Grayhound Left Falmouth on September the 11th with a fine Northerly breeze. We rocketed across the channel and continued past Ushant with its lighthouse beam just in range. What a start, Grayhound loves a down wind force 4 to 5 . We did not hoist the Mizzen sail as this would only blank the main. The main and fore set beautifully such a large sail area pushing us along. The crew settled into their watches. Our voyage crew this time were two lovely guys not known to eachother. GP Dr Duncan Keeley, being a keen sailor himself he was at home immediately and sat a watch with Marcus. Charlie led a watch with our regular customer Diccon Guy who was on his third voyage of the season. Diccon is a keen Astro navigator and wanted to cross Biscay to improve his Sun run suns, sight reductions and plotting. The last voyage he came on was in August, he came with his five year old son on a West Country weekend voyage. Malachi was wondering why his playmate was not back…where as Diccon was pleased to concentrate on his sailing adventure for himself.
The girls took the third watch, Freya and Ruth saw in the sunrise each morning and enjoyed some girls time philosophising on night watch, which was so great. Watching the stars and wondering where we came from and thanking the universe for placing us on this beautiful planet.
As we pressed on covering 160 miles in the first 24 hours everyone rested into their new sleep patterns. Grayhound is comfortable at sea and so spacious. Fishing lines were out but not one fish took a bite, maybe we were going too fast. Meals were cooked up by the crew, a gorgeous chicken curry by Ruth, Freya served up some favourites Chilli and rice slow cooked with apricots, pasta and salmon, quiche and salad. sausage and bean casserole and new spuds. Plenty of tea and coffee, cakes and chocolate to see us through night watch.
The wind started to die off and the southern Bay of Biscay became calm and the weather hotter. We dropped down to three knots as the sea glassed off. After a gentle period of stopping we put on the iron topsail ( aka the engine) and headed for Camarinas at a bearing of 210 degrees. Motoring became a bit tedious but we were glad of it as the wind did not re appear and we ended up motoring towards a foggy coastline. Some precise navigating from Marcus safely led us through pea soup fog to land but only a mile away. We could not even see the light house beam. Finally we came through the wall of fog and right then a huge fire work display began. It was midnight in Spanish time and a fiesta was taking place ashore but it could have been for us, the timing was superb. We felt like we had arrived in style. It is always a precious moment when you make landfall after a period of time at sea. We all felt quite emotional to have bought Grayhound to Spanish waters. All tired and damp we dropped our anchor in Camarinas anchorage and opened the whisky bottle. A very nice bottle that we won at Fowey Classics. Freya rustled up a cheese board and anything else she could find stowed away some chocolate, jaffa cakes , olives, nuts and whisky to celebrate our arrival. Duncan told us a beautiful love poem in Spanish before we all retired for the best nights sleep. Malachi would be waiting at his lee cloth for his Cheerios before not too long ! A beautiful morning greeted us with terracotta roofs and a new land , a row ashore for a coffee was on the cards.
Next time read about our first weeks in Northen Spain and the Rias …see you then
Written by Freya (Crew on the Grayhound)