Saturday, August 22, 2009

Goodbye Spain

Big news is that Macsen has taken 5 independent steps! It happened in a little café in a lovely town called Baiona, the most southern harbour that we visited in Spain. He was leaning casually against Seb’s legs when suddenly he just pushed-off and walked into Luise’s arms. I guess he can’t resist a pretty girl.

We’d sailed down to Baiona from Isla Ons, a small craggy rock about five miles off the coast that is part of the 5 separate archipelagos that make up the Isla Atlanticus nature reservation. We’d anchored in a beautiful little inlet and (after I swam ashore) had a great walk up and over the other side of the island – fabulous views of the Spanish coast and gazing on one side and the Atlantic on the other. Masses of birds flying over head, roosting in every nook and cranny in the rocky cliffs and peering out cheekily at us.

Back on the mainland, we were standing on a hill next to the castle overlooking the harbour in Baiona when we noticed a dark blue Breehorn-shaped boat pulling up to the dock - it was the original Pjotters! Kees and Martha Slager are the previous owners of our Pjotter and sailed with great pleasure with her for 11 years, and were thus quite attached. They are travelling around the Atlantic for 2 years with their new Breehorn 44, also appropriately named Pjotter. The Breehorn 44 is a bigger version of our Breehorn 37 with similar long beautiful lines thus it is one of our favourite boats - apart from the fact that we are fond of her owners. We walked quickly back to the marina and stepped on board to catch up. Macsen did some expert climbing up the big Pjotter stairs and Emma was thrilled to get a bubble blower and a colouring puzzle from Martha. It was fantastic to see them here – looking happy and tanned and we look forward to seeing them again along the way.

We spent much of our last week in Spain either anchored or in the marina in Baiona. We had some ‘klusjes’ to do on the boat and the chandleries in the area were well stocked. Seb finally found a Mastervolt charger for our solar panels and worked away at the installation and…they work! With slightly less power than expected but Booh assures us that this is to be expected. We are now quite independent and can recharge our own batteries thus need only to come into marinas to refill our water tanks (and other water related activities such as big laundry and long showers).

Our last overnight in Spain was on Isla Cies, another island in the Isla Atlanticas reputed to have the most beautiful beach in Europe. It was extremely touristy and the famous beach was full of people, a surprise after the seclusion of the other islands in the group. A twisty hike up to the lighthouse on top of the mountain in the middle rewarded us with incredible views out across the infinity of the Atlantic. You can really imagine why people used to think you could fall off the edge of the earth gazing out across that expanse of water.

The 35 mile trip from Isla Cies to Viana do Castelo, our first stop in Portugal, was a great sail. Shooting along at an average of 7,5 knots and surfing over the waves (hitting an all time high of 9,8 knots!) with solid 25 knots wind on our beam, heavier winds that we generally like but the Pjotter performed beautifully. Seb had an amazing view of a group of dolphins surfing side by side off of a wave breaking just next to him. The further south we go the less swell we have experienced and only northerly winds – in short absolutely fantastic weather for sailing.

No comments:

Post a Comment