Sugar 'n' Spice – Weblog 3

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Vilagarcia, Galicia, Spain


42˚ 36’ N

8˚ 46’ W

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A Coruna

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Saturday (24th May) we headed to the tropical gardens on an adjoining rocky outcrop.  Despite greyish skies there was a wealth of colour, exotic foliage & lovely scents, & from the highest point land & sea stretched into the distance.



Leaving the gardens we took a footpath into Roscoff town to explore.  Lunch & a rain shower later we wandered a bit further into the old town, then back to the boat.

Sun 25th May.  A prompt start from Bloscon (Roscoff) marina through the narrow channel between the town, where we walked yesterday, & its off island, Ile de Batz.  Then we were sailing, 1 reef in the main & some rolls in the genny, later we unfurled the genny as what was probably a racing fleet headed past in the opposite direction with spinnakers set.  The wind headed slightly & we beat along the coast passing close to the commanding lighthouse, Ile Vierge.



The boat was still rushing as we turned into the Aberwrach estuary, after a very pleasant sail.  It took several attempts to pick up a buoy - first the crew & boathook were too feeble to lift the huge buoy, which despite its size was also too low to be reached from the foredeck (crew needs arm extensions) then the skipper discovered that if he reverses the stern of the boat up to the buoy he must not put power on to stop as the prop wash pushes the buoy away.  Fun & Games!  Tea time. 43.9 nm.

Mon 26th May.  A first light start (5am) to take the tide along the coast to the Chenal du Four, the channel south between the French mainland & the offshore islands & islets, with its notoriously strong currents.  At first motoring (no wind), then sailing (light offshore breeze) then motorsail as breeze died & we headed south down the Chenal du Four.



By 10am we had turned into the Rade du Brest & were sailing again.  There were more boats of all sorts around including ferries & a warship, & by 11am we were at Camaret.  33.8 nm.

We hope to use Camaret as a ‘jumping off’ point to cross Biscay to Spain, but the weather is not right for several days, so we head into town past the Vauban tower, small church & the surprisingly photogenic fishing boat ‘graveyard’ – always lots of photographers & artists about - to find a snack lunch & the supermarket to replenish the stores.

Tuesday (27th May) became jobs day – laundry, water, diesel – complicated by a German wanting to use our can to carry fuel for his tank, but we got the use of his trolley to transport the can for our refill.



Wednesday (28th May) a walk along the coast path towards the headland of Toulinguet then inland to revisit the menhirs, & back via the supermarket for final shopping.

Thur 29th May.  A 7.40am start to take the tide through the Raz du Sein, another place where you do not want the tide against you as you will not go anywhere.  We were able to sail from the start & progress was good, through the Raz by mid morning.  Early afternoon we were making good speed with a good sailing breeze, there were still a few ships in the distance & the occasional pot buoy.  And so it continued.  Mid evening we left the continental shelf where the depths increase dramatically, & by 9.30pm we had logged 100nm.  A swallow landed but I think we were not going its direction & it departed.  At our first watch change a block broke on the kicking strap, luckily we were able to use a spare snatch block instead.

A very dark night, no moon but bright stars. Dolphins visited periodically, leaving phosphorescent torpedo-like trails.  The boat hustled along, we ran the engine out of gear for an hour a couple of times to charge the batteries & keep lights & autohelm going.

30th May.  At 24 hours we had logged 171.7 nm, all under sail.

We were still sailing quickly, there were a few distant sails of other yachts, & we had several dolphin visits, with a large group late morning.  From midday the wind became more flukey & our speed varied accordingly.  Late afternoon we motorsailed (& charged battery) when the wind went light, then sailed for most of the evening.  At around 9pm we were surrounded by a huge group of dolphins, who stayed for about half an hour.  As it fell dark the wind dropped & we motored, & the night was a mix of sail & motor.

31st May.  At 5am we passed the 300 nm mark, & the day continued with the same mix of motor & sail.  Mid morning more breeze gave us a nice sail along the coast & past the ancient lighthouse, Hercules, & into A Coruna’s Darsena Marina, where there seemed to be plenty of empty berths.



It was 12.40pm, 2 days 5 hrs & 347.8nm from leaving Camaret.








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