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Gird up your loins…

I have set a plan (…remember my “no plan” plan is actually a myriad of self negating plans in perfect harmony…) to get to Baiona over the next 4/5 days.

The weather forecast is mixed – and will no doubt be totally unreliable as the past few months have shown. If you remember anything of your O-level Geography a glance at the pressure charts for the Atlantic Coasts of Europe will show a very complex and problematic situation even for the US National Weather Services GFS model. By the way everyone has a “favourite” weather site but they are almost all based on the GFS data – simply because US law enforces the US government departments to publish the data copyright free. The only difference is presentation.

To give non-sailors an insight this means I have spent much of the day comparing various weather sites; downloading GRIB files (wind and wave data) and plotting routes into a PC based software package called Neptune C-Map Planner. This is not a very easy package to use, but I have had it since 2012 and having bought digital charts (yes, charts come from separate companies) that are compatible with it, I am too mean to replace the whole lot.

This is what the plan looks for step 1: A Coruna to Camarinas for example:


Then I output the plan to a text file and save it to disc. Then, I use a little program written just for me by Rob (in his spare time!) that reads the text file and outputs a GFX file – the common interface format for GPS devices. Then, I copy that file on to a micro SD card – you know the one that is smaller than your little finger nail – and gingerly take it up to the cockpit and read it into the Raymarine chart plotter.

Since I was planning on doing one night stopovers, I anticipated that I would not have the mental capacity to get this right every night – so I plotted the entire route for each of  the 4 legs:

1. A-Coruna to Camarinas: Club Nautico de Camarinas

2. Camarinas to Portosin – Real Club Nautico de Portosin

3. Portosin to Vilanova de Arousa – Marina Arousa – Vilanova

4. Vilanova de Arousa to Baiona – Monte Real Club de Yates

I also decided it would be wise to do all the looking up of marina VHF channels; phone numbers (they don’t always answer the radio); tide times and heights for each port; and pilotage warnings for the approach. All this gets noted at the top of the ships log for that leg.

That would mean that at each stopover I would only need to check the weather forecast for the next day.

All set – off to get some sleep ready for some serious loin girding at 0600 on Friday.

4 comments to Gird up your loins…

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