The voyage on Pogo 12.5 EASY

Sainte Marine France to Lisbon Portugal

850 NM or 1470Km

Departure 11 Aug 2012, winds out of south west, heading south south west

Work still goes on the Pogo40 SUR with Paul and Gael (and his son Tituan)

3PM : Coming out of Sainte Marine on EASY

We have 25 knot head winds, boat speed is 11 knots and heeling nicely. She sails the flag of the Commonwealth (BVI).

After 40 miles and 5 hours on board computer estimates time to destination (Spanish coast) is 31 hours! Also note how the wind forecast from GRIB shows up on the display (the L symbols scattered all over the map indicate wind direction and speed).

As it turns out, because of softening winds and a changing wind direction more out of south south west, it will take us over two days to reach the Spanish coast

 

Alex has time to prepare some nice tea for us! Note the nicely laid out cupboards, stove, etc.

I take the night shift 2 to 5am first night, midnight to 3am second night.

 

This is my bunk... note the nice 'net' so I don't roll over even when the boat is heeled the 'wrong' way.

This is the cockpit with the GPS, AIS, VHF, computer display and electrical controls and electrical monitoring. One can see the display when sailing from above.

The displays on deck can be programmed to indicate whatever info that is desired

Have a few gusts above 30knots during the night. Even with apparent wind angle of 30 degrees we cannot go to Cap Finistere which is off to the southwest. Grib says winds out of southwest, which pretty much is accurate. 5PM take one reef 6PM winds easing, full sail again, 8 knots 2AM heading 200, wind wsw 10kt 6am heading 190, wind 8kt 9am heading 165, wind 14kt , pos 46 00 N, 4 39 E we are in the middle of supposedly one of the most trecherous areas on the seas

Grib forecast for sunday 3pm: there is a nasty low pressure west of us 545pm sunday heading 200, wind 17kt, sea choppy, slightly cloudy and heading downwind, nice compared to 30 hours headwind so far.

Alex gets ready to shoot some video with the GoPro in rough weather... harness with life line

I am on 1am to 3am night shift.

Sunday 9pm light headwind and light seas very nice sail, full sails, doing 6kn

 

Monday 13 aug 2012 I am on 2am to 5am night shift. At 3am wind picks up from ssw 17 to 20kn, take one reef, roll in solent 20% tack and heading 160 towards spanish north coast, 60NM to go, rolling seas , mix of waves, big ones from west see one other sailboat heading north on Tuesday

6AM strong 25kt winds, furl some jib and take one reef .

This is the early morning watch when EASY is on autopilot.

For meals we started having canned food or just soup when sailing as cooking was a bit messy. I had bought a bunch of cans of the Bretagne version of SPAM. But after one can, we decided that once was heenuff!!!!!

 

4PM we decide to motor to a harbor in Galicia as going all the way around the Spanish north west point is a bit risky (another 100 miles or 20 hours), given that a storm was forecast in the area for Wednesday. Once in port we'll rest and check the latest weather as we have no sat phone. Can also fix the fresh water leak (we lost 90% of our fresh water) but still have lots of bottled water. Can also fix the attachment to the boom pulley (dyneema line was wrongly attached,then worn down and ready to break!)

Nicolas noticed that as we motoring into harbor.

After 340 miles of 'ocean sailing' in 2.5 days my lust for doing this again has dimished substantially, despite the fact that this is one hell of a boat. Know any other 40 foot keel boat that can do over 12 knots into a 27 knot headwind ?

Motoring in towards Aviles need to fix fresh water leak and boom pulley attachement made with dyneema. Looks like stainless is better.

Our GPS track as we arrive in Spain and around cape Finisterre:

We arrive in San Estaban de Pravia (43.552840, -6.086297 ) at 9PM on August 13, an old mining town that was still active up until the 1960s

 

 

Tied up to the dock, next to a French Fountaine Pajot catamaran and a scottish sailboat anchored close by, skippered by Jim who offers us his old Spanish courtesy flag (they were sold out in Sainte Marine-Benodet).

 

San Estaban de Pravia (near Aviles)... nice safe harbor.one french Fountaine Pajot 40 catamaran and a small scottish sloop with Jim. He gives us his old spanish courtesy flag and tells about the wifi tapas cafe. We tie up the boat next to the 20ft harbor wall and climb the embedded steel ladder onto the quai, to have a tapas dinner at 10pm. Then a nice quiet rest during the night.... no KABANG KABANG during the night that would wake us up.

Aug 14, I wake up and have nice cafe and muffin for 3 euros (cheap!). Try to fix running light problem. Discover there is a blown 1A fuse in the panel and we have no spares ! 300K for a such a nice boat and Pogo does not supply spare fuses. Oh well. Later we find the problem is simply an unmarked switch that was turned off ! After downloading the latest GRIB we sail out, west along coast

1PM in 6 to 10 kn winds , doing 5 to 7 knots with 50 degrees apparent wind.

Next stop marina in Ribadeo in 40 or so NM. Wind forecast for Wed is pretty wild. So we may ride out the storm in the marina.

3pm 5kn sailing to Ribadeo and fishing too.

Ribadeo marina.

 

Later we walk up to the old town to have some local seafood, sardines, clams and langoustines.

Storm starts blowing around midnight. Rains most of night and strong gusts, It's good to be safe in harbor.

 

Aug 15 noon, we sail out in light winds and head west along the coast. Do some fishing. Winds pick up. We are tailed by another Pogo12.5 that is one year older. Winds from SW over 20knots. Some serious looks from Nick and Alex!

Playing cat and mouse with older Pogo12.5 from France (cruising version of 'racing' Pogo40) also with 3 reefs.

Ride em cowboy video of EASY heading upwind in 30 knot winds

 

We make it into Viveiro marina.

 

Have potato dinner on boat then ice cream and pousse cafe in the old town. Good Spanish cognac ... til past 2am spanish style.

30Euro marina charge to tank up and recharge batteries.

 

Aug 16 noon we sail out of Viveiro in good SSW breeze, with two reefs and trinquette. Forecast is sunny with SW winds at 17 knots. Huge swells.We average over 7 knots. Other Pogo stops in bay to anchor and maybe go for a swim. We probably won't see them again as they intend to go no further than Coruno. We would have to sail 110 miles per day if we want to arrive in Barcelona before Aug 27 when Nick and Alex catch their flights back to Moscow.

Just before sunset, we sail into Cedeira harbor for the night.

 

We are tied up next to some fishing boats... Alex shows off his sun tan.

17 Aug 2012 Get food and cash in town (about 2 miles) in the morning. Alex and Nico go for a swim. Water is as cool as in Bretagne (or in socal)... about 21C. Not the med or carib! Winds have eased and seem to be out of north east for a short while. We sail out at noon. Light winds SW. 3PM sailing with full mainsail and solent. 10 knot winds

530PM winds pickup 15 knots. Heading 210, speed 8 knots, 30 degrees apparent wind direction. Western tip of spain finally in sight. We are about 10nm NW of Coruna Spain at 6pm 17 aug 2012.

 

Headwinds 12 to 15knots. 20 miles to go before we can head south towards Portugal. Then surprise surprise, a school of dolphins swims around EASY for about 30 minutes.

 

What a show they put on for us ! Vids taken w gopro hd2 then stills w movie maker.

We decide to sail on, remembering we'd have to do over 100 miles per day to reach Barcelona in time. By 5am winds pick up gradually to over 24 knots. Nick decides to head for shelter in nearby harbor Camarinas , about 10 miles away. We rely solely on the GPS and instrument maps to sail in to safety in the dead of night. This is what our GPS tells us at 530AM

We tie up best we can just before 6am in only birth left vacant. Winds don't help.

 

18 august 2012. We are awakened by the harbor master at 9am ! He also appears to be the cleaner, gas man, laundry man for the marina. I walk into town to get some fresh bread and a gift for Annie and Nick. Nicolai gets 20 liters of diesel.

We have wifi in the marina. There are some sailboats from France and Sweden in the marina.

 

Notice the well packed motorcycle that came all the way from Ticino Switzerland to this place ! Wow.

 

We have a spanish melon lunch break.

 

We must wait for harbor master to return from lunch break (at 230pm), before we can sail out. Lights winds from due south.... and our direction is due south ! Must be sailor's murphys law that strikes again. Nick decides maybe it's not so much fun to sail over 100 miles per day non stop and suggests calling it quits in a few days when we reach Lisbon which is 'only' 300 miles away. News from Paul, Gael and Julien is that they will sail Pogo40 SUR out of Sainte Marine to cross Biscay on Sunday as they will have favorable winds out of the north. I wish them good sailing and weather. Forecast is for light winds blowing out of the north for biscay and along the portuguese coast. We arrive at Cape Finisterre at 8pm with hardly any wind at all. Then sail around to Fisterra harbor.

 

Nice little harbor with many cafes and restaurants. Have a very good seafood dinner with excellent Rioja wine. Starts to rain around midnight. Next morning there is more rain and EASY is in the harbor.

19 Aug 2012 Pogo40 with Paul, Gael and Julien leave Sainte Marine today for the same route we have taken, but with tail winds instead of headwinds.

It has rained all night and washed the deck. Thank you mother nature ! Have coffee and croissant in town where I meet two young guys from Bavaria who've been traveling on foot for a month. They say the best way to travel in Spain is by bus. Santiago to Barcelona costs only 30 euros to go from northwest spain to southeast spain but it takes 17 hours. We get latest grib weather forecast from an internet cafe in old town just above the harbor quai.

Sunday 19 August 2012 at 10am. We sail out from Fistrerra 42 55N 9 15 W at 11am Alex gets some good pix of porposes jumping out of water near the sailboat in the evening.

Winds from south 10kt. At 3pm about 20 miles out, we are followed by dophins again. Winds turning slightly favorable but below 11kt. Lisbon 240 miles away or 100 hours under present wind conditions. Have noodles and salad at 4pm. We usually had (good) soup for supper.

We are totally out of synch with any 'normal' time zone. We sleep, sail and eat (little) at almost any time of the day.

This is me having my lunch (one energy bar). I usually just have tea for breakfast. Great way to lose weight ;-)

Later it starts raining. Winds 10kt from S.

Grib forecast for sunday 6pm 20 august 2012 monday, light winds start to blow out of north

Night shift : Nick 0 to 3am, Alex 3 to 6am, me 6 to 9am

Motoring part of the way during the night. Noon. We are about 30 miles off Portugal coast. 41 10N 9 21 W doing about 5kt with 10 kt winds from N , so we sailed about 105 miles south (though we travelled a greater distance as we did not go in straight line). Even with tail wind we get best boat speed when at an angle with wind direction. Lisbon is still 140 miles away or about 1.5 days. See dolphins in early morning. In afternoon see some dolphins again. Try to fish but we sail too fast.

6pm 40 41.11 N , 9 35.28W doing 6-7 kt, on broad reach, wind 11 kt, rollin seas, nice sunny and warm. No other boats in sight. No cell phone coverage out here about 30 miles from coast. About 20 to 30 more hrs to Lisbon depending on wind. Forecast is slowing winds but we have about 50% tank full of diesel fuel... Penta 30HP burns about 2 ltrs per hr and we can do 5 to 7 knots.

21 aug 2012 Tuesday At midnight we are some 40 miles offshore, winds from north at 8kt. No cell phone service.

I have 3-6am shift. Not much going on. A few large ships (one was 366m long) pass a few miles away.

They have lights on their entire length to make sure others don't try to pass between the fwd and aft lights ! They look like lit up islands. Alex has 6-9am shift and films some really neat vids on his gopro (attached to a stick at front of sailboat).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=atzfmnNL9K8&feature=plcp

Alex gets a picture of a cargo vessel that passes us not far away.

AIS audible alert works great. AIS is a ship collision avoidance system. Nick only has its receiver activated so far, as his VHF-AIS needs to be registered to send out EASY's own AIS signal. Below is an example of boats emitting an AIS signal that show up as many triangles off Coruna harbor. There are about 20 ships within the 25 mile circle. Our track is shown in dark blue as we sailed out of Vivero and Ribadeo.

Finally we have cell phone service about 20 miles off shore. I text Carol at 5am (she is glad to hear from me as she was worried!). Nick gets word that his wife expects to see him Thursday. He laughs as we are only moving at 5 miles per hour and still miles away from any harbor or airport. And he will have his work cut out for him to find a temporary harbor and then have someone bring his sailboat to Barcelona. I call Philippe. No word yet from Paul, Gael and Julien on Pogo40 SUR crossing Biscay.They appear to have gentle tail winds. Philippe suggests we stay in Cascais marina and avoid the main Lisbon harbor. That will also save a few hours sailing. So maybe we will get there at midnight or shortly thereafter. We have our last melon after lunch. Alex cooked up some potatoes (kartoffel in Russian ... hey I know that word!) and salad. We see dolphins and other jumping fish. Also see several fish about 40cm in diameter lying at the surface on their side with one flipping flipper out of the water. Strange. There a few fishing trawlers around us within ten miles or so.

4PM we are at 39 13.18 N and 9 33.32 W doing 5 to 6 kt heading 150 degrees. Should be some 7 to 10 hours to Cascais.

 

At 7PM we finally head into the bay of Lisbon, after 60 hours of non stop sailing since leaving Finisterre and over 800 miles since leaving Bretagne we make it to our final destination. I expect winds to pick up as they whip around the hills from the north. Sure enough, from 10 knots they gradually increase to over 30 knots and with full sails we hit a max speed of 13.8 knots around 10PM. Ride em cowboy time again. Not bad for a finale. Nick tries to come about but fails. I take the helm as things were getting a bit serious. We had to jibe or tack before hitting the rocks in a mile or two. Autopilot works great in light winds but not when things get tough. This baby handles just as easy as my little 470.

 

Video link just as we come out of that wind gust doing close to 14knots

 

This is where and when all the excitement happened ...

..at 10PM we tacked south and averaged close to 11 knots over one mile!!!

AND Video link to Pogo40 SUR doing 18 knots off the coast of Coruna

We make it into the luxurious Cascais marina at 1030PM local time (we gain an hour as Portugal is on 'UK' time). The harbor master cannot believe we sailed 60 hours non stop.

We pass a 100ft Wally sailing yacht (150ft mast) ALEXIA, made in Italy, that dwarfs the pogo40 even with its 19m high mast.

We have a nice meal and Irish Coffee in the old town and finish the eve with nice showers and late nite rum and cognac.

We are really tired.

 

What a great ten days this has been. I feel very lucky and fortunate to have met these two nice guys.

 

22Aug2012 I talked to Paul on his cell phone this AM. They are in Coruna. They hit 18 knots ! Wow.

Looks like I can fly Lisbon-Barcelona-Geneva tomorrow or day after on Easyjet for under 300euros.

 

Cruise ship waiting to come in to offload tourists to visit Lisbon via about 15 busses !

 

22Aug2012 We motor 15NM into Lisbon to tie up the boat there until Nick returns in September.

Final resting place for EASY, near the Lisbon aquarium which you can see in background.

Airport is only 10 minutes away by taxi.

This is our GPS track in light blue from the North West coast of Spain down to Lisbon Portugal.

We will later take this neat old tram to tour the old town of Lisbon...what a change to a Pogo! A tram REALLY stays on track!

Our going away dinner for Nick who will fly out to Moscow later that evening

 

Alex and I visit a cool tapas bar-restaurant in the old town (which is full of little streets with restaurants, bars and shops) before heading back to the marina.

EASY as the sun rises : ONE VERY NICE SAILBOAT

Thank you Nicolai and Alex for an unforgettable journey.