Costa del Morte
Sunday 31 July 2016 Costa da Morte, Spain.
Last week I sailed from A Coruña to Corme where I stayed for one night, then sailed on to Camarinas the next day. On both occasions the wind was mostly F4 out at sea but, on rounding the headland to enter the ria, picked up to 25 knots. I’m accustomed to the wind dropping as I come into the lee of the land but here it seems to accelerate markedly. Anchoring in 25 knots of wind is a lot easier than doing so in light airs, though, as the boat falls off to leeward nicely as the chain is let out. Despite being windy, the water is flat in the shelter of the land so the anchorages are comfortable aside from the moaning of the wind in the rigging.
In Camarinas I met an English chap called Barry who’s sailing in the same general direction as me on his boat, White Shaddow. The weather in Camarinas was forecast to remain windy, and was howling round the anchorage, so we stayed put for a few days. The time passed pleasantly enough: pottering around the boat ticking things off the inevitable to-do list during the mornings before dingying ashore with Barry after lunch to amble round the town, have a drink, do the internet thing and watch the people go by. Barry and I agreed to sail in company for a while, him on his boat, me on mine.
On Sunday we finally left Camarinas and sailed to Muros, passed Cape Finisterre. To the ancients this was the end of the known world. Beyond it lay nothing. It’s hard to comprehend now what it must have felt like to believe that. This coast is called the Costa da Morte and the number of wrecks marked on my chart suggests that’s appropriate. But for me it was a dead run in a steady F4, building to F5 towards the end of the day. The sun shone and the sea sparkled. I’m starting to relax into this new life enough really to enjoy it.
Learning from the last two occasions, just before I approached the ria at Muros I shortened sail to just the staysail and double reefed main. I was glad I did, too, as true to form the wind whistled round the headland. I anchored in sheltered water but the wind was very fluky, gusting from ten to 25 knots and back in the anchorage and coming, it seemed, from all directions.
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