Friday, August 18, 2017

Una Semana en Espana

Despite our efforts to sail north to Ireland, the weather helped us decide to route to Spain instead.  We pulled into a slip in Marina Coruna around 7pm local time.  Unlike other marinas we have been to, they let us pull into any slip we wanted.  The office was closed so we would have to wait to check into customs until the next morning.  We popped the cork on the champagne, celebrating 1,958 nautical miles in 14 days, and a sail from North America to Europe and then we went to sleep, with no alarm set.

The next morning, the first thing on the list after checking in to the country was to take Kala to shore.  I don't really know any other dogs who have sailed across the Atlantic Ocean so we pretty much would give her anything she wanted.  She is a tough girl!  After Kala was tired and ready for a nap, we headed out to experience the city of La Coruna, in the "province" of A Coruna.   

We spent the following week visiting sites around the city, including the Tower of Hercules - which is the oldest working lighthouse in the world, built by the Romans in the 2nd century and restored in 1790.  That might make it one of the oldest landmarks I have visited.  The city of La Coruna itself is truly ancient, with monuments and churches built from the 1400s to the 1700s by the Romans and the Spanish.  There is so much history, religious and otherwise that is mixed in among modern offices, restaurants and apartments.  It is a setting that is very different from the US and very culturally enriching.

Of course, aside from eating and sight seeing, we also had normal "chores" to do.  During the passage, as I've mentioned, things were wet - and we had not done laundry since leaving Virginia on June 25 (it was now the second week of August).  Unfortunately, after starting the first load of laundry at the marina laundry room, we realized they didn't have a dryer.  Ugh...we took that load that was now soaking wet with detergent, let it finish and then dried it on the lifelines of the boat.  Now our objective was to find la lavenderia.  When we asked around, no one could help so either 1) they didn't understand what we were saying - very possible or 2) they just didn't know where there was a lavenderia.  We learned the word for laundromat in the Spanish-English dictionary and then pinpointed it on the city map.  We loaded up our 20 lbs of towels, clothes, sheets, etc and walked the two miles into the city.  It was great - three loads and 20 Euros later, we were washed, dried, folded and smelling good!

Next on the list were boat projects.  When we had furled in the main sail as we were close to La Coruna, it wasn't tucked in perfectly.  So when we tried to fix it, the furling motor gave us an issue and the sail wouldn't come out or go in.  The furling motor issues almost stopped us from launching Terrapin last October, so it is a sensitive and frustrating problem.  Baxter waited until a calm morning and then he and Dan manually unfurled the main, took it off the furling rod, took the boom off, and made sure everything was working properly and connected to power.  Once all was verified, the process was reversed and the sail was reattached, furled in, and boom back on the mast.  As soon as the sail was back on, the wind picked up significantly so we were pretty lucky our timing was right.  Since that didn't resolve the furling motor issue, Baxter continued to troubleshoot down below.  Long story as short as it can be, the problem seems to have been a 10 amp fuse which has been replaced.  Fingers crossed it continues to work.

Since arriving in Spain, we continued to check the weather to head to Ireland and every day for 10 days, the wind was directly from the north, exactly the direction we wanted to go.  Since sailboats can't sail into the wind - that was stopping us from leaving for Ireland.  One day, we saw in the long range forecast, a glimpse of a turn - though just a slight turn, it was enough to get us north.  If we didn't take this opportunity, we may not be going anywhere except south back to the Caribbean.  We confirmed the long range forecast with our weather router and headed north out of the Bay of Biscay aiming for the Celtic Sea!
The Tower of Hercules was the first sight as we sailed close to shore.
Happy dog walking around the center of town
Carmen, patron saint for people of the sea
Adventure Doggie!!  She is a true sailor with over 9,000 miles since October 2016
Raising the country flag after checking into Spain
Our slip at Marina Coruna
Cool city logo for A Coruna
The Snipe (type of dinghy) World Championships were in A Coruna while we were there - this is the US team rigging their boats before the races.
Very cool byzantine architecture.
City Hall...pretty nice
Tower of Hercules - oh, and a happy dog running through the fields
Costa de la Muerta - "Coast of Death" because of the jagged rocks on the west coast of the Iberian Peninsula
Maria Pita - After her husband was killed, she led a force to fight off the British who then retreated.  
The streets of Spain
Even rainy days are fun!  The glassed in balconies on the buildings are unique to La Coruna.  
After a month, we had lots of laundry on Terrapin.  Unfortunately the dryers at the marina were gone so we took up shop here at La Lavenderia.  The lady in the purple pants was not happy she had to wait.
We even had internet at La Lavenderia.
Our daily walk for Kala along the harbor.  You can't tell but Kala could see the water through the slots in the wall.
Breogan - who legend has it could see Ireland from Spain and sailed there and conquered the Irish people...
You can read the legend in any of the three language options

Taking pics of Baxter taking pics
I wonder if this is how Breogan sailed to Ireland
Every church in Spain inspires a person to take a picture.  The architecture is intricate, delicate and remarkable. 
A Baba 40, another Bob Perry designed boat, pulled in alongside us in Marina Coruna.  
Walking out to the end of the jetty that protects La Coruna
A music festival took place while we were in La Coruna - unfortunately, the music usually started around 9 pm - much later than I can stand to be awake.  This band, who set up stage in front of a 15th century monastery, was pretty cool.  
We were having more issues with our in mast furling so we decided to take the main sail off, take the topping lift off, take the boom off, and then make sure the connections to the motor were solid.  Then of course we had to reverse the process and get the main sail back on the mast before the wind picked up.
Examining the Control Cylinder for the In-Mast furler to see if we can find an obvious issue.
The culprit (in Dan's left hand) a 10 amp fuse.  Dan looks happy to have the issue resolved, Baxter looks frustrated that it took 4 hours to resolve.

1 comment:

Sabrina and Tom said...

Makes me want to go to Spain even more than before. Thanks for taking us long.

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