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Rally portugal there and back

Becky

New member
Joined
10 Nov 2003
Messages
2,130
Location
Hampshire
Well, we have finally returned to the hallowed shores of the old UK. The trip, all 2300 miles of it was very like the curates egg. (Good in parts).
The rally itself was great fun, but to be honest we had a problem keeping up with the larger yachts. Daily runs of 50 odd miles, easy. But 75 miles in a day was, for us and several others, pushing hard. In mitigation for Cornish Maid, the copper paint we had on the bottom was USELESS, and we have the greatest difficulty reaching 5 knots at the moment, with the profuse growth of weed under our hull. ther is NO antifouling effect at all. Apparently it needs burnishing, but we didn't know that.
We arrived back in the UK last night, having left Guernsey that morning. Our whole return has been a nightmare, with winds on the nose for about a thousand miles. All the way from Lagos, in fact. We were stuck in Bayona for ages waiting for a weather window to round Cape Finisterre, but when we got one, it was 24 hours late, and we had a real pasting for 36 hours. Highest wind over the deck was 40 knots, and 30+ for ages. We had to beat into it. But then the furling gear had lost all its screws just before we entered this rough area (at the bottom of Biscay, just above the Cape) so Richard had to effect a botch to allow us to reef. It worked. Then in the middle of Biscay, 250 miles from shore, (we still had NE winds) the starter motor packed up. We managed to cobble it up enough to start the engine, and we motored all the way to Camaret (two days and a bit), as we had sailed into the middle of the High, and had virtually no wind, and what we had was of course, from NE.
We had contaminated water due to the vents exiting in the anchor locker (which for 36 hours was mostly under water), a serious design fault of Moody's in my opinion, so we couldn't drink any of our main water supply. I had taken lots of bottled water, just as well, as it turned out. And while I am on design faults, the drain for our anchor locker is in the middle of the bow, a couple of feet above the water line; which turns into a fountain when oyu are bashing into parge rollers, and ends up going down the anchor chain pipe.
Six days at sea crossing Biscay (but only four days, Plymouth to Bayona on the way out), and we only made Camaret, where we were stuck for a week awaiting a new starter motor. Then Guernsey, where we were stuck, a( because we physically could get out, too many boats, and b) because the weather broke.
I don't enjoy long spells at sea, especially when I couldn't wash properly, because our water was salty, and the ***** watermaker never worked properly from start to finish (bad installation).
Then we have Navman electronics; the depth isn't right, it reads double often enough to be useless, the wind direction/strength packed up yesterday, and this morning, the log has been totally unreliable. And while I am having this rant, the chartplotter isn't all that either. It is very slow to redraw the chart when you are changing the zoom.
Then, we had the fresh wtaer pump pack up two days out; it didn't matter too much,I had just bought a spare, and going S just before Cape Finisterre, when the fuel was a bit low, the sediment in the bottom of the tank, that we had paid out good money to have cleaned, turned our fuel into tomato soup, which blocked the filters, and killed the engine. We cleaned everything up, but couldn't use the egine because it would have clogged again. We had leaks that couldn't be found with a high pressure hose, it needs an Atlantic roller to find them. And didn't it find our weaknesses. Water came through the roof on the way out; we sorted that. Then on the way home when we were beating into a F8 gale, we found that the windows all leaked. And gallons of water made its way down the anchor chain pipe into the bilges, and lots of other places as well. But to be fair, the Monitor wind vane took us through the lot, we didn't touch the helm for days on end, including the worst wind strenght. (Rant again- why can't they make something so good out of proper stainless steel. It is brand new and RUSTY)
Anyway everyone, we really had a good time. The Rally was wonderful, the people we met were great, and I wouldn't do it again at the moment.
A fuller up date will appear in a day or two.
Love Becky
 

Twister_Ken

Active member
Joined
31 May 2001
Messages
27,587
Location
'ang on a mo, I'll just take some bearings
Ooe-err.

Mate of mine also had a nightmare getting back from Lagos, trying to come back more or less the reverse of the way he went down, Don't think he twigged that strong northerlies are par for the course along the Portuguese/Spanish coast.

Apparently the clever thing to do is go west from Lagos for a coupleof days until you're well offshore before heading North, when you hope eventually to pick up south westerlies coming around the bottom of an Atlantic low, and run back up in the Channel.

Theoretically, if you get it right you can do it without beating, whereas the rhumb line more or less guarantees a 500 mile beat (plus lots of shipping) unless you get very lucky
 

Steve Clayton

New member
Joined
22 May 2003
Messages
7,484
Location
Benitachell - Spain
Hi Becky,

we did RP in 2004 and thoroughly enjoyed it. I guess you did do. I'm sure that if you had won just one "smiley miley" then this would make up for all the misfortunes that beset you, and,

HEY, what a story to tell your grandchildren.

(Don't suppose your middle name happens to be "Ellen" by any chance?)

Fair winds,
Steve
www.seraph-sailing.com
 
Joined
11 Jun 2002
Messages
64,559
Location
Tesla in Space
Totally blind though, unless good nav gear/comms on board?

The chances of picking up a low unless well forecasted before hand a little low
 

zefender

Active member
Joined
9 Jul 2001
Messages
1,741
Location
quacious
I too had a fairly unpleasant slog back from the Algarve a couple of years ago. It sort of takes the shine off it a bit! We found that leaving port at dawn at least gave us a few hours of faster, gentler progress (although fog was a bit of a problem too). It's strange isn't it that even after years of sailing around the coasts, you only really find the bad points of a boat after a few days in open water, especially when it gets a bit lively.

What was the problem with the watermaker? Was it, due to the motion, the inlet was picking up air?

Well done for an interesting report though. But on balance, looking back, you had a ball overall didn't you?
 

jerryat

Active member
Joined
20 Mar 2004
Messages
3,571
Location
Nr Plymouth
Hi Brendan,

It's one of the things that make an SSB radio indispensible on board as far as we're concerned while we're cruising. Makes planning that sort of trip much easier, at least so far as judging the weather is concerned!!

Jerry
 
Joined
11 Jun 2002
Messages
64,559
Location
Tesla in Space
Can't wait for the full details. I'm sure in retrospect you'll find reasons why it was mainly enjoyable, despite the tribulations
 

mtettmar

New member
Joined
18 Nov 2003
Messages
30
Location
Dorset
Crikey I must have been lucky. We did Rally Portugal last year and also came back after a couple of weeks on the Algarve. We had light head winds for the first hop to Cascais and then after another motorsailing hop the wind went round and for the rest of the trip back up to Bayona we used the spinnaker! I was worried that we'd have strong Northerlies all the way back so was pretty chuffed to see the spinnaker used on the way back as well as all the way down. We then had a couple of weeks to explore the Rias which are wonderful and then ran downwind along the N Spanish coast to Gijon. Then up to La Rochelle and good sailing up to Loctudy and thence around Ushant to Dartmouth. Between the fronts that swept across Biscay throughout August we had good, easy sailing conditions for each leg. Marvellous trip. Rally Portugal was a real blast and we made some great friends (Hi Steve!) and the trip back was superb too, especially the N. Spanish Rias and coast. This year we crewed on board Swagman for the Biscay leg of RP again. Quite different to last year. Much less wind and too much motoring. But beautiful weather.

Marcus
http://www.csardas.co.uk/
 

timevans2000

New member
Joined
7 May 2002
Messages
262
Location
Pwllheli
Dont worry. There is always someone who had it worse! We came from the Antigua to Azores in May along with dozens of other boats crossing at the same time. We had wind on the nose for 21 out of 22 days! We engined into light head winds for a total of 7 days and beat hard into head winds for the rest. We got seriously low on fuel and managed to bag some from a passing 7000 tonne freighter! Broke the inner forestay with all the violent slaming so had to go up mast to repair! that hurts! Had a couple of leaks too. Only wife and I onboard so 3 hours on, 3 hours off for 22 days. Lost a stone in weight. When we got to Horta we spoke to lots of other crews who had had a worse crossing than us.
 
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