Sailing a Marathon

Richard admiring the view – our first morning in the Rias

When we work out how long a trip is going to take, we always add extra days for bad weather and slow progress.  We were glad of them this year as our starting forecast was a scary Force 8, 9  or 10.  Needless to say we didnt consider this good ‘setting out weather’.  We managed a day sail in Plymouth Sound before the first gale came, and then a dash from Plymouth to Falmouth before the second gale.  We then spent a day in Falmouth waiting out the second gale before eventually setting off.

At first light we crept out of Falmouth in a perfect sailing wind.  We reached across the English Channel from Falmouth to Ushant in record time before the wind headed us.  Despite the unfavourable wind direction, we made steady progress across the bay and finally arrived at Cap Finisterre 4 days later.  The last 60 miles the wind died and we motored downwind arriving in Ria de Vigo late evening.  One of my favourite anchorages is at the western end of this Ria and only 8 miles from Vigo so we stopped here for the night, dropping the anchor almost dead on midnight.

With a bottle of wine to celebrate a successful crossing,  Cior (pronounced chore), our American guest came up with the great analogy that long distance passage making to sailors is equivalent to a marathon for runners.  You have to push yourself hard, often wonder why you are doing it, are determined not to give up and then really enjoy getting to the finish!

Arriving in the dark, we had navigated our way in by the twinkling lights.  Richard and I knew how scenic our anchorage was but it was not until morning that our guests could see the reward – and it was worth waiting for.  There was a glorious blue sky and sun shining on the beach to show off our anchorage at its best.

After a leisurely tapas lunch at anchor we sailed the last few miles to Vigo arriving at 4’ish on the last afternoon.   I love it when a plan comes together.

We’ve been cleaning and polishing today, getting ready for our next two Rias trips.  With the sun beating down on us it feels very much like the Mediterranean without the crowds.

We are full for 16 – 23 October but there are still spaces to join us on the second week,  27th October – 3rd November