And I thought Biscay was big! Over the last seven days, I've sailed 200metres... Yes, I'm still in La Coruna. Why? Well, when I say I've run out of money, I don't lie. But firstly, thank you to Paul & Lisa, from the Swedish sailing vessel Eekaros, currently docked in Amsterdam. They're going around the world, and currently saving for a larger boat. Their current one isn't that much bigger than mine, and they're totaling three persons onboard (including the kitten)! I was looked after like family while in Holland by these lovely sailors, and they've assisted me again with some funds to keep me eating until my first paycheck. Here is a picture of us, with me wearing the same jumper I've had on since I left Australia, in 2006!
Yes, I know the fenders are down. The engine failed, I wasn't suppsed to be sailing...
A few days after arriving here, by great coincidence, someone I previously worked for via the web emailed with a job. So, being in a fortunate position where work is achievable if I just have an Internet connection, I'm staying here for a month to refill the boat with beans & diesel. And make repairs... I don't earn a lot (seriously, working in a bar pays better) but if it means I can keep sailing, then I'll do anything.
I've been here for seven days now, and it's been fantastic. I've met really nice liveaboards, had a chance to recover from my sleepless Biscay crossing, and La Coruna is an interestingly transient place. There are ships from Norway, America, and even Japan coming through, and all going places far away. You can tell the boats that have made it this far, are not the day cruisers normally encountered when out sailing. The boats here have crossed the Atlantic, are just about to, or are heading off to other distant places. This also means that a lot of people are arriving from Biscay, all with stories of fighting FORCE 10 CONDITIONS. I'm well aware Biscay is more than capable of throwing up such harrowing storms, but I must admit, I've been taking Force reports with a grain of salt, and automatically reducing them by 3 points. It's a little bit like estimating wave heights at sea - If you think the swell is six metres, the true height is half. I've been guilty of it myself, but I blame horizon physics, a secret branch of a science I just invented.
It is also really exciting that I've been able to get a little work while in La Coruna, because this means that with about 75% probability (I've just calculated that on a large computer), I will actually be making my own Atlantic crossing by the end of the year, or, at the very beginning of the next. This is really amazing, because I never thought I would be able to achieve it so soon - Every port I've arrived in, I've told the locals that I can't continue, and that I'll have to 'winter'. And every time, something crops up that allows me to just move a little bit further. Also, having done with Biscay, I can relax for a little bit without fearing the weather too much. Biscay was a massive hurdle for the logistics of the trip, however now I can almost day hop down to Lisbon, wait for another good forecast, and go direct to Madeira.
I will probably wait in Madeira, or nearby for another few weeks, possibly I can even work again to make further repairs, and hopefully arrive in the Caribbean with more than $14 and six overdrawn accounts. So far, repairs scheduled for La Coruna, involve replacing all the chain plates for the standing rigging, installing an electronic bilge pump, replacing the mainswitch (again) and generally tidying up.
Other than that, my stay here will mostly involve being cabin bound with my laptop, watching the pilot vessels come in and out of the marina.