And of we went, topped up the diesel tank and on our way. The first 24 hours were bumpy but do-able. We did 150 miles… a great sun rise, and we thought we would have a great passage…. I was vast asleep when Dora woke me up… concerned with what seem to be various squalls building up from different directions.
Didn’t look good, and so tried to reef the main sail, and whilst this procedure was under way, one of the lazy jack lines (I had re-attached in Holland) came loose so we lost the ability to neatly stow a way the main. Then for some mystery reason, the last reef line had come loose (as I tried to put the third reef in).. and actually the loose end disappeared inside the boom…Ok, so we could either have the second reef in or nothing. I decided to stay with the 2 reef, and the genoa furled/reefed as well. The swell was building up, and weather turned into a stiff breeze of abt 30 knots, waves from all directions and of course the wind came from the wrong direction (directly from A Coruna, so we had to bear of to be able to sail. ) The second day, (I had dropped the main all together) and only with a small genoa (and one engine) tried to maintain as high as possible trying to come closer to A Coruna. The next morning, very very tired, I decided to heave- to and so had a couple of hours of sleep. Then, put up the main again, and a small genoa, and of we went again. Waves, bumpy, and SV Lumina slamming into the waves, some unbelievable crashes… The wind remained gusty, peaking to 35 knots, then lowering to 25 and up again. In the early hours of the 4th day, had to choose between bearing of more (and making much more speed, mind you with those waves that would have been true pandemonium).. so again tried to stay as high as possible, and calculated the point where we had to tack, finally we reached that point, and after tacking we could more or less maintain a straight line to A Coruna. (Still 40 nm away..).. Very very tired, but finally arrived in the calmer waters near A Coruna, and in the afternoon we tied up in the marina. During this trip the waves had destroyed the already weak trampoline/netting. A dreadful sight.
Anyway, a hot shower and some great food and wine later on the evening down town the old medieval centre of A Coruna, and things were looking better already. The strange thing is that even though I had studied carefully the weather forecast, seemingly the Gulf of Biscay follows its own temperament.
The next day we went by train to visit Santiago de Compostella. We saw a lot of pilgrims arriving after a month of walking from France to Santiago. I can imagine the emotion it must be to have completed this pilgrim trail. We will certainly try to do this one time (although I must say that sailing the North Atlantic is a pilgrimage by itself..). We walked around somewhat more and had a great seafood lunch in the old city.
We spend the next day, to clean and organize the boat again after 4 days sailing in a washing machine. The old trampoline was removed; the lazy jack line was restored.
Then early morning we left for Porto… Winds supposed to be favorable…
Still a beautiful Daybreak at the Golf… Hours later this turned into a mess..
A Safe harbour in A Coruna.. The day after all smiles
Late afternoon stroll at Hercule Tower Biscay takes it toll…(and our trampoline)
Pilgrims at the square in Santiago de Compostella We pretend to walk this walk one day..