Thursday, 28 October 2010

Tredje gången gillt! (Third time`s a charm)

At anchor in Islas Cies.

We´re down in the boat relaxing and listening to an audio book when a horn´s honking closely. Took a moment to realise it was at us! The spanish coastguard with their craft of 140 feet is just next to us making signals they want to board us. Not an easy thing with a big "tanker" and Ingeborg who now looks like a skiff but they managed without Ingeborg getting harmed and the paperwork was carried out.

The photo was taken by S/Y Oliva how watched safely from shore

The same evening we noticed a flashing light outside the boat. The spanish coastguard once again, now with a smaller craft. They had their attention elsewhere, to the boat next to us, and it struck us then that we earlier forgot to put the anchor lantern up. Easily fixed. Then they came to us pointing to the top of the main mast and we could understand the word lantern in all the spanish. We have ours hanging from the boom, so we pointed to that, looking as law abiding as we could. Some more spanish and it seamed to be ok and they we´re off.
Next day we saw them coming from far out and by then we knew it was us they were after. A third time, the spanish coastguard with a third boat and a third crew. Again we could understand the world lantern. They came aboard and we handed them the copy of the paper from the first coastguards visit saying they were here yesterday. They were apperently a bit confused but since the paperwork was in order, no latern mentioned, they left.
Tredje gången gillt - third time´s no charm.

/Lotta When writing this we´re in Portugal, "no longer on the run".
More picures from Islas Cies below:

Company of dolphins. Islas Cies in the background
We had a gang of 20 or so following us, jumping in at the bow and playing around trying to get me wet when standing on the bowsprit. Our lure got caught in a fishnet and we stopped and tried to resue it, then they all gathered in the stern. It really looked as though they we were trying to push us, getting us moving again!
The islands looked like a sad dragon lying down in the ocean

The lighthouse

View from the lighthouse
We could see both Vigo and Bayonna in the distance.
A friend on the road

Friday, 22 October 2010

The end of the world... they knew it.

Cap Finisterre, the westernmost head of Spain bordering the Atlantic Ocean. Last night we walked up and almost saw the sunset behind the clouds. Nothing but the ocean, majestic. Closest continent to the west will be America, maybe New York. Once this was the end of the world. Before the maps, gps, plotters. What a world to explore...

The bay and harbor here in Finisterre are crowded with fishing vessels of all shapes. We anchored in the bay surrounded of sandy beaches. When we woke up in the morning there were small motorboats everywhere around Ingeborg, but no one on board. Floats lying around here and there in the water and suddenly we saw fins. Aha, divers! Snorkeling around with milk cartoons on their back. Petter (S/Y Olivia) drove out in the dinghy to ask what they were doing and he got a handful of razor clams in return. "Tienes mucho". So of course Hampus and Petter had to try, in one hour they managed to get two! And the handful he got from the diver was probably from one dive... Hampus referred to them as "the fast bastards". They live in small holes in the sandy bottom and dig themselves deeper when danger´s approaching, fast as hell! Razor clam is a delicatessen cause they´re so hard to catch. Go figure!

The stop before was Corme, but coming in the evening and the town looking rather dull we didn´t even bother to inflate the dinghy and left the next morning. Right now we´re heading for the Islas Cies but heard just a minute ago on the vhf that there might be gale warning for tomorrow so we probably go to Bayonne anchoring outside the marina instead. After Bayonna we´ll make a try for the islands again and then it´s probably Portugal. If you know an anchorage in Portugal well worth visiting, please tell us.

/Lotta. And yes, the two promised degrees was correct. Heard there will be two more around the next bend. Yeah, summer!

Saturday, 16 October 2010

La Coruna

After 102 hours we finally reached La Coruna! When heading into the bay the VHF crackeld "Ingeborg, Ingeborg". It was the swedish yacht Olivia who´d seen us on the tracking SPOT, welcoming us to La Coruna. (The SPOT is a relly cool gadget!) There were a bunch of swedish and scandinavian yachts here (crossing the bay of Biscay from Brest)and in the evening we all went out for tapas.

La Coruna seems to be a nice town. Great architecture and a beach close to the city centre. Not that we´ve seen a lot of it yet, a lot of boat maintenance, laundry and hanging out with other sailors have been on the agenda. Altough we seen a lot of it by foot, walking to what must be every chandlery in town. The marina is nice and friendly, and best of all, it´s off season so the marina fee isn´t that bad. To us the season here wasn´t that "off", when we came the sun was shining and it was like a swedish summers day. For the fist time in five days we could actually wear something else than our flotation suits! And underneath that I´d been wearing four layers of clothes.

So here we´ve finally caught up with the weather. From now on we hope to have summer all year round! Today it´s a bit cloudy so we better leve tomorrow...


Monday, 11 October 2010

Monday, Bay of Biscay

Sunlight, NE winds of between 25 and 30 knots 2-3 meter waves. Reefed mizzen, reefed genoa and we're trotting along doing 6 knots. We are enjoying ourselves playing the new game called "fishing boat slalom". You start by finding the one spot in the ocean with most fishing boats, we have 13 in our immediate vicinity going around in circles. Then you try to navigate your way through the bunch while calling them on the VHF without luck. Either they don't speak english, or they just don't bother with sailors. Packs of dolphins are hanging around either as spectators or to investigate our towing generator, which they seem to find very interesting. We are now running with the wind and waves due south with 259M to go to La Coruna, we've done 330M in 54 hours, an avarage speed of 6 knots, not too bad. It's calm enough for hot chicken and I'm no longer sea sick. Oh Joy!!

/Hampus, Langt pokkerivold

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Sunday, 10 October 2010

How to kill a morning... the middle of no where, something like 50.38,10700 N 007.18.74600 W. The genoa hallyard broke and down came the sail. It´s not a very pleasant sail today either, bumpy and messy. Standing at the bow sprit it´s a merry-go-round. If you´re sea sick like Hampus it´s hard even standing as far out as the main mast. But we managed to use the hallyard for the jib and get the sail back up in the boat and back in the role. Now I´m inside changing all my wet clothes after "going round with the merry". So this is our first 24 hours at sea. Still doing about 6.5 knots with genoa and mizzen.

Yesterday, before we left, I found my bikini top hanging in the saloon. How come it´s hanging here?, I asked confused. Then I looked at Hampus who smiled and got he message. It´s for motivation! I´m looking at it right now with a smile on my face.


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Saturday, 9 October 2010

Towards Spain

We´re off! We´ve finally thrown the moorings and set sail towards Spain. It´s a bumpy ride on the sea today, uncomfortable waves, but otherwise Ingeborgs doing fine. We started with all sails doing 8,5 knots SOG but the wind increased so now it´s genoa and mizzen doing 9-10 SOG. Right now we´re north east of Wexford. Think it will be less wind in the night and hopefully the waves will be more settled when we´re south of Ireland.

To make life more interestingt  we made bets on the ETA. The winner gets a dinner and you´re free to bring someone ;)

/Lotta, on a mission towards the sun
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Thursday, 7 October 2010

Waiting for that window...

We're waiting in Arklow for a weather window. It looks like it's coming. We're just hoping it won't close before it's opened. Right now there's a nasty low over the Atlantic, W of the Bay of Biscay which is giving us some strong S-SE winds. When it passes, either tomorrow or on saturday, we're expecting easterlies which will be perfect for crossing to Spain if they only last long enough.We need five days as we have a distance of some 580M. That far ahead the predictions are a bit uncertain, but at least they look good now.

People back home are asking us why we don't make any progress. We are. We might not be putting a lot of distance under the keel but we are keeping up foreign relations and building relationships. We've met so many great people and made new friends. To us, that's half the pleasure. Sailing off season means that marina fees (very few anchorages here) are reasonable and people are more accessible and eager to chat for a while. The other cruisers we meet, few as they may be, are all in the same boat, so if nothing else there's a common point of interest there.

However, autumn is here. The weather is still quite warm and we hear that this has been one of the mildest autumns in Ireland for years but the trees are starting to turn brown or red and the nights are crisp and clear. Yesterday they played White Christmas at the internet café and in the stores you can buy christmas decorations and marvel over the christmas offers! In october, come on! We do long for warmer weather, tapas and cheap red wine. That means it's time for us to get our asses out of the wagon, cross the bloody bay and start bumming around another country and leave the Irish to their christmas decorations.

/Hampus, in Arklow, hiding from Santa.