Yes the wind came around 18:00 yesterday, and we made relatively good progress. By morning when we had to pass just south of the 22 nM traffic separation zone the wind picked up and we suddenly found us closed hauled at true wind 18 to 20 kn, we furled the genoa and unfurled our stay sail, worked OK. Rain of course and sometimes a lot. Wind picking up further soon 20 to 25 gusting 30 kn. Closed hauled for 22 nM and a lot of large vessels very poor visibility and building sea. A rather large contrast from conditions earlier with calm sea little wind and sunshine.
We got close to two of the ships in the very busy shipping lane. One that we hauled up and he altered course so we could pass safe in front of him. Just as we passed him the block for the stay sail sheet parts and the sail starts to flog violently before we manage to furl it. I took a more solid block and of we went again a few minutes later. Have to invest higher quality blocks, this was Rutgerson block, similar to Lewmar, original on Amel is Antal block, high quality from Italy. I noticed that we had lost one of the battens when we again unfurled the stay sail.
Yesterday the question was will we make it to A Coruna before it gets dark? Probably not but before midnights wind is strong and I would prefer to use the genoa but not sure it will survive the strong wind, now we making just below 7 kn on a broad reach guess we would make close to 8 with the genoa , and then we would be in before dark. Will ask the Admiral when she wakes up, either arriving in the dark or push a little bit to arrive just before 20:00. Distance last 24 h 161 nM
Distance to go 65 nM
Time 11:00 UTC
Position just outside Cabo Finisterre
Yesterday night we were contacted on VHF by a French sail boat, he just wanted to say he was in front of us and only have receiving AIS I.e. he saw us but we could not se him on the AIS. He’s navigation lights was clearly visible so no danger but The only sailing vessel we seen since we left 6 days ago and he was spot on in front of us. I had to alter course else we would probably sailed right over him.
Just heard on VHF that they have issued a gale warning, According to PredictWind the gusts will increase to 30 to 35 kn Hope we arrive before it gets really bad out here
Almost becalmed since midnight. Engine has worked on low revs since until this morning. A bit boring to motor, but if we believe the latest forecast wind should pick up around 1300 to 10 kn and go from westerly to southerly and by midnight wind between 12 to 18 kn and if so we might reach A Coruna just before dark. So some excitement! Will we make it before it gets dark? We do not like to enter a marina we never been to during the dark hours unless they have someone there to guide us in. We have mailed the marina hopefully we get an answer if we can enter after dark. With southerly wind it should be very well protected. We do now long to get our feet’s on solid ground so we have taken an optimistic view, the wind will come! hence we trottled up the engine at 09:00 this morning so now we are motoring at 6,5 kn, urgent ETA is 2100 tomorrow so if wind picks up we should beam reach at + 7 kn and make it before dark. Pos N 42 29 W 13 08 UTC 11:00
Distance last 24 h 138 nM where off 57 by engine
Distance to go 225 nM
Progress continues in a slow pace 131 nM the last 24 h where off 25 nM by engine when it was not possible to sail, the waves made the sails “slam” rather violently and I do not know how long they would have stayed in one piece.
Now ca 10 kn wind form behind speed around 5 knots. If one believes the forecast wind will drop tonight and tomorrow mid day it will shift to southerly wind 12 to 15 kn and heavy rain. Today we have improved the impregnating on our Bimini as we noticed yesterday during a gentle rain that it was needed. 12 to 15 kn will give us good speed beam reaching the last day and a half.
Dinner last night was a delicious tuna soup and a glass of white wine, as long as the sea state is not to bad we enjoy very good food aboard, Kerstin doing a great job in the galley. Pos N 41 42 W 15 56.
355 Nm to A Coruna.
Yesterday started with very weak wind so we motored for 7 hours before we could set sail again, progress was rather good even though not much wind as we have the current with us, maybe 0,5 kn, not much you might think, but 3,3 kn feels much better than 2,8 kn. The wind increased slowly and by midnight speed was close to 7 kn, which we still average. Wind is now 14 to 18 km from SW the forecast say ca 15 kn until sunset, so we enjoy as long as it last. Going is rather gentle as waves from behind. Autopilot is not excellent course varies sometimes +/- 15 degrees from set course even though waves are maybe 1 m so waves should not be a problem for the autopilot.
Yesterday’s dinner; fresh tuna with ratatouille tasted divine with a glass of a good white whine.
Position N 40 47 W 18 31 UTC 11:00
Distance day three 143 nM where off 102 by sail.
Distance to go 482 nM
Weather cloudy rain is hanging in the air,
Day two was an eventful day even though progress was slow as wind was in low singled digits from behind. Our Balooner did a good job until wind direction shifted and we had to take it down. Of course it started to rain rather heavy and we got wet so did the cockpit as it was wide open. Well just to dry our self and the cockpit. It was raining for a few hours and then as the rain stopped so did the wind and we had to engage our engine. After about two hours the wind came back and while sailing Kerstin prepared our evening meal. She was almost finished with the dinner, when I discovered that we had a fish on one of our lures. A break in the dinner cocking and together we started to haul in a nice tuna, while hauling the tuna, we discovered that we had a tuna on an other lure as well. Soon the after deck looked more as a butcher floor than anything else. While Kerstin toke care of the fish I started to clean the deck. That’s the drawback with fishing it gets very messy and slippery on deck. When almost ready it was time to haul in the last lure and untangle a mess of lures and strings, then I noticed that the lure was gone on the third and last tackles. We have had a fish on all three lures, never happened before. When looking outside in the water one could se fishes all around the boat fascinating. Do not know if they were locking for missing fish friends ( sad thought) or eating from the remains from the tunas we were cleaning? While looking at the fish in the water I discovered a big sperm whale very close to Kerpa closer than when we were on whale watching in Horta just recently, maybe two boat length from us. Finally we had close encounter with a large whale! It surfaced a few times and blew then it disappeared. Now it was time to continue with the dinner which was enjoyed after the sun was below the horizon.
I the middle of the night Kerstin poured a hot cup of tea over her self so she had to cool down her self with some ice from the freezer, looked as she was successful with that no burn mark visible now.
Progress during the night have been very uneven sometimes below 3 knots then 5 knots for a while average ended up just below 4 knots.
08:00 we are closed hauled heading East instead of NE as we want speed first 5 kn , but falling so now we are motoring wind about 2-3 kn! 24 h distance 111 nM whereof 18 nM by engine
Position N 39 36 W 21 14 UTC 11:00
Distance to go 625 nem