Belgium to Portugal
Hola! We are now in Nazare in Portugal. It is famous for the largest surf waves in Europe.
Along the way from Belgium to here we have stopped in innumerable harbours, some nice and some very nice. Belgium was like the Netherlands, flat, cold and rainy with headwinds as usual but once we crossed into France and the English channel the weather finally cleared up and we had good winds and sunshine along the beautiful French coast, a huge improvement compared to the terrible Norths Sea.
We found a decent weather window to cross Biscay. The choice was no wind or slightly too much wind so being very tired of motoring all the time we chose the latter. To make matters more interesting we were in a hurry to cross because a late arrival to Spain would mean way too much wind. We set most of our sails and just bombed down to La Coruna in Spain, the best distance was 165nm in 24h. We had to spend almost all the time indoors due to some waves breaking into the cockpit. It was on the whole wet, scary, uncomfortable and seasick but at least it was really fast. If we were not in such a hurry we could have sailed slower and more comfortably but this way we missed most of the wind.
Three hours from the spanish coast the wind died and we relaxed, 5 minutes later a freak wave dumped a couple of buckets down the companionway and tore of the autopilots fitting on the rudder quadrant. A M12 bolt sheared right of. This would have been cheap and easy to repair but the stupid autopilot still tried to adujst the course while no longer beeing contrained by the rudder causing this €2000 pice of suicidal garbage from Raymarine to selfdestruct. I had to hand steer for three hours like a peasant! :D
We finally arrived a bit worse for wear in La Coruna at midnight and had a quick party on the pontoon with some Norwegieans that also just arrived.
We stayed there for 6 days and got a new autopilot and also replaced our TrueHeading AIS that never worked properly.
In three days time we are setting sail for Madeira, about 5 days sail from here. The forcast looks good with possibly too little wind.