The Dolphin Chapter

Two posts in one day may seem unecessarily prolific, but soon dear reader(s?) I will be out of range so here goes

The Finisterre pod of dolphins  came for coffee and stayed awhile in the dying SW breeze, as Pippin slowed to a sail flapping walk.  Of course I have a million pictures of white dolphin bellies, dorsal fins and graceful arched backs in the bow wave …. or have I?  We will see.

The thing I have still to learn is to go with the flow.  No deadline means 2.5 knots is just fine, using the engine to help thereafter is not failure, every inch north is a triumph.  Just don’t expect me home for tea anytime soon.

Fishing boats passed either side of me, unseen throbbing engines, a purple blob on my radar though I suspect they had not seen Pippin 1 mile away.  I had set myself the target of passing Finisterre without engine, knowing it would take hours, the loudest sound Pippin’s gentle wake and tugging ropes as we did so

Finally it was a moment of triumph to set Pippin north on the veering wind, farewell Finisterre, the fog began to lift revealing the dark mass of the Cote de Mort to starboard, as gannets dive bombed a shoal, dolphins came to check out Pippin’s new bow wave and the enormous boom of a ship’s fog horn carried across from out to sea.

My next target is to get north to a point around the NW tip of Spain, my start line for Biscay, but it is impossible to make sensible forecasts for I have no idea what direction or speed I will be able to make.  I also have to rest and will ensure I am safely seaward to do so, though rest is the easy bit, sleep more difficult.  I will be only too happy to join Gollum in his deep dark cave!

As the afternoon closed, Pippin was unbelievably able to manage a northerly course as the wind has stayed in the south and west close inshore all day, albeit progress has at times been a crawl.  I still expect north easterlies, but for now all was good.

Cabo  la Boltra, basking in the sunshine, was for me – apart from being very close and formidable looking – famous for only 2 recent events.  The first was it was here that the death of Mrs Woodman’s fruit cake occurred, the last morsal slipping down a treat with a half pint of tea.  The second was that I was passed by the only gin palace I had seen at sea  since I left Guernsey.  I felt a certain smugness knowing that I wwas burning perpsas progressing without the expensive assistance of an internal combustion engine whilst he was perhaps burning £13 of diesel per mile!  I also discovered another fly, which rather soured my smugness.

Pretty Camarinas lies astern now as we head out towards Biscay in the evening sun at a stately 3 knots in the dying breeze and as I don’t know where we will be tomorrow, I’ll post this and pop up again when next in range.




By ajay290

2 comments on “The Dolphin Chapter

  1. Hi John, we’re really enjoying your stories: please keep ‘em coming! And good luck for the rest of the return journey

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