Allot of ground has been covered since I last updated this blog. As the end of the season for Scotland was approaching, (which IMHO ends in the beginning of July) we needed to get to dryer and warmer climates. We had experienced the best weather Scotland has seen in 40 years and the streak of dry warm days had firmly come to an end. We were constantly in foul weather gear over several layers to stay warm and dry. Gunk holing our way south and stopping in many locations we missed on our way north was how it went. Our goal is to get to Morocco by October 1 and East Loch Tarbert on Lewis is about 1400 miles from our destination of Rabat Morocco. And this is as the crow flies, not taking into account all the twists and turns on the way south.
I will recap the locations we stopped at but with little commentary as I don't want to bore any of my few readers left out there. Sorry Mom.
From East Loch Tarbert (nice little town with marina and a few pubs) to Skye, anchored under Wiay (beautiful peaceful remote), to the Island of Canna main anchorage, back to Tobermory (Jessica has realized she likely has Lymes disease from our hiking, so in to see a doctor and get antibiotics), then south to the anchorage of Camas Tuath on the Isle of Mull (lovely little anchorage with some kind of weird commune living on land at head of anchorage), anchored up for the day at Iona to see monastery, to West Loch Tarbert on Jura. (this was one of the lovliest stops on the entire trip), we spent several days here moving from one anchorage to another. We made it all the way up to the hole just below the top, called the halfway anchorage. A somewhat tricky spot only entered on a rising almost full tide using painted transits to come in. From Mull back to Port Ellen on Islay, then we jumped to Northern Ireland and stopped in Glenarm and next stop Bangor. Jess flew home from Bangor as she had an art show and also to see a doctor about this Lymes situation. I single handed from here doing full day trips arriving before sunset. Stopping in the Isle of Man, Port Dinlaen in Wales UK, Fishguard UK, and then to Milford Haven where Cadence would stop and stay for 10 days or so. I would jump off and take the train to London and meet Jess and we toured the city for 5 days using up some American Xpress Miles.
We got back to Milford Haven and waited for our weather window to make a bigger hop south and cross the Bay of Biscay. This would be about a 550 mile hop (again as the crow flies) and we made it in 82 hours, averaging 6.7 knots. We were hard on the wind 15-20 for the first 24 hours with steepish short sees then beam reach for 24 hours 20-25 knots and confused sea state, then once off the continental shelf in 10,000 feet plus depth we had 15-20 knots on the quarter for a beautiful comfortable sail for another 24 hours. The last 8 hours we motor sailed with light winds astern and very comfortable long slow swell from behind.
We arrived A Coruna and fell in love again with Spain. Everything changed. We had lovely blue skys with comfortable temperatures, great wine and food, people outside enjoying themselves and the price of everything dropped. What a nice change. We broke out the bicycles and changed our pace to match the locals. A Coruna is a very Spanish city. Meaning most of the tourists here are from Spain. The marina is filled with serious travelers, not marina junkies. Most boats are on their way somewhere distant and stop at this convenient large city with all the amenities needed. Jessica would fly back to the states again as the Lymes disease hasn't completely gone away and now she is experiencing some knee issues. I will pick up the next entry with details on the passage south to the Algarve with some new crew brought in for the passage.