Leg 2, Cowes, Isle of Wight to Porto, Portugal

Start - Cowes 50.46 N 1.18 West

Finish Porto 41.10 N 8.42 W

Photo Album


Weather forecast is NW force 4 backing to SW 3.
Big tidal streams will have a big influence
Cape Finnisterre will be given a wide berth (30 to 100 miles) , as it is one of the most treacherous areas we will face.
We will be crossing the Bay of Biscay, which is notorious in the fall for sudden storms!!

Start will be at 0900 Sep 16th!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  

We had good luck this time as all the boats except one got to the starting line.   John Wicks of Dreamtime has had problems with the halyards in the mast since the get go.  He couldn't get his mainsail up for the start.  He'll be catching up later.   Futuro is leaking so they went to a yard in Hamble for repairs.  They'll be catching up later also.

Day 1
Big Lou started the race like any Scow sailor would, flying down the line with fifteen seconds to go, Mach 2 with his hair on fire.  The next boat across the line was about 1:30 seconds later!  I guess it doesn't matter that much in a 4 day race.  We raced West down the Solent between England and the Isle of Wight past the Needles and out into the English Channel.  As usual, the wind is on the nose and we're beating into a 25kt breeze. What a thrill to sail the same course as Nelson and other historic figures! The good news is its getting warmer!

Day 2

Approach Ushant and get headed by a South breeze and tack to the West - out to the west of an imaginary line from the southern tip of England to Spain - the rule of thumb is to stay west of that line while crossing the Bay of Biscay.

Day 3
We're out of the weather we've had for the last two days and tonight the sky is clear.   Lou and I talk about the universe, how it's expanding and wonder "what's at the edge?"  In the scheme of things, we're not around for a very long time....Our first big school of porpoise. wpe18.jpg (15757 bytes)

Day 5  wpe17.jpg (31116 bytes)  Thick Fog
We're going around Cabo Finnisterre, the Northwestern corner of Spain, in thick fog, no wind and an adverse current.  Besides  the fog, which has reduced visibility to 3 boat lengths, motoring around Cabo Finnisterre is good.  My friend Peter Hughes sailed here with is father and made 1 mile in 48 hours!!  It can be really nasty here at times.  We should finish tomorrow night, my guess is 11:21PM.

Day 6
Finished at 21:51:41.  First boat to get to Porto but we won't know how we did until all the boats get here.  The racing is on corrected time, each boat having a rating factor.  We give most of the other boats time so...Flew the kite in 12kts and thick fog - what a hoot! Then wind was calm so we motored the last two hours.  The finish was kind of exciting as the finish line was in the harbor.  We had to motor into the harbor at 9kts, fog and darkness!   Unfortunately it was my turn at the helm, a little hairy and barely missed a dredge (white over red over white) changing course at the harbor entrance!

Results: First place, by 30 hours.