The Rain in Spain Falls Mainly on the…

November 4, 2013 posted by admin

Monday November 4, 2013

Diane is still in port in Gijón, Spain. With limited communications, it’s Tim blogging again from Diane’s eMails, competitors posts and the news from the Mini Transat web site.

Diane in Gijón, Spain

Diane, remarkably dry in Gijón, Spain (click it for a larger image)

After hitting Diane with an eMailed crack about slipping out of her wet gear and into a dry martini, she replied: Love your comment about beer vs dry martini.  The wonderful thing about wearing a dry suit is that you are always very dry, but it´s not the nicest cocktail smell when you take it off.  I had a beer in my hand about 20 minutes after hitting the dock and then a plate of Octopus and potatoes and another beer within the hour at a local restaurant.  This place is awesome!

This picture cues a couple of shout outs: J. Coletes for posting it to the OGOC facebook page, as well to Raymarine and their Canadian distributor CMC Electronics, Diane’s supplier.   They came through with a truck load of equipment including some Evolution Autopilots. All of Diane’s equipment worked and nothing broke while crossing Bay of Biscay. There is a lot of broken gear in Gijón, but none of it is Diane’s. I can only think “nothing beats reliability” while reading Richard Hewson’s description of crossing the Bay of Biscay:

The Raz was basically boiling with confuesd waves and sea, and it was pretty crazy…

By the evening of day two I had not seen another boat for about 24 hours, and had lost all radio contact with the support boats and rest of the fleet. I guessed I was either doing really well…

It was a very bumpy ride, and every time the [boat] fell off a wave, I was sure that there would be some damage, the impact was so extreme. Imagine crashing your car into a wall every two minutes for two days, that is what the it was like!

Five protos made it into Puerto de Sada (blue), one boat into Santander (yellow) and 69 into Gijón (anchor). You can interact with this “chart” or open it in a new window with the link at the bottom.

View OGOC: Gijon Pitstop in a larger map

With the race being abandoned, the transit across the Bay of Biscay does not count for anything. Regrettable for the leading boats – skippers who were doing well on the leg. The plan is to have the fleet regroup in Puerto de Sada. The fleet is awaiting a weather window for a 115 nm delivery sail from Gijón to Sada. Looks like Tuesday or Wednesday. Expect details will be announced later today.

The race committee mooted a Tuesday delivery arriving Wednesday and restarting the race on Thursday. Under that scenario, being one of the lead protos into Sada, enjoying Tuesday and Wednesday to prepare (even if just snoozing), does have its advantages. Then again, as the Mini Transat race will be restarting, the boats that had to bail after the Douarnenez start, are eligible to race. Stan Maslard, who retired shortly after the start, to fix a technical problem with his boat,  is currently trailering it to Sada. Trailering seems a whole lot easier on the boat, equipment and carcass than the crossing the fleet endured.

So… what do 69 single handed sailors, mostly french, who wash up en masse, on a spanish shore, with a change of warm layers for beneath their foul weather gear, but no street clothes, let alone hotel reservations do? They are very glad of the close links and good will between Douarnenez and Club Naval de Gijón, the responsiveness of the harbour master and the active support from the city of Gijón. Mini-Transat news (with some editing) reports:

It’s hard to imagine all the little annoyances caused by the impromptu stop. When the Mini-ists left for this first stage they had just a few essential changes of clothes for life at sea. What they had with them was simple and functional, but not ideally adapted to life ashore.

The stopover in Gijón raises some logistics, especially for those who were relying on their shore crew (often families) to have things organised for them in Lanzarote at the end of this first leg.

Working on the principal that we are never stronger than when we work together, the Mini-ists have taken over (with the generous agreement of the club) the premises of the Club Maritimo de Gijón and have unearthed some local gems. A sort of boarding house with dormitories has been requisitioned for the fleet. Competitors have come together in groups working together to purchases underwear, socks and other items of clothing where needed, toda en español. 

This curious new gang attracts some inquisitive glances in the streets of the Asturian port, but at least they are dry. And the local tapas bars are experiencing an unexpected windfall in early November.

Sailing is always an adventure. Personally, I’d rather forage for socks and underwear than endure the days of boat breaking pounding through each and every wave. C S Forester’s hero Diane Hornblower is alive & well and enjoying some tapas with her friend Horatio.

I’ll update things when I next hear from Diane or the Race Committee announces its delivery frobnostications.

2 Responses to “The Rain in Spain Falls Mainly on the…”

  1. john globemasterone Says:

    Thanks Tim.

  2. john globemasterone Says:

    BTW…great pic of Diane.

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