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You will need my sat phone number which you can get by emailing me. Although the screen will say 160 chars - I only get the first 108 (...its the usual IT screw up)






Costa da Morte…

A mixture of trepidation and excitement fills me as I cast off and motor out into the pitch black of the pre-dawn Coruna bay. The sea is calm in the bay so I do a gentle pirouette with the boat, taking my time to get all the fenders, and ropes stowed using the lights of the marina wall. Motoring out into the mist that is common along this coast I reflect on the age old reputation of the Coast of Death. This would have been quite a challenge for those sailors of vessels powered purely by sail and using hand drawn charts of dubious origin. I have all the advantages of GPS, electronic chart plotting and radar. I have every system on. Nevertheless, I am conscious that these thing scan fail, so I always try my best to take in my surroundings and my bearings. Unfortunately, visibility is about 100yds and the mist obscures the sky too. What would I have done if I had been skipper of a tall ship in 1815 – turned back?. Probably not, the investment in the ship and the men would have been too  great…Like them, I would have just boldly gone.

Costa da Morte

Leaving the bay, and turning westwards a gentle wind picks up – an easterly wind as forecast. I am grateful that the forecast was right. That means I will have easterlies and then north-easterlies later just as I turn southwards along the coast. On top of that the moderate swell is coming from behind and giving the boat a gentle push. I unfurl the genoa but keep the engine running at idle to try and maintain my 5kt passage planning speed.

As dawn breaks, the sun begins to burn off the mist, the glorious craggy coast line is revealed bordered by sky blue water as the swell rolls up and breaks on the rocks in a white and foamy applause. Plenty of time to fiddle with my camera and the new brackets that I bought on eBay. Another directors cut video has been posted on the video page….

By midday the wind has built to 15kts from the NE, coupled with the swell and Enterprise is bowling along with full genoa. All I have to to is gybe every hour or so. I still have my big jacket on, coupled with the hot sun and rushing of the swell as it passes under the boat, I am soon nodding off. I set the phone timer to 30 mins – just in case. Presently, a tiny bird decides to take a rest by sitting on the wind instrument at the top of the mast. It hitches a lift nearly all the way to Camarinas – unfortunately its departure doesn’t appear to persuade the wind instrument from continuing to read 0.0. Another job gets added to the todo list.

Safely moored up in the petite and humble marina at Camarinas; boat washed down; everything put away; showered; I decide to make a cup of tea. It is only then I see the deadly toll that the Costa da Morte has taken. The Kilner jar full of goose fat – so lovingly transported thousands of miles – has shattered. Brown goo covers the walls of the fridge and pretty much everything inside, shards of glass lie in wait for me as I try to mop the mess with a sponge. This goose fat has been in the fridge since at least 2012 so it has literally travelled at least 3,500 miles.

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Enterprise at Camarinas Aerial view
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Death of a Kilner jar Goose fat surprise
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Lovely fruit cake..thanks Sam! A little refreshment

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