Saturday, January 28, 2012

Cruise of the ‘Aziz’ a Pioneer 9 Part 11

Larger than life sculpture at La Corruna

After twenty minutes I had enough of the sun. I plastered my face, arms and legs with sun barrier cream and made myself presentable by dressing in shorts and a shirt. La Corunna was only 7.5 miles away, but there was hardly any wind and it was baking hot. I prepared 32 metres of anchor chain by laying it on the side decks in anticipation of our arrival. Two miles from the harbour the wind failed altogether, which left me with the only one option if I wanted to be in before nightfall, and that was to row! I made an improvised rowlock by tying a loop of rope around the base of a stanchion through which I placed the shaft of an oar. This arrangement allowed me to stand in the cockpit while facing forwards and to row by pushing forwards. If I kept a regular rhythm I could propel ‘Aziz’ at a speed of about a knot. Slowly I rowed two miles to the anchorage, but it was hard work. I finally anchored within the shelter of the breakwater at 2300.

On the morning of Saturday, 26th July I was making breakfast when the Camping Gaz ran out. The canister had contained enough Gaz for 26 days, which was more than I expected. That gave me a measure for future use. I didn’t have a problem finding a replacement canister from a nearby store, and I was surprised that it only cost the equivalent of £2.42. When I did my laundry I realised how economical I had been by only wearing 4 pairs of socks, 4 underpants, 1 shirt and 1 pair of jeans since leaving the Scillies! I phoned home for an exchange of news. Soon the ship’s battery was fully charged. That evening I enjoyed watching a fiesta.

My port log contains short notes about things that interested me; for example, on Sunday, 27th July there were not just a few people who were exercising by jogging and cycling along the breakwater, there were many. A passion on the part of locals for physical exercise was very evident. I observed that there were cruising yachts from Germany, France, Belgium, Sweden, Switzerland, and England. Early in the afternoon a number of locals participated in an around-the-buoys race. All day long, numerous fish swam around my yacht, periodically coming to the surface for gulps of air.

Monday, 28th July was a bit special, because I met Max and Erica from ‘Blue Clipper’, a Van de Stadt Legend 34. Max rowed from his yacht to introduce himself and he invited me to see her and to meet Erica. These lovely people subsequently continued south, visiting Portugal, Madeira, and the Canary Islands and far beyond to the other side of the Atlantic before returning to England. (For more info. visit Max’s website – see link below.)

That same day, I became acquainted with Mike Dwyer of ‘Allegro 111’, a Summer Twins catamaran, out from Falmouth. You’ll see why I named him, Mr Engine. He said he would help me fix ‘Aziz’s’ recalcitrant engine, on the condition that I would do all the dirty work. This was a good deal, as it would cost me nothing, but with his knowledge there was a chance it could be made to go. He told me how to dismantle certain parts of the engine and how to reassemble them. When he had examined every part he said there was no fault with them. After I dutifully put the engine back together I turned the starting handle, and hey presto! It sang as it had in the beginning. The machine ran sweetly ever after. Life is full of mysteries and that was one of them. If you are reading this Mike, thanks a thousand.

Text for the Day

Revelation 14:12 ‘Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.’


Blue Clipper - Van de Stadt Legend 34


Bursledon Blogger said...

Bill thanks very much for the kind mention max

William Serjeant said...

I love your photo Max. It gives a sense of scale.