Wednesday 3rd September 2008
One interesting couple we met in Kinsale was American Steve and Linda Dashew on "Wind Horse" an 80 foot motor boat. Steve has designed and built about 50 or so luxury large sailing cruisers and "Wind Horse" is his design for a 'round the world' motor boat that two people can handle (see pics). It has unpainted aluminium hull with stabilisers and a very luxurious interior, range of 4,000 miles with a 15,000 litre diesel tanks. So it costs £15,000 to fill up!! And about £100,000 to sail round the world! I'll stick to sails. Steve and Linda have sailed the Pacific a number of times and were very helpful giving me tips of where to stay and where not to stay. I will be changing my plan to accommodate Steves's suggestions.
Looking at the weather over the next 5 days our plan is to motor for one and a half days (5 knot S winds) then catch a 15 knot west wind for most of the trip but hopefully outrunning a storm of 40 knots winds that is to follow.
Willie Kinghorn and Jonathon Tait joined us on the Thursday all rearing to go, but Anne was very nervous. This leg was expected to be one of the worst legs of the trip.
We left Friday and as planned had to motor for 30 hours in a flat sea with visibility down to 100 metres in patches. Then the wind started to pick up 15 knot SW and we were able to sail close hauled but also accompanied by large waves. A very uncomfortable ride. All crew and Anne started to feel ill but we were making good time.As the wind speed increased to 20 knots we reefed in but the single line reefing system broke on the first reef so used the second reef for the rest of the voyage. On my trip to Spitsbergen I had had trouble with this reef where the line had jammed.It looks like we had damaged the line and it has just now given up. Anne was very ill over the last three days, the fist time she has felt like this. We arrived in La Coruna on Tuesday after 95.5 hours at sea which is an average of 5.7 knots. During the trip I thought the autopilot was not making its usual noises so at La Coruna one of the first things I did was to inspect the drive and quadrant and to my horror found the actuator pin was completely sheared and was just holding on by luck. I removed the pin and have arranged for a new pin to be manufactured at a local machine shop and I should get it tomorrow.
I have a towed watermaker, the Waterlog, which I tried out but it did not work. The nose was out of the water so ingesting air, they recommend weighting it down but when I disassembled it a lot of plastic swarf came out. I will have to completely strip it and clean it out and add weights to it before our next trial. However we used 6 litres of water per person per day (l/p/d) without trying hard, but this will have to be reduced to 4.5 l/p/d for the Atlantic if the watermaker continues not to work.
La Coruna is an ancient port which has been inhabited since stone age times. In the fist millennium BC the Celts invaded and mingled with local Iberian inhabitants, so there is a strong Celtic influence including the use of bagpipes. The oldest lighthouse in the world, 'Torre de Hercules' was built in Roman times and still stands dominating the shoreline. The town is very busy and picturesque with large open Plazas with many narrow shop-lined streets running off them.Tapas bars everywhere and people smoking inside restaurants and bars.
Woke this morning and found a gigantic city appeared overnight next to us in the form of a cruise liner, 'Celebrity Constellation'. The marina is totally eclipsed by it. (see pic) Apparently there are 1500 gays on this cruise liner, now thats what`s known as ´´cruising´´.
Guess what, its raining here as well!! They have had the worst summer here as far as people can remember, the same as Ireland. Just our luck.
We have booked into a 5 star hotel for one night so that Anne can repair and recover and have a bath.