Our last mission in A Coruna was to find a supermarket. We had a useless tourist map so with a bit of googling we marked where the shops should be. We found the street but couldn’t see any signs for a supermarket or any kind of shop. We must have looked lost because a lady stopped and pointed underground. We had to go 3 stories underground to find the supermarket! Then it was the long walk home with heavy bags. We left A Coruna and stopped at Corme for the night. It was a rocky night and the mossies found us so we upped anchor and came along the coast to Ria De Camarinas. It is calm, warm and the sea temperature hit 24.8. Two of the crew thought that was warm enough to jump in the other two seriously doubt it’s warm enough. We will pump up the tender tomorrow and explore Camarinas and then find a beach in the afternoon. There are lots dotted around and we may even have one to ourselves.
Moving from a house to a boat has many challenges not least wifi needs for a boat full of teens. We sorted out the wifi dongle on the back of the boat and have a wifi access point which feeds all our laptops, phones and tablets. Coruna Marina has good wifi so we are making the most of it uploading photos to the blog, catching up on emails and admin.
But using public wifi comes with risks and we were reminded about an essential service we’d forgotten to use since moving onboard. A VPN service which creates a Virtual Private Network which pretends you are in the UK (or US or other Eurpoean country of your choosing) and also has the added benefit of keeping your emails, passwords and internet traffic safe from anyone sniffing around the public wifi as it it encrypts all your data.
It was zombies that reminded us….and no I don’t mean the teens. We tried last night to catch up with Channel 4’s The Returned which we became addicted to before we left the UK only to be given the message ‘we cannot show you content in your area’.
Ah, of course not we’re in Spain. We need to look as though we are connecting to the internet from the UK. There are many services available to do just this. Over the last few years I had tried many of them when back in the UK to watch US shows on Hulu and I’d also used it to download an album which was only available on the US Amazon. I had finally settled on VPN Authority – www.vpnauthority.com – which just worked. Reasonable cost, fast and seamless.
I just hadn’t thought to use it on Aditi. We fired up VPN Authority and The Returned was visible! Fantastic, we now have 3 episodes to catch up on.
It’s not just for cruisers or travellers. If you use any kind of public wifi such as hotels or coffee shops you should think about using a VPN service especially if you email, shop or do your banking online whilst out and about.
I will be setting up the laptop to automatically use VPN Authority as the default connection. I’ll also setup the tablet for when we’re ashore and using free wifi. Just as soon as I catch up with the zombie action in France…
Whilst snaking our way to a supermarket we got diverted by the medieval market that was in Coruna for the week. Fortunately it is mostly about feasting. Calamari, mixed seafood, paella
‘Potatoes for the poor’
Marina life: Our Swedish near neighbour packed up this morning and got off to a slow start leaving the berth. The 56 ft X-yacht bow blew onto our Dutch neighbour’s beam. We were able to fend off whilst it slipped back slowly but as soon as reverse was engaged the pressure was far too great. The anchor then caught on a wooden port hole cover and thick carved wooden railing posts. There was a crunch and there now remains a couple of anchor grooves in the woodwork.
We moved ahead of an expected strong south westerly on Sunday which is to be followed by a return to north winds on Tuesday. Yesterday’s passage from Viveiro to Coruna was spent 2 miles off the northern cliffs hugging the coast. We discovered that the win does the same and so despite turning through about 180 degrees during the journey there was a headwind the whole way. Add to this a confused 2m swell which we had to take mostly beam on we rattled and rolled on a journey that seemed to take forever into an anchorage just outside La Coruna off a seaside town called Mera. Dropped anchor at midnight to the very loud sound of an excellent Spanish live band which in effect played to the whole bay. At 1 am we had a very impressive fireworks display and the continuation of live bands certainly until 3am.
The wind is blowing into the cove which is open to the southwest so we may have to move if the weather deteriorates. We are on a mission to find some water maker pickling mix (sodium metabisulfite) so we can start using the watermaker.
Anchorage east of Coruna Marina – we moved out as it hit Force 5. There is a two mile fetch from the south west and the lee shore was only 100m astern. We moved to the Coruna marina (need water anyway) and the wind climbed to force 7/8 for a period. Pity because this was a great little anchorage.
Like living in a Dolphinarium as we were surrounded by fins this morning; too many to count. Reckon we are the attraction for the dolphins rather than the other way around. We are currently hard to trace as marine traffic AIS relays rely on volunteers to pick up the signal and pass it on to the web; I guess nobody in the Ria is doing that at the moment.
Looking north at anchor in Viveiro
The marina entrance to Viveiro
Octopus from the Pulperia in Viveiro
Our meeting with San Miguel has had to be postponed and as my expert friend Juan Manuel rightly informed us it’s a hard find in this area. Beers are Mahou, Bodegas and Galicia Estrella the latter of which we found to be very good as recommended. Anyway back to the toilet – double trouble – both the outlet side was flowing back in and the suddenly the fresh water flush side went on full permanent flow dumping our fresh tank water non-stop into the toilet and out to sea. All pumps were flicked off at the switch panel and the solenoid for the inlet stripped and cleaned. The outlet joker valve was then changed and all seems to be back in order. More tools and spares need to be carried than one can fit in an average hardware store. Just finished listening to Imelda May’s set at a concert onshore. It’s 1 am and we are into a band change over. Don’t know the line up but looks like it may be a big fiesta tomorrow as some fishing vessels are fully dressed in flags.
Including ‘throw another shrimp on the barbie’, commuting downtown (no traffic but parking is nearly always a problem!), and ringo star
Arrived Ria de Vivero 8pm last night after eventually getting in a good 18 hours sailing. Set the auto-pilot to navigate by wind for the last 140 miles and it blew us here along with another couple of yachts who departed Camaret around the same time. Fantastic bay with a pod of dolphins playing in the harbour. Large, calm and deep anchorage. Probably going to get the tender out and spend a few hours ashore. So far we have clocked up just 5 hours ashore in total as there is much to do on and around the boat, however, now in Spain we have an important meeting with San Miguel to tend to. Some photos will follow.
At 0900 hrs we cut across a shark which was headed along the Biscay continental shelf. Just below the rail at midships it turned first to the bow then decided to had round the back and glide off into the distance. From that point on we have had dolphins leaping into the air and crashing down about a half mile off. Then came the whales! No idea what the prevalent species are but they appear to be about the same size as our ship and are normally cruising north east. We have had them dive under our keel and have had whole pods passing just alongside. About 50% of the time they then turn back and stay on the beam for a time which we guess has more to do with fish stocks than us. Still motoring into a 5 to 8 knot headwind. Big variations in sea state and tidal flow sometimes across a few hundred yards of sea. Temp changes also surprising within the currents. Been part of a Spanish line fishing fleet for a few hours perhaps trolling tuna. Friendly and professional crews sometimes lining the deck to wave hello. Look forward to seeing what they land at the other end. Have slowed the pace due to vibration and noise around the prop shaft. Could be that we have picked something up, that the neoprene cutlass bearing needs replacing or the prop needs balancing. Given that it was OK yesterday then probably not a balance issue. Anyway all smooth enough at 5 knots through the water. About 150 miles to La Coruna.
A small proportion of whale to starboard
Like buses they come in 3s or in this case 30s! Most of the day we have been followed by a shark (seen by Paul at 9am next to the boat), whales and dolphins. Then all afternoon we have these groups of fishing boats to pick our way through. We must be on a good fishing route! All’s well, still motoring. Hope the picture comes through via SSB.
Sailing Biscay at Night