Day five – Our last day at sea

This has been a constructive day with nothing else getting damaged. Our vital statistics: day's run, noon Wednesday to 1320 Thursday was 140.3 miles. In case you hadn't guessed, we arrived 15 minutes earlier than our guesstimate and are now safely tied up in Baiona. We have sailed a total of 583 miles, though had to motor 144.7 miles. Our elapsed time was 100 hours 21 minutes, of which 24 hours 14 minutes were spent motoring. We motored all morning as the wind was dead ahead and not strong enough to sail by. About an hour from Baiona the wind finally built up and veered a little so we motor sailed, maintaining the same speed but with far fewer revs. We turned the engine off when we altered course for the finish and flew the last three miles under sail! John reversed Starblazer up to the pontoon, a first for us on this boat and one of very few times in our total sailing career. We spent the afternoon fixing things. The first job was the inauguration of the passerelle, John rigged it up, stood on it and the single point fixing to the rail failed. The end suspeded by a halyard to the pontoon stayed put but the boat end dropped several feet and landed on the boarding platform. John was hanging on to the ropes so was shaken but not wet! After lunch, and some use of the angle grinder, he rerigged it making it a much stronger attachment even if not so elegant as it is now lashed in place. The next major job was to remove the Sailtainer so I could repair it, the major difficulty was bundling the sail up and lifting it above the boom so that the canvaswork could be slid out of the groove in the boom with the sail still in place. Unpicking was easy, rather too easy, then with judicious use of sail repair tape, extra webbing and the sewing machine it was reconstructed as good as new. Reinstallation will wait for tomorrow. Meanwhile John fed the missing reefing line into position by tying it to the third reef which runs parallel in the boom. The outboard end just needs tying to the sail. Job done. Omissions from Wednesday's essay, sorry, I mean blog. Advantages of sailing double handed: you don't need to keep lockers or a berth free for another crew member, you don't have to worry about being fully dressed, catering is easy because you know what food you both like, you know how tetchy you each get when you get tired and make allowances (sometimes). I should add that these advantages apply to couples, they might not apply to friends! Wednesday's gourmet meals: breakfast cereal (yes the cook is getting lazy), sandwiches for lunch then a turkey curry and rice for dinner. Cook is now on strike so dinner was at the yacht club Thursday evening. Wildlife spotted: disappointingly only a handful of dolphins cruised slowly past us on Wednesday afternoon, not stopping to play. Perhaps we were sailing too slowly. Also disappointingly, the flies have found us. I will try to blog at every port we visit. There will be another from here in rainy Baiona before we leave but don't hold your breath. All is well on Starblazer though I suspect Friday will be devoted to 'housework' . Joyce

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