On Thursday, 6th September, we left our beautiful, sheltered anchorage at St Yvette and headed towards South. We had perfect sailing conditions, sunny and windy enough to allow us to sail with a constant 7.3 knots of speed! We also witness an amazing dolphin show, as dolphins absolutely LOVE Libra!
At night we crossed the continental shelf, meaning that the water depth dramatically dropped from 150 m to 4000m!!! Despite how cool this geological phenomenon is however, it also caused a restless sea and choppy waves which followed us throughout the trip to North Spain. The first night sailing was quiet and our shifts were done orderly, but in the morning the wind died out so we had to start the motor. Although motoring usually means being lazy in the cockpit, the continuous rocking of the boat due to the sea restlessness, made our trip not so comfortable. We did witness flying fish and a big whale though!
After some hours of motoring, we decided to hoist the spinnaker to gain more pressure and some speed, which turned out to be the best decision, as Libra surfed over the waves, reaching 8 to 10 knots of speed! We even broke our personal record and achieved 10.7 knots of speed through water! As we entered the night and the wind picked up, we decided to put down the spinnaker, as the sun was setting down too.
The 2nd night was rough, as we approached the continental shelf in the Spanish side. Gusty winds, choppy waves and tiredness accompanied the night shifts, but good progress was made. In the morning the weather cleared up, the sun light up the landscape and warmed us up and around 14:00 we arrived at our anchorage in La Coruna. We did 325 nautical miles in 50 hours!!!! Not too shabby for our little old lady, right?
We anchored at Punta Penantura and for the first time in a long time, it really felt like summer! There were many boats around, relaxing in their cockpits, people in the beach sunbathing, people all around us swimming, sapping, and everyone enjoying the sun and the 26 degrees! Despite our lack of a good night sleep, we put on our bathing suits and sunscreen and laid on our bow to soak up the summer feeling.
We stayed two nights in this beautiful anchorage, where we rested and did chores. Our relaxing time there was only interrupted by some boaters who do not know how to anchor and although in an empty bay, they anchored extremely close to us! Luckily, there was no wind and little swell, so no harm was done.
On Monday, 10th September we lifted our anchor and entered the Marina Coruna, as it was high time to explore the city and strech our legs after 4 days on the boat! We fell in love with this city! The old town of La Coruna comprises of stone buildings, narrow streets, monuments and Catholic churches, as well as cute tapas places and cafes. The old town is up on the cliff and is surrounded by a stone wall and offers a great view over the Atlantic.
The new town is also nice, though, with its wide seaside boulevard, which is only meant for pedestrians and cyclists. The “old” marina is located exactly in the center of La Coruna, adding nice color to the downtown walk!
There were people everywhere, enjoying the nice weather, drinking coffee at terraces, walking their dogs or simply enjoying an ice-cream (as did we!) while strolling down the boulevard. We visited also the best supermarket so far, called “Mercadona”, which was full of fresh product, wide aisles and low prices! We stocked up for a full week and maybe too much, as our fridge is completely full!
The best part, however, is the kilometer long beach all around the city. You walk down the street, you feel warm and at any point, you can just walk down the stairs and you are immediately in the beach, at Playa de Oza, Playa del Matadero or Playa de las Amorosas!
Day two of La Coruna expedition, we took our bikes and explored the north part of the city. We visited historic monuments, art works and the highlight; “Torre de Hercules”, an impressive lighthouse with a stoned compass, indicating the Celtic regions. Patches of fog blowing over the cliffs made this a truly mystic place. We continued our bike route to the aquarium and then to the city, where we visited again all of our favorite spots, including the supermarket!
On Wednesday, 12th September we left our beloved city (against my protests) to head south, towards Camarinas. The fog was so thick, you could not tell where the horizon ended and where the sea began, everything was greyish-white! We motored almost all the way to Camarinas and the first 4 hours we blew our horn frequently, to make our presence known to the other vessels.
The last part, however, we were able to sail nicely and reached our anchorage at Punta Lingunida at 18:00! We are very lucky with this anchorage, because besides being a great shelter from the winds and the swell, it is in a beautiful spot, surrounded of pine trees, sandy beaches, the town of Camarinas in one side and a river on the other side!
The next day we visited the town of Camarinas,.Since we arrived around siesta time, the village looked like a ghost town, but this did not prevent us from walking around its boulevard, its port and tasting some delicious seafood!
In the afternoon, as it was high tide, we were able to travel through the river Rio de Puente (it was completely dry during low tide!). What a picturesque route! Trees all around, tiny sandy beaches, flying fish everywhere! We reached the end of the river at the town with the same name, where we tied our dingy under a bridge and explored the small town. We bought fuel and some small provisions and headed back to Libra. What a cool day!
Stay tuned as we explore further the Atlantic Spain and soon Portugal!