I thought I would have to develop bravery, tenacity and toughness when we first considered sailing around the world but I had never considered patience. It is most definitely a virtue and one that we have had to embrace happily in our first month. This could not have been so evident and practiced again and again as our time in A Coruña. In our normal busy lives back home impatience would have rared its head quite easily but here we have slipped into such a slow relaxing and new way of accepting life, patience just seems to be a part of it.
We arrived in A Coruña on Saturday 25 th March, mid morning after a 55 hour crossing from La Rochelle. So excited to be there and having had completed our first crossing. Our first approach to a (foreign to us) marina-..anxious to get off the boat -a man signaling us from the marina- Welcome, Welcome -But no wait! …..Someone else has to move first-Another circuit around the entrance and we were in. No problema! A much used and accepted phrase over the next week and one that is probably to become a part of our everyday life while cruising. Our fellow trans Bay of Biscay sailors had arrived and conferred with us what Mike had already deduced that we were going to have to wait another week until we could leave here. Ok. No problema We will find lots to do in A Coruña. This is no place to be in a rush. Welcome to Spain!
We loved A Coruña and we loved the slower pace of life where everything is mañana (tomorrow). The marina was right in the middle of the city. Our bike wasn’t needed here. Little laneways filled with people slowly walking along without any rush or what seemed to be a care in the world. I loved practicing my Spanish, but again it was slow and conversations with the marina manager, who spoke very little English were fun. Did he mind he couldn’t speak English? Not at all! With lots of hand signals, gestures and a few known words in each other’s language we figured that out. He certainly gave me more confidence to practice another language because “who cares”?- just communicate. Thanks Emilio!
My next test of my patience level was the internet. I had been spoiled in France. My girlfriend who lives there had purchased me a SIM card with 50 gigs for 20€ a month. In Spain we discovered that without a fixed address you are a tourist and you get hit. 2 gigs for 15€. And don’t try and visit the phone card store between 2pm and 4.30pm. It is shut for siesta like everything else. I went through one card in a day. Well this was not viable. We had access to the marina internet but unfortunately it was hopeless as I think all of the marinas are. Nevermind we suspected that this is what it is going to be like. So sorry kids, I think there goes the lengthy planned conversations on messenger and Skype. I am just going to have to learn to live with out much internet and if you know me, you will know that is going to be one of the most difficult things.
The weather forced us and our fellow sailors to stay in A Coruña for a week. These guys are professional crews delivering new boats to the Med for summer with fairly tight time restrictions to get there. If they weren’t going, we certainly won’t. We filled the week, walking around the town, getting back into our running and a one day visit to Santiago de Compostela.
So I am back here again, sitting at our inside helm station on our passage from A Coruña to Porto in Portugal. It is 2.30 am and my watch started 30 mins ago. With James on board we have 2 hour watches, 4 hours rest. The wind has dropped, it is a clear night and we are motoring at 6 knots. We have just crossed into Portugal. Unlike our last crossing there are beautiful lights to guide us. Populated, narrow coastal cities are lit up yellow and white along the beaches. What I imagine to be steep rising mountains behind are lit with red lights adorning the top and warm friendly white lights of the headland lighthouses. My instruments are showing me that there is a fishing boat 2.5 NM at 1 o’clock direction and I am observing his light and movements. No stars tonight but there is a calm peacefulness, with the engine purring and the sound of the sea and waves moving over the hulls. This is magical. I am in no rush to get to Porto. I am loving this new life, slow, calm and patient.
PS. In our lazy Spanish afternoons I managed to get a video done and spent another 5 hours ( yes more patience) downloading it to YouTube in a local cafe. Take a look here and please subscribe to get current updates. My blog writing and posting is probably going to be a bit behind real time but if you would like to follow us a little more closely our Facebook page and Instagram have more up to date photos and information on where we are at present.