Towards the end of last week I was trying to decide whether it was time to exchange the busy city of A Coruña for some dramatic scenery and quiet anchorages. I woke on Saturday morning to the sound of heavy rain pelting down on the cabin top so didn’t rush. The forecast was for a brighter afternoon but with the potential for headwinds towards evening. I made the decision to head 35 miles west to the small fishing village and port of Laxe. After departing Coruña just before noon we flew along (for Fathom that is) at 5 knots for a couple of hours and I took the opportunity to rig the trolling line and try and catch some late lunch. By mid afternoon the sky’s had darkened again and one particularly menacing cloud delivered a squall of 25 knots and torrential rain forcing a couple of reefs and reduced headsail. The south east wind then veered to the south west forcing a change of course away from the coast. Another yacht crossed our path and clearly had a similar destination and we tacked back and forth in close proximity for several hours. The anchor went down just off a great looking sandy beach at 21.30, a whole 15 minutes ahead of the other boat (i’m clearly not fully into cruising mode yet). As I was flaking the main sail onto the boom I grabbed a handfull of sail only for an 8 inch tear to appear down the leech (see photo). Very surprising and slightly worrying as I had the sail checked over before leaving the U.K.
Sunday was spent stitching the tear back together and patching it. As the weather was showery and the sail needed to be dry for the patch I took the sail off and brought it into the cabin which was a right palava when single-handed as all the reefing lines had to be untied and the sail slid out from the groove on the boom. The repair took most of the day and by early evening the sail was back in position and packed away. The repair should be a good temporary fix and I will get a sailmaker to check it over when I get to Vigo/Baiona. Laxe looked very pretty but I didn’t have the motivation to pump the dinghy up and go ashore. The church bells seemed to ring most the afternoon in conjunction with near continuous rockets being fired into the air producing huge bangs. I couldn’t work out if this was because a fishing boat was approaching with full catch or if it was the norm for a Sunday. Sunday also marked two weeks since the start of the Jester Azores Challenge in Plymouth. Seems an age ago.
Fathom had been the only boat in the anchorage Sunday night so decided to leave Laxe on Monday morning and head 23 miles south west to Ria de Camariñas. The wind was very light so forced to do a fair amount of motoring. I put the fishing line out again only to notice after an hour the line had gone limp. After pulling it in there was no lure on the end. Either I had caught a big mumma who bit through the line or my knot came undone. I think the later is more likely. After entering the Ria at 15.00 decided on mooring at Camariñas over Muxia. Went ashore for a shower and couple of beers. Camariñas is a very attractive harbour and took advantage of the local supermarket to stock up on some fresh grub.
Yesterday was by far the best day of sailing since leaving the U.K. The sun was shining and the wind was from behind meaning a run and then broad reach down the rugged coast to Ria de Muros. It piped up to 24 knots for a short time and whilst surfing down a wave I noted a speed over the ground of 7.6 knots very briefly which must be a record for Fathom. This coastline and in particular Cabo Finisterre have a rather fearsome reputation but the sail along the coast past Cabo Toriñana, the most western point of mainland Europe, was great. If the wind had been from the west a lot of sea room would have been needed but as the wind was from the NE we set a course fairly close in. Despite changing lure still no luck catching fish…
Entered Ria de Muros just after 17.00 and was greeted by a pod of dolphins who dived around Fathom for a good 20 minutes. They are very entertaining to watch. Muros itself is a fantastic little fishing village and i’ve decided to stay here a couple of nights. 8 or 9 visiting boats are in town including some Irish who sailed non stop from Cork.
A huge congratulations to Julien on ‘Bula’ who was the first to arrive in the Azores couple of days ago. Amazing effort and from what I have read from email updates he is on cloud 9. Another two have arrived in the last 24 hours so well done all!