Well we made it – arrived in La Coruna last night at 2215 having left Falmouth 3 days and 7 hours earlier. The conditions were almost perfect, with a NE to E F4-5 for much of the crossing which pushed us out of the bay and at speeds of between 6-10 kts for long periods of time. We had a couple of quieter days and on the approach to Spain decided to motor as the wind had come round behind us and the waves made the rolling motion bang the sails around.
We sailed out between the 2 shipping separation zones off NW France and the Isles of Scilly then continued out to 8 degrees West. The first night was uneventful except for several porpoises deciding to come and play for a while. The second night was more interesting for Rob and Paul as during their watch we crossed the Continental Shelf where a huge fleet of trawlers, enormous factory ships, all congregated. Only 1 showed up on AIS but all were well lit. Fortunately there was a large gap between them and we sailed safely through.
Dolphins came to play again the following couple of days and we even managed to catch a photo of a few, plus many more of just splashes.
A dove landed on deck one day and a pigeon another, both seemed very tired and lost but after a rest they flew on again. At dusk another evening we saw Pink Gin, a large sailing yacht sail by and she looked beautiful against the setting sun.
Our night watches meant Rob and Paul could rest before their slot of 1000-0200 and then sleep whilst Alex and I did the 0200-0600 watch. We all managed to sleep although once I thought we had hit a rough patch to find it was the dolphins playing about by the bow, where I was trying to sleep!
We kept the log every hour and plotted the course which ended up looking very smooth! Beyzano sailed beautifully, between 6-10 knots for much of the way until the wind died and we needed to motor. We expected to get to La Coruna about 0400 today but realised quite quickly than we could make it by 1000 the evening before as our speeds had exceeded expectations. We couldn’t see the coast due to mist until quite late but had enough daylight left to get to the breakwater. It was dark as we berthed in Marina Coruna and we opened the champagne to celebrate our first crossing of the feared Biscay, which was kind to us this time and the weather forecast was correct. The weatherfax information we obtained via the SSB was invaluable and the course we did with Simon last week gave us the knowledge to interpret the charts. Being without weather information when you are hundreds of miles from the nearest port is not a pleasant feeling.
The marina opened in 2009 and has really good facilities, especially the showers! The shower heads in the female shower room on the left as you get into the basement are huge, square ones and the hand dryer is a Dyson Airblade 🙂 There are numerous large berths, with rubber fender strips attached just in case! The pontoons are solid and wide and there are many spaces. They have helpful staff who speak several languages, a card entry system for the security gates, Wi-Fi and a fuel dock plus a Tapas Bar. It cost us 88 euros for 2 nights, including water and the Wi-Fi but we were given a discount later in the week. Electricity was 2 euros per day. It is lovely and warm here already 🙂 We will head into town tomorrow, do the laundry and get the boat ready for another trip as we intend to anchor in some of the beautiful Rias along the coast as we head south.
Sadly our crew need to go back to the UK this week as Alex has an important prior engagement with Take That 🙂 We will manage to have a couple of days in a quiet anchorage so we can BBQ and chill out before they leave. They have been helpful and smelly (Alex’s comment not mine!) and smiled bravely throughout. Hopefully they will join us again on another leg somewhere.