Altwasser sailing diary

Thursday, July 24, 2003

Santander to Cedeira
July 15th - July 23rd 2003. 222 nautical miles.

Stormy trip to Gijon 15/16th July
Several things went wrong at night in the midst of a 20 hour trip: single-source duff weather forecast failed to predict electrical storms, gusts to 7 on the nose and 2-3 metre seas; half-full diesel tank frothed in lumpy sea and stopped engine; Genoa halyard shackle failed and sail fell into the sea; (Alternative) Spinnaker halyard winch bearing cage buckled and winch jammed; internal cupboards shook loose and tins and jars flew around cabin.

Regret no pictorial record of Liz throwing up, Richard dragging the Genoa out of 3 metre seas, you’ll have to use your imagination. But don’t dwell on it! All was repaired, all the winches have now been serviced (Thanks to Dave in Benodet for the service booklet); we now also get weather info from (Thanks to Andrew of Portsmouth Uni. in Gijon) and Liz has a bigger bucket (Don’t dwell on that either!).

Thanks also to the British crew who helped us rig an adjustable noose to retrieve
the top of the roller furling without needing to climb the mast. Spirits were lifted by a lovely chat and drink on their boat in the evening.

Gijon 16th - 19th July. R&R.
So here’s Gijon in pictures. But if you want to see how elegantly the ladies, aged 9 to 90, dress up in the evening just to stroll round the port, you’ll have to visit yourself.

Cudillero 20th July. Wild west.

John Lawson’s description of “a picturesque village tucked away in a gap in the cliffs” didn’t prepare us for the all-night, top-volume disco party on the side of the port. The revellers were still diving into the sea when we raised the hook to leave in the morning. We’ll ask the Spanish tourist office where we can get tickets next time.

Tapia 21st - 22nd July. Fresh Lobster next year?

A quiet, well protected port with local beaches and adequate shops. The port is too small to swing a cat, or even a monohull, so we dropped the hook and tied a stern line to the wall. Interesting to note that a floating lobster growing cage was moored alongside us after we arrived.

Cedeira 21st - 22nd July. Hush… keep it quiet!

This magnificently rugged coastline with grass-topped hills tumbling a thousand feet into the sea, craggy headlands extended with rocks like broken teeth, cliffs, caves and massive breakers revealed an inland bay that has gently sloping wooded hillsides, sandy beaches, complete protection from wind and swell and is less than two miles from the open ocean.

This tranquil bay greeted us with dolphins and a small modern town possessing the practical necessities of Lavandria, chandleries, supermarkets, banks, tourist info. and internet café as well as elegant jewellers, pedestrian areas lined with cafes overlooking the bay, wooded walks, parks and the ubiquitous and fashionable Spanish shoe shops.

On Thursday we head to La Coruna, then round Finisterre and south to Portugal. Mustn’t forget to buy another courtesy flag.