43°41.7'N 007°34.9 W Wednesday, 1st July
Vivero, Galicia, NW Spain
Hola! Arrived lunchtime today on Spain's Northwest Coast. Stats include: 296 nautical miles, wind strength no greater than 13 knots, speed no greater than 7.1 knots - it took 53 hours from 7am on Monday to 1pm on Wednesday. Feeling a bit jet-lagged but we made it - in fact the whole journey was a bit tedious, but we were thankful for calm conditions. One of the benefits of Biscay is the absence of too much shipping - a few tankers, 1 P&O ferry and a couple of fishing boats were all that we saw. Made it easy at night, keeping lookout for strange lights!
The highlights - we fell off the continental shelf at 8.30pm on Monday. Our depth log gave up the ghost as the sea bed dropped away from the previous 180 odd metres - the depths eventually reaching in excess of 4,000 metres - more than 3 miles of ocean beneath us! Scary. But if bad weather had arrived, that's where you want to be, in the deep water. The Atlantic rollers hitting the rising sea bed and the "shallow" shelf can cause terrific chop and high turbulent waves.
On day 2, we were visited by a couple of Atlantic Dolphins (W missed those). Then later a huge school of Bottlenose dolphins joined us, there must have been about 100 plus. They split into pods of about 25 to 30 and played, first some distance from the boat, then came and joined us for some bow riding for the next quarter of an hour. An amazing site, and sitting with feet dangling over the side, could feel them brushing against my toes as they leapt out of the water. They whistle too! They were so quick I could not get a good picture of them leaping, so a couple here of them underwater.
A splinter group re-joined us a few hours later for an evening performance. It is such a treat to see them, and in good numbers too.
Closing the Spanish coast about 20 miles out, the land comes up once more to meet you, the 4000 contour line giving way to the 3,000, then the 1,000 and finally the 200 metre, and suddenly you see the Galician mountains in the background as your water runs out. From 20 miles out you could suddenly smell land, it smelled woody and mainly of eucalyptus.
We have dropped anchor just outside Vivero, by the Ensenada de Area and just in the lee of the Isla de Area. We'll have a rest and stay here tonight and go exploring tomorrow. The mountains are wreathed in mist and the air is sultry. Hola Espagna. R's fishing now Marcus, but we will both fade soon. xx