Azores to Northern Spain
May 27th - June 6th
The Azores to northern Spain leg did not strike me as difficult (apart from potential Orca attacks) as it was only 5-6 days and weather forecasting is usually good for that. We just needed to leave at the right time.
My analysis was correct but execution poor. We really enjoyed the first 4 days on Terceira (see the photos) but by the fifth day we were ready to move on. There had been a big low pressure system nearby and my idea was to ride the tail of it all the way to Spain. We made three mistakes:
- We forgot that being west of a depression means the wind will be from the north. Therefore bitterly cold
- On the previous leg, one superb feature was flat water. The sea had seen no wind until a few hours before we arrived. This time the sea had had several days of very strong winds. The waves were more than 3m and hitting us on the beam..
- We left too early. I wanted to clear the island in daylight. We left around 17.00 but the centre of the storm was too close
Putting that all together, we had a really unpleasant sail for the first three days. There was never any danger, Skyfall handled it fine. But I know for next time!
The last two days were more enjoyable but no less eventful. We had a close encounter with, what I have been advised, was either a large fin whale or might even have been a blue whale. We even managed to play with 'Little Pinky' on the last day. But our last adventure was being stopped by the Spanish coastguard ( sneaking up on us in a fast cutter with all lights out) at 01.00 entering Ria de Arousa.