazing.

Monday late afternoon I was lured into thinking the worst was past, the forecast had predict it to ease and for some hours the wind had been a manageable 20 to 25 or so knots and the sea state had eased and I had shook out the third reef in the main. It saved the worst for a dark night and winds of 30 – 35 knots, a particularly low point was having to put in the third reef back in.

However by Tuesday things were improving though I was still losing westing. All this time I had intended Coruna as arrival point but Weds SW winds look like putting paid to that. In the end I made it to Ria Ribadeo and motored into the marina with the last light in the sky. A helpful marina hand waved me to a pontoon and helped with with my lines. Formalities soon completed a much need shower was taken. Sitting in the cockpit  a beautiful 15 year old single malt, given as a departure gift from a true friend was broached as a celebration of a single hand Biscay crossing.

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