Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Costa del Morte

Quoting from the pilot guide for this area - "Cabo Toriñana and Cabo Finisterre both have charted dangers, mostly pinnable rocks lying up to 1mile offshore; hence the popular name 'Costa del Morte' [coast of death] for this wild, magnificent and sometimes forbidding coast".

The good news is that we've successfully navigated around the charted dangers and are currently anchored in a bay just south of Finisterre. We left Corme for Camariñas on Friday. Setting off in glorious sunshine and expecting an leasurely sail for the 20 miles to Camariñas. An hour out of Corme we were suddenly enveloped in thick fog. Strange thing was the temperature dropped noticably as well - so the wind had a real chill in it. I thought that fog was normally associated with warm moist air cooling over colder water or land - definately not this time - clearly its going be a while before I replace Micheal Fish at BBC Weather centre. Anyway the fog gave us a good opportunity to use the radar for real. Kika is the first boat where I've had the opportunity to learn to use a radar set. Fortunately I'd been experimenting with the set as we crossed Biscay. The couple of times I've been caught out in fog sailing in Tilly were nerve-racking; not with radar enabled Kika. We could accurately position all the boats around us and the high-cliffs of the coastline - I was almost disappointed when the fog lifted.

We arrived in Camariñas in time for a fiesta in honour of "Saint Raymond" - or so the woman in the shop told us. Sure enough music, dancing and fireworks followed and the marina supervisor couldn't understand why we were trying to get back to the boat at 2am, when the fiesta was only just "warming up".

Left Camariñas for Sardineiro this morning after some ´interesting´ early morning marina maneuvering to replenish our water tanks - we still need to get our water catching systems in place. We've been waiting for the wind to move to the north, which had been promised for the last few days. We have been spending our time productively by exploring the area, cleaning Kika's surprisingly mucky waterline, wiring the inverter and of course, sampling the local tapas. Instead this morning we decided we'd waited long enough and would move on regardless. Consequently we left in glorious sunshine into a head-wind and half-an-hour later were soaked through from a passing squall.

No sea creature vists today, but saw some large unidentified jumping fish 200m from the boat - initially we thought they were dophins, they were about the same size as dolphins, but their appearance and movement was markedly different to the species we'd been seeing - a different species or different animal?

Feels quite an achievement to have finally rounded Finisterre. The next leg has lots of interesting harbours and anchorage options as well as numerous fishing buoys to avoid.

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