Yesterday’s News

Well I’m now up to yesterday. Aren’t you proud, I’ve nearly caught up.

After our walk round the peninsular where the palace was, we hopped back on board and sailed west towards San Vincente de la Barquera, 30nm away We had a nice wind angle but the wind was dropping away and soon we were in motoring mode. As seems to be the way on this part of the coast, we were perpetually fighting a 1-2 kt current.

We got our heads around the fuel tanks and how to swap them over. We haven’t actually filled up as yet, still running on the fuel that came with the boat. We have one tank nearly full and one tank nearly empty. Unlike the Seawind you can swap all 3 engines from one tank to the other, with the pull of a lever.

The motor sail along the coast was very spectacular. The sun was shining on the snow capped mountains in the background, as we passed village after village perched on cliff tops, covered with a mat of very green grass.

We had to swing around a set of “wind towers” sticking out of the ocean. Not sure what the hell these were – strange looking towers to be there.

We got to our destination – San Vincente de la Barquera, an incredibly beautiful old fishing town on an equally beautiful estuary, just after 6pm. The guide book and our English farmer both said to tie up to the fishing boats, but some animated Spanish guy on the wharf had other ideas and waved us away.

We hunted around and found a spare mooring in the estuary, a bit of a way from town. Although the estuary is full at high tide (which it was),it empties out at low tide and we found ourselves in a narrow channel with sandbanks close by either side that night at low tide. But more about 3am later.

We weren’t sure about the mooring so I (and the anchor alarm (set at 66ft)) stayed on board La Mischief whilst Allan and Joan launched “A Little Bit Of Mischief” and set off the explore the town.

There weren’t gone long and were pretty disappointed with the town.

After a quick nightcap, we hit the sack. With things quiet in the boat, you could hear the DJ and the music waft across the estuary. As the night progressed, the music and the DJ got louder and louder. We were quite a way from the town, but we could still hear it clearly. Occasionally cannons would go off and there would be a puff of smoke above the town.

A normal Saturday night in San Vincente perhaps???

With the change of the tide the anchor alarm went off a few times and at 3.30am the music was going off. Think Cas and I might have had a good time there!

Next morning we were up at 8am and off out the channel at high tide heading for Gijon.

And with that, my blog is now officially up to date!!!!!!!





Update for Mike

I got an email from my mate Mike, and because he’s such a nice bloke, I thought I would devote a whole blog entry to his questions….

Mike wrote
Hey if you can add this to your blog somewhere it’ll be good.
Engines? How did you find them?
Steerage, any comments on the forward rudders?
Handling in marinas?
Sail plan, what have you got?
Main Reefing setup?
Rigging winch clutch / sailing control?
Windage in windward sailing, beating AWA?
Elevated helm access?
Forward visibility from the helm? (through the genoa)
Smart charger?
Inverter capacity?
What is that thing under the floor? 13. Watermaker?
Bridge deck clearance?
Tender davits and access?
Drogues and sea anchors?
Solar panels, how did you go with those flexibles

1. Lets start with engines.

The 75HP engines are brilliant. Had a few nervous moments with them early on. Wasn’t used to the power in the marina. Now heavy handed Steve has become light handed Steve, its all good.
They also take you places quickly. Can easily motor along at 10 knots.
They got a great work out in the 60+ knots the other day. Thats when you really need them. Glad I took all the advice that said get the biggest engines you could.

2. The forward rudder setup is no worries provided you remember to centre and lock the wheel when doing all those tricky marina moves. Hopefully they make the motors more efficient when you are motoring long distances.

3. The sail plan consists of a bloody big square topped main and a genoa, plus a geneker. It’s a big boat and it needs pushing along. Plan is to get a parasail before we head off across the Atlantic and Pacific.

4. The main reefing setup is something we are rapidly becoming experts on. Two single line reefs, the third needs to be clipped on at the front. Good set-up – they seem to go in and out quite easily. Getting our heads around reefing the genoa as well. It has reefing spots on it where you can furl to, so you can keep things balanced up.

5. Rigging winch clutch / sailing control – all done back at the steering station via 3 big electric winches. Getting very lazy in our old age. The genoa furling line is a bit dicky – has a clutch thats on the pulley. Might need to look at this down the track. Line storage is also a work in progress. All those lines coming back to the one spot, can get a bit messy at this.

6. Windage in windward sailing, beating AWA – its a cat so not great. About the same as Camelot, except it goes about a knot or so faster.

7. Elevated helm access – I like it. Quite a classy looking wheel and instrumentation. No engine keys. The clears bothered me to start with. Need to roll them up for marina parking. Will be good when we get to warmer weather and can take them off.

8. Forward visibility from the helm? (through the genoa) – not all that great from the helm but bloody good from inside the warm, comfy saloon. The visibility through the all round windows is awesome. Can sit at the inside forward facing nav station (with its Raymarine touch screen) and get a nice clear view.

9. Smart charger – Two of. They work really well and the good part is that with two engines running, we get a nice cumulative effect. Pumping in 46amps at the moment on one engine. Have also put in a Victron Invertor/Charger so the genset and shorepower can charge a lot quicker. James alerted me about the standard chargers that come with Lagoon and I’m glad I did this.

10. Batteries – Could have done this better. Lagoon only use 120AH gel batteries. I have four for a total of 480AH, a lot less than the 3 200AH batteries on Camelot. Can live with this for now because of my charging capacity. Will need more solar.

11. Inverter capacity – Good 3000A unit. Combined with the whopping 11KVa Genset, should be able to drive my dive compressor when I get it.

12. What is that thing under the floor – I don’t know – a hull perhaps?

13. Watermaker – still to be commissioned by Allan and I. Now the water is a clearer we will tackle this. Runs off both 12V and 240V which is useful.

14. Bridge deck clearance – seems really good. Only the occasional slap so far. In fact you could count them on one hand so far.

15. Tender davits and access – old man’s syndrome drove me to get an electric winch for this as well. Still have an issue getting it balanced so that it doesn’t flip sideways when lifting it. Still work in progress. Once up, its good.

16. Drogues and sea anchors – not yet. Still cruising close to coast where theres lots of harbours. Have a Sea Brake at home I will get brought over. Definitely need to address before heading out over the Atlantic.

17. Solar panels – four 100W flexible panels, stuck on roof. Look good but lack of sun until yesterday didn’t allow us to see how they performed. Yesterday they were holding their own with the boat on autopilot and the Bose stereo going. No dedicated monitoring for panels like I had on Camelot. Will need to add a lot more panels – will extend bimini top over dingy with about 6 more of the same panels (not good to mix and match). Thought about a windgen but would rather stick with all solar solution.

There you go. Hope it answered a few questions that I’m sure the sailors in the audience would like to know. For the rest of you, I hope I didn’t bore you too much.