The english travel log
Travel log by Alex
After a very enjoyable Christmas and New Year in Aberdeen with our family, I, (Alex) flew to Gran Canaria on the 10th of January 2009 to join Marit and John on Hebe. I had promised John to crew with him across the Atlantic and he had set 1000 UTC on the 15th of January as the time we would leave Puerto Mogan in Gran Canaria on our trans-atlantic trip. The delightful feeling of landing in Las Palmas to mid twenty temperatures after leaving Aberdeen at a chilly 4 degrees made leaving Morvern and the family seem less hard.
The next few days in Mogan were taken up with getting Hebe ready for our crossing, with gear checks and provisioning our store cupboards. One of the essential elements of any Atlantic crossing is a trunk of nearly ripe bananas and we duly got one and hung it aft to ripen.
On Wednesday 14th we drove to the airport to pick up Øystein , a friend of Marit and John and who was to be the 4th crew member. Øystein is a doctor and he arrived complete with full medical kit in case one of us turned ill at sea. Thank God he had drugs with him, because the night before we left I ate something which made me “spew” and gave me a real dose of the “shites” so he prescribed for me to ensure that I would be OK next morning when we were ready to leave. (Two days later Øystein ate the same thing and got the same disease. We think it was a jar of Aleoli - so the jar quickly went over the side.)
We were up early on Thursday the 15th and made ready for sea. We left the berth at exactly 1000 on Thursday 15th January as John had decided many months ago, with many of John and Marit’s sailing friends waving from the marina. The first part of our crossing is from Puerto Mogan in Cran Canaria to Mindelo in Sao Vicente,which is one of the Cape Verde islands.
The trip we had all thought about for many months had started. The wind was a fresh 5 to 6 from the NNW and our course 220 degrees, speed touching 8 knots at times. What a feeling -a mixture of joy and trepidation! I set a list of shifts for the first night, the 3 men were to cover the darkness hours and we all agreed that we would do 2 on and 1 off so that there were always 2 of us on deck. By daylight on the 16th we all also agreed, that 2 hours on and 1 off was far too complicated and you got no real sleep. We had, however, covered a very creditable 135 nautical miles in the first 24 hours.
We made continuous good speed through the next day, but by 1800 Øystein had succumbed to the Aleoli, so John and I did 2 on and 2 off for the night, and we covered 151 miles in the next 24 hours. Better speed than we could have expected - wind still 5 to 6 from the North, so we were on a broad reach all the time, using a small main and full genoa. It was obvious after this night that we only needed one man on deck throughout the hours of darkness. We set up a 2 on 4 off rota for the rest of the trip and that worked very well. Safety is of the highest priority. We all wear lifejackets and clip on our harness when we come out the companionway ladder and only unclip our harness when you are back in steps to downstairs. We are all well aware that there would be no return if you went over the side during darkness when you are on deck alone.
The next 4 days we made excellent speed - the highest for 24 hours being 156 nautical miles. The wind stayed fresh, (up to 7 at times) but, slowly veered to the NE while our course remained 220 so we ended up on a dead run. This is uncomfortable in big following seas, so we would jibe and reach each side of our course line. There were beautiful sunsets and spectacular sunrises! The ‘i pod’ was an inspiration when sailing alone at night. I played “Under African skies” by Paul Simon several times as we made our passage down the African coast.
Before we all knew it, we were 30 miles of the coast of Sao Vicente in the Cape Verde Islands. It was still dark so we slowed up a bit to enter the harbour of Mindelo in daylight. We tied up in the marina at exactly 1000 UTC but 1100 local time on Wendnesday 21st January; exactly 6 days after leaving Mogan. We have come 10 degrees west and the clocks have to be set back by 1 hour.
We had covered 870 miles at an average speed of 6.1 knots. The adrenalin ran high among us and we had a special anchor dram and a good night’s sleep.
We spent a very enjoyable next 3 days in Mindelo. To us all, it was very obvious that this is a very poor part of the world, but inhabited by a very happy and welcoming people. We had laundry washed and took on some new provisions in preparation for the next and much bigger part of the trip. We enjoyed the hospitality of the town and speaking to some of the yachts. They had been lying here for 2 weeks waiting for the wind to fall a bit.
On Saturday 24th January at 1400 UTC we left the marina in Mindelo. There were 4 other yachts that left at exactly the same time but we all had different destinations, ours was Antigua. A course of almost exactly West and a lot of miles to cover. We are now in the Trade Wind region and the wind is supposed to blow from the East continually. The wind kept its promise, blowing from the ENE for the next 2 weeks. ENE wind and a course of 270 means a broad reach with the sails on the Port side.
Strange when you don’t have to change them for days. We made excellent daily speeds as we had fresh winds. Our best daily total was 163 nautical miles, which was better than we could have expected.
Time passed really quickly with the good banter we had between us. The fact that none of us were seasick and we could all cook and eat heartily. We towed a fishing line behind the boat and caught several small fish, then a Tuna of over 12kg and Dorado of 12kg. They were filleted and put in the deep freeze within an hour of being caught – fantastic! One morning John collected 6 flying fish off the deck and we fried them for breakfast, different to say the least.
When on shift alone at night I had lots of time to think, time to contemplate many of life’s crucial questions, including what I value most in my life. My wife, Morvern ,and my family are obviously my overriding concern. The simplicity of our sailing existence is stunning, but then when you remember that you are on a 45 feet yacht , 1000 miles from the nearest land, your mind brings you back to reality. I have found this an experience which has focused my mind on the very high quality of life I have back home and that I should think twice before I complain about any aspect of it. This trip has put many other things into perspective, for example, in the political sphere, Barak Obama is taking over as president of America and we hear nothing about it. Also, we know nothing of the fighting and troubles in other areas of the world which fill our news programs when back at home. And life seems more peaceful for not knowing.
Enough of the philosophising, we were making great progress towards Antigua, covering about 150 miles a day and it seemed possible we could complete the second part of our journey in 2 weeks flat. Some days slightly more miles and some slightly less, but all enjoyable, and as soon as you are more than the halfway across time passes faster and faster.
On the morning of Saturday 7th February, when we were 40 miles from Antigua the ENE wind fell flat and we were left to motor the last miles into English Harbour. This was the first time we had used diesel since we left Gran Canaria. We docked at Nelson Dockyard in English Harbour at 1500 UTC which is 1100 local time - exactly 14 days and 1 hour since we left Cape Verde! We had covered 2085 miles in 14 days with an average speed of just over 6 knots, we were all ecstatic and the anchor dram after an abstinence of 2 weeks was all the sweeter.
Now that it is all over and we have crossed the Atlantic and sailed almost 3000 nautical miles together, I am so pleased to have been part of the crew. It is an experience I will never forget and I am absolutely delighted to have had the chance to do it. I also feel that the experience has brought my feet back to earth and reminded me of some of the real values and pleasures of life.
Antigua, the 10th of February 2009
3.rd travel log - Mogan-Gibraltar
Eventually, I’m going to write to our English speaking friends, - and eventually, we were back in Mogan. The 9th of March 2007 we were flying from Norway to Grand Canary, where our new “home” was waiting for us. And a warm breeze welcomed us. Very warm, because it was 30+ C when we got out of the plane. Together with us were Jørgen and his wife Laila from Jøa. They did a good job, because Hebe was quite dusty- yellow and very fine sand covered her totally, and John was not supposed to do any work. He had shifted his knee (that’s why we were in Norway for so long). Hebe needed other maintenances, as well, after being unused for nearly three months. Three batteries were flat; one of the toilets was blocked. Anyway, Jørgen was willing and able to do whatsoever. He’s a clever and very nice man and handyman. It was not very nice to work in that heat and he never complained.
But of course, it was not work our friends came to do and we really did other things. The evenings were not so warm, but we had all our homemade meals out in the cockpit. Laila is a marvellous cook and she made lovely dishes of all sort. And they had brought quite a lot of specialities from Norway; smoked salmon and a leg of deer, salted and dried.
We also dined out, on the many lovely restaurants in Mogan. We took the bus to Puerto Rico and Argueniguin, where we met Laila’s brother and many other Norwegians. But every time we came “home” to Mogan, we were happy to say we had chosen the very best place to stay.
Nice, quiet and the best weather on the whole island.
Mogan has a big marked every Friday. Then there are a lot of people coming with buses and there’s also a “Country singer” in the square, just some 50 meters away from Hebe. Nice.
Thursday the 15th of March we celebrated John’s birthday with champagne for breakfast.
Rather unusual back home, but not here. There’s a beach just 5 min walk from the boat and Jørgen and Laila went there when the days were too warm. Even I go there then, otherwise
neither John nor I are “beach-lovers”. But we love staying in Mogan! Three times a year there’s a jazz festival in the square, playing from 8’clock till 11’clock p.m. Lovely to sit out on Hebe’s deck and listening while nipping to a beer- or two…
John needed physiotherapy after his knee operation in February and even an osteopath was found in Mogan, just on the hotel 3 min walk from the boat. John got his exercises and was quite exhausted afterwards, because it was hard stuff… but he needed it! We have all facilities close to us in Mogan. Doctor, pharmacy, banks and post office..And lots of people are stopping by for a chat, mostly Norwegians, of course. The days just flew away and soon Laila and Jørgens holdiday was over.
The 19th of Marsh we sailed to Las Palmas, the capital of Grand Canary. Hebe needed to “dress up” like other ladies do. And we knew an English sail maker in Las Palmas and Leila and Jørgen were going to fly home from there. But Las Palmas is not “our” town. Cold, dirty and lots of noise from the heavy traffic. We rented a car and had lovely trips in the mountains and also visited Palmitos Park, with beautiful flowers, birds and other animals.
But we enjoyed the small villages most with their small houses, trying to hold on to the steep cliffs. And we also found all the roundabouts fancy. They are all so lovely decorated, some with flowers and some with different sculptures.(If the ladies in the back of the car took a wrong decision of which road to take out, we said, just go around once more, because it’s so lovely, this roundabout!)
Yes, we had lovely days with Jørgen and Laila and it was quite sad when they left us 22.nd of March.
John and I had to stay in Las Palmas for another 4 days, but we were both happy to leave and we were also very happy with the bimini and the dodgers with HEBE written on the sides. It was quite a sail back to Mogan, with force 6 and 7, but it was behind and we managed ok (even with a captain who was a patient). Lovely to come back to Mogan.
The 31st of Marsh we could celebrate our youngest grandson Henrik’s first birthday and also the captain, who had been retired for one year that date. And he has not regretted it for one single moment!
We met some Norwegians, some younger than us, but we got friends with them and had many days and nights together. Otherwise the days went on with the usual. I had/have my chores as I had back home. John’s horsing the boat every second day. It’s a lot of dust/sand and it’s nice to keep our “home” clean.
John went on with his physiotherapy and even I started exercising; “morning gym”, together with our new friends (the ladies) from Norway and Skien. It was quite fun and sort of “made the day” and even I got up in the morning. The only thing I missed was my cup of tea in bed every morning, served by my lovely husband!
We had got acquainted with a couple from Rognan, near Bodø in Norway. They have bought a berth in Mogan for their “Mayflower” and we are together a lot. Kirsti, the wife and I were walking “the Zik-Zak”, a steep hill, even in risks of having a sun stroke!!!
John had to go to Norway, Bergen for his hospital control. Unfortunately it was the same day as Alex and Morvern came to join us for a month. Anyway, while ha was gone we made the days as we usually did, being happy to be together. We rented a car and Alex was the self pointed chauffeur. And we really needed a good driver, for the roads were awful in the mountains, where we went on our sightseeing. Lovely view and a landscape so spectacular that we were breathless and speechless. (Think of it, neither Morvern nor I could speak!!- for a while).
The curves/bends were so tight and narrow, you could hardly make it. But Alex did and did well. And it was so interesting to see Grand Canari’s mountains instead of beaches.
It was much more fertile up there, obviously more rain and fog.
John returned and the doc was very pleased with his knee. But he had to be careful. No hard sailing for the next year or two…..
Then May came and we were to leave Mogan for this “season”. 1st of May we set off for Lanzarote, which should take us about 23 to 25 hours. With a nice breeze behind we were sailing happily away, but it did not last longer than till Maspalomas. Then the wind turned against us and so it was more or less the whole way. And not only the wind. The current and the big waves made it very, very uncomfortable and they ladies stayed “down under” for most of the time. We sailed, though, during the night, but mostly tacking, which is not the sailors dream. That is sailing with the wind behind! Eventually, after 29 hours we arrived at Lanzarote and Rubicon marina, which was a very nice one. A bit posh, that’s why we had to find the Glen Moray for our ancerdram. Lovely!
We had lovely days in Lanzarote, but lots of wind. Mayflower (Per Arne and crew) reported they had changed course and were heading for Lanzarote instead of Madeira, due to strong wind head on. Nice to meet them again and we spend some night’s together, singing and playing the guitar and mouthorgan.
We rented a car and went for sightseeing on the island. Not very much of a pretty island, but we found some nice spots in the middle of it. A bit of green parks, some vegetables and farming, but we all agreed, we loved the small picturesque villages better then the nature.
The 9th of May, Øystein arrived and we were ready for the next leg; Lanzarote to Gibraltar- ca 600 nautical miles! A variable trip and the wind mostly head on. We knew on the forehand that we were going in “the wrong direction”, because all the books say the winds are going from north to south this time of the year. Anyway, we were planning to go to the Mediterranean, so we had to go this direction and so we did. But after 4 days and nights and very little progress, even with the engine, the decision was made and we headed west and could sail with the wind behind, straight to Africa! The darkness came and it was not quite easy to n navigate, because the map and the land did not seem to cooperate. But with three very able captains, there were no problems.
Yes, Mohammedia-Marocco, here we come. Nice marina and very lovely, smiling people. But they all seem to live in poverty, as it looked for us. We got very friendly with the guards at the gate and had no difficulties at all. We found out, including Øystein, that he spoke perfectly French, which was the foreign language they used in Marocco. Then we were saved! We got our maxi taxi – a kind of green Mercedes 1984- 240D, with 970000 on the meter and some basic faults, but good as new (for the owner). The driver was also our guide, self-appointed, but good as gold. And what a trip we had to Casablanca! Morvern was sure she would never see her dearest again, and may be we all had some thoughts about the same. Anyway, Azzedine was smiling, waving, speaking, taking pictures, tooting, all at the same time he was driving. The luck was, nobody was driving very fast. And that was not the luck only for us, but for everybody, because there were school children, donkeys with trailers, scooters with trailers, busses, sheep, you name it. It was an adventure and difficult to believe it, if you had not experienced it. We sometimes wondered weather it was right or left driving, because Azzedine used mostly the white stripe in the middle, - and then he could speak to all on both side of the road. But smiling, yes he was smiling and having a very good time. So did we. He helped us bargain in the markets and he showed us the county’s pride, the Mosque. It’s the second biggest in the world and it took 7 years and 10 000 men to build it. It’s 320 years old and the tower is 200 meters high. And it is lovely!
That night we had a big dram. We were thankful for our good and rich lives, our nice homes and our good health. But may be we should be smiling more, to all kind of people and also give a bit more of our hearts and feelings away???.... We are never too old to learn.
We celebrated Norway’s national day, the 17th of May, with grace and honour. Champagne for breakfast! And the breakfast table was decorated with Norwegian colours and we drank our champagne out of nice glasses with a stem.
We had filled up our fuel tank and now we were ready for the last bit; to Gibraltar.
Early morning, the 18th of May we headed north and to the Gibraltar Street. Quite a lot of swell and the wind straight ahead and other times from “all directions”. The wind was sometimes strong, 30 knots, and the current was not giving us any help, on the contrary, it was awful and the spray was all over the boat. Hard time for our brave men, while the ladies were “down under” most of the time. Anyway, we got there, after 34 hours with motor sailing and we could say “hello” to the British Empire’s ”old colony”, Gibraltar.
We had lovely days in Gibraltar. Relaxing, shopping, very little sightseeing, because we have been there before. Øystein climbed the mountain and said hello to the apes, while we were more lazy and just enjoyed life.
Thuesday the 22nd of May Morvern and Alex were going home, after spending nearly 4 weeks in Hebe. Sad, but we knew it and we also knew there’s not too long till we meet again. This stay has been quite a challenge, because we had hard crossings in rough sea. But we all managed well and our friendship gets stronger for every time we are together.
Long time since Morvern wrote from our trip, so I’ll try to give you some impressions from our new life.
Ribedeo is really a nice town. So pity that John never saw much of it, as he was in “bed” with a sore back. We were waiting for better weather and Sunday the 17th of Sept. we took a small trip, to a little village called Carina. The sun was lovely, but no wind, so we had to use the engine (and the very, very expensive fuel).
But we stayed only that night, because now La Coruna was not too far away.
LA CORUNA – the 18th of Sept.
What a lovely town!! The square- Plaza de Maria Pita was 11200 m2. There were statutes and the most unique old buildings and lovely new ones.The town is also called the City of glass, because the face of the town was covered with big and new buildings of glass.This was a cultural experience for all of us and we loved to be there. And so we had to!
The tropical hurricane Gordon was outside and we also got a taste of “him” in the marina. We were safe there, but we all had a big job cleaning the boat when she got covered with the black dust from the coal store, on the other side!!
Alex and John used a whole day to get gas. We were now in “Manjana- country” and have to respect their laid back way of life. John walked some miles to get cables and electronic stuff, and the ladies did some washing, cleaning and so on. An ordinary day….The marina was quite “Nordic” with lots of boats from Scandinavia. We had met some of them before and some we met later, as well.
Anyway- we had to leave the beautiful town and go out in the rather rough sea. It was Sunday the 24th and that trip was not very nice. Rain and big swell and the wind straight ahead. But we made it to Camarinas and got lovely sunshine when we arrived.
Next morning we moved on, to Portosin. We passed Capo Finisterre in less sea then yesterday and we were very thankful for that.
Porto was the next stop. None of us like the town too well, but John had “things” to do there and after some miles at foot and still with a bad back, we all gathered in Hebe to eat the most delicious dinner and good wine.
Next day was nice with dew, a pale sun and no wind. We had to use the engine to get to our next destination; Viana do Castelo.What a lovely little town. And we were now in Portugal. Warm weather, lovely and cosy.We had our dinner in a unique restaurant- just ask Alex (he got the kisses!!!)
LEIXOES – PORTO
Our next destination was Porto and the marina Leixoes. It was pissing rain and we had to watch all the fishing nets while we were sailing. There were hundreds of them.But we got there- it was only 40 nm. The weather was a bit unstable, some sun and some rain. The temperature was not too bad and we all wore shorts.
Nice place to stay and we took the bus into the city- Porto (quite an experience!!!). Another unique city and so many old and lovely looking buildings. Some parts were a bit “worn out”, but I felt I could have many days just wandering around and feel the culture. It’s like being in “the good old days” at the same time knowing the reality of to day.
On our way to Lisbon, we visited Averia; the capital of bacalao, according to our son Johan. We stopped at Figuera da Foz, Nazare and at last Lisbon. Had some bad weather; windy and big swells, but with the solid and reliable captain, we made it. The date was 4th of October.
Lovely Lisbon and lovely Cascais, where we stayed in nice marina. Days passed quickly and soon Alex and Morvern were going to Faro to visit Joan and Norman in Villa Moura.
We were waiting for Øystein, who were sailing with us to Madeira. John and me were “tourists” in Lisbon and had lovely days and lots of sightseeing. Beautiful city!!! Well worth seeing.
MADEIRA- here we come
Twelve o’clock sharp the 10th of Oct. we took off for the green island in the Atlantic. Some swell, a bit wind, but most of the 4 days there was too little wind. But John had to claim the mast once, which was not easy. The halyard for the jib cracked and as the reliable captain he is, he was the one to repair it!! Regardless protest from his wife.
The wind blow one way and the waves the other and the captain, with a weight of aprox. 0,1 ton was rather sweat when he came down after half an hour. Puhh… Apart from that, the crossing was lovely. Bright moonshine and thousands of stars, which Øystein told me a lot about, made the nightshifts short and interesting.
We arrived at Quinta do Lorde – the east end of Madeira -Saturday the 14th of Oct. at 11.00 and looked forward to see Alex and Morvern again. They were flying in from Lisbon and we had a good dram when we met again!! Øystein had to go home on Sunday- pity him, but he had to get back to work!!! We had lunch together in Funchal, but we all wished he could stay for some days more.
Lovely days on Madeira. Rented a car for two days and saw some spectacular scenery. So nice to be together again. We had lunch on Churchill’s restaurant; we saw the highest sea cliff in Europe. Lovely scenery, so fertile in the mountains on the west side. The roads were not the best, but the captain handled the car as good as the boat and we got home safe and sound every day- and were able to take an anchor dram!!
TENERIFE – SANTA CRUZ
Off we go. It was Wednesday the 18th and just after midday we set the course for Tenerife. Some “humpty-dumpy” at the beginning, but we also had some good sailing. The nightshifts were fine, but we missed the moon to lighten up. After 43 hours we arrived in Santa Cruz, the capital of Tenerife. A nice, but very busy town, with the marina nears the centre.
We rented a car in Funchal as well, and were happy about all the roundabouts, because it was not easy to find out of their street system, and we did not find what we were looking for so easy. Anyway, we were not in a hurry!
The scenery was much like Madeira, at least when we came up in the mountains. It is so lush, so green and fertile on the west side, with lovely flowers and threes. But we all agreed none of us would be able to get the croft down from the steep hills!!!
Then the day came; Alex and Morvern were leaving us, to go back to Scotland- Shetland. We had known it, but tried not to think about it. We have been living so close for ten weeks and had such good time together and our friendship had got stronger for every day.
We dried the tears and waved them farewell for now- till the next time!!!!
John and I stayed in Santa Cruz for another 4 days. One day we went to Las Palmas, the capital of Grand Canary, with the big “Fred Olsen-ferry”. It took only 1 hour across and half an hour with the bus. Nice, for a change. Otherwise we did some shopping (for the boat!!!) in Santa Cruz. Walked and walked and walked- for hours. (Yes, I know I need the exercise!)
Sunday the 29th: Time for a new marina; San Miguel on the very south side of the island. Some friends were there for tree week’s holiday and we planned to meet. The marina was not finished yet, but it was ok to stay there for a couple of days. The weather was warm and nice and we had two really fine days/nights together.
PUERTO MOGAN – GRAND CANARY
We had to motor most of the crossing from Tenerife to Grand Canary. The sky was dark and threatening- and soon we had some tremendous thunder with rain and lightening. But it did not take long time to dry up and after a couple of hours, the sun came and we had lovely weather.
The crossing took us 8 hours. The waves were reasonable, but it’s always a bit swell in this sea area. We had booked our berth here in Mogan month ago and it is a beautiful place. Lots of flowers all around us. Small shops, restaurants, people walking around, lots and lots of sailing boats.
There are small apartments alongside the marina, as well, with big palms and more flowers. And it’s so quiet, even if it’s sometimes busy and in the evening all’s shut at 11 o’clock. At the moment, there’s a Jazz Festival on and we are in the middle of lovely “Dixie land music”. Absolutely marvellous!!
The temperature has been rather high. In the beginning of November is was over 30 degree C and I preferred to sit in the shadow. Now it’s better. Aprox 25-27 during the day and quite chilly at nights – 20 or even 18. But the sun shines more or less every day. The people are nice and life is good, very good.
And time passes so quickly here. We sometimes feel the day is gone before we have done something decent. We often go with the bus to the small towns nearby. We have visited the Seaman’s church in Arguienneguin, the Norwegian Club there and friends in Puerto Rico, friends are visiting us here , we get new friends- you name it….We rented a car and went up to the mountains. Lovely places and we will do that again.
But now we are leaving for Norway and rain, rain and rain. Anyway, we are looking very much forward to see our family- special our grandchildren- and friends.
We wish all our friends and readers A LOVELY AND PEACEFUL CHRISTMAS
AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR.
1.st Travel log - Shetland to Ribado
Hebe arrived in Burravoe, Yell, Shetland on 28 June with 4 crew on board – much feasting for some days – very enjoyable! Birger and Jørgen returned to Bergen with the Norrona and Hebe left for Lerwick. Overnight in Lerwick for some (necessary!?) supplies – John, Marit and Alex left for Orkney and Stornoway. This took approximately 10 days as weather was not kind. A lovely rolled roast of Burravoe mutton was enjoyed rounding Cape Wrath! From Stornoway to Kyleakin, Skye (my home town) and Alex left by train for Aberdeen and home for 3 wedding celebrations and the first visit of our 6 month old grandson, Kristian – a lovely, little boy!
Alex and Morvern left Shetland on Monday, 14 August for Aberdeen and onwards to Ireland and joined Hebe in Dublin City Moorings on 16 August along with Leiv ( lovely 60 years old man!) and Hilde Marie. Spent some days together – 2 to return to Ulsteinvik – Hebe and crew onto Arklow – nobody liked it much. Moved onwards after one night to Kilmore Quay and spent lovely time with Anton, a Norwegian and his Irish wife, Tracey and two lovely sons, Kristian and Stefan.
We left here for Falmouth – overnight sail – OK but glad to reach land. Lovely marina with good facilities and spent some days preparing for the move to France. Sailed for France on 30 August – overnight again but much more pleasant than the previous one. Moved along French coast, L’Aber Vrach, Port Louis, Belle Ile, L’Herbaudiere and finally Les Sables d’Olonne where Hebe was built. It was very lovely here and so warm. Several nice days here and got organised for the move to Spain.
We took 40 hours to cross to Gijon in the North of Spain – really enjoyed this port and the town. Alex and I spent a couple of days on our own babysitting Hebe while Marit and John visited Johan and family in Villa Bacalao (where we were in May). From there to Ribadeo, hoping to move today and then be in La Coruna by the weekend but too much wind and swell so we are sitting still and resting. This is a hard life for retired people!!
We are really enjoying this experience and looking forward to moving to Portugal, Madiera and finally the Canaries.