Adios España…Bom dia Portugal!

Okay…so trying to stay motivated with frequent updates on the blog…this is what happened in the past +24 hours.
Allow me to turn the clock to this past Friday evening…amazingly we met two fellow boaters from the marina we stayed at in Dunkirk, France here in Portosin, Spain! We all had the intention of leaving for Portugal once there was a good weather window. With great company and delicious pasta graciously cooked by Guy (merci!!), we talked about our navigation plans. Initially, since there are quite some nautical miles between Portosin and Porto, Yves proposed that we stop first at Baiona (at the border between Spain and Portugal) and then on Sunday we leave for Porto. Stéphane and Guy had more or less the same idea as us…so being the ever sage sailors that we are, we called it an early night and got ready for our sail.

Guy, Yves et Stéphane_2014-09-12.jpg

Guy, Yves et Stéphane in Portosin, España!

Yves had informed me that it was best for us to arrive at Porto before Monday because there were going to be some nasty swells and just all around crappy weather. We left in the morning without too much wind and just a bit of a swell. All was pretty much the same when night fell but frustrations with the wind conditions rose. To say this was a good weather window would be highly exaggerated. It was more like…what is the crappiest sea conditions that we can more or less handle!?!? Moreover, as night came, my seasick resistant resolve started to go. I left Yves to once again sail singlehandedly. Wanna make things even better!?! Thunder storms started to accompany us on the starboard side (that means ‘right’). Thunderstorms are not something one wants to see at sea. But still all was more or less okay…for precaution, Yves left me with a bucket at my side and stood vigilant as storm after storm strolled right by us. By dawn, it seemed that all would be better…the swells calmed a bit as so did my stomach. However, just when we thought we were in the clear?? A huge thunderstorm came right on top of us. I clung to the bucket inside the cabin as Yves braved the rain and lightening outside until we arrived safely at the entry of the river Douro and the city of Porto. I managed to crawl outside just when the storm stopped and the skies cleared up a little. Yves was completely drenched but somehow was still going about getting ready for our entry into the marina. We docked at the marina with the help of two nice marina officials. With the drenched sails all dried up and neatly put away…I am eager to explore this city…however I will need to wait just a little bit…somebody had a very full day and night!


A Friday of firsts…

I have seen in many blogs cool and helpful themes for their posts…like Top Ten Tuesdays…What I like Wednesdays…I don’t know if this will be a weekly tradition of mine, but today was definitely a Friday of Firsts.

To start off, we left the Bay of Somme early in the morning in order to go with the tide. Not a first…but it was our first sunrise while sailing La Nomade!wpid-20140606_060619.jpg

I couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful and peaceful way to start our day!

Another first, you ask? Well, it was my first time where I didn’t navigate the tiller the entire time. Unless there are tricky manouevers in which case Yves usually takes over, I usually command the tiller . Today, I handed that honor to our dear friend Pierre. Pierre? Who’s Pierre?! Another sailor aboard!? Nope…he is our trusty automatic pilot! Why is he called Pierre? We have a very complicated and capricious GPS who calls himself Pierre…but our Pierre aboard La Nomade will actually take you where you want to go instead of giving confusing and very frustraing directions. So, by handing over the command to Pierre, I was able to lie down inside our cabin for the very first time. Many sailing sources discourage people to stay inside a boat if they are prone to seasickness. I am one of the unfortunate sensitive, but this time, I was able to lie down in our cabin in order to warm myself up and get some rest without throwing up! A definite first! 😉

As we made our way west, we weren’t really sure where our next stop would be. At first, we thought St Valéry en Caux…and then Fecamp. The wind was blowing, the sun was shining..Yves was a happy sailor. Oh another first?? He managed to arrange all of the sails with the genoa and the tangon all by himself (as I mentioned above, I was inside the cabin). Not to mention that the tangon broke off and he had to repair that too first…nothing but a day of firsts!

But the real biggie? The real reason why I write this post?? We decided to go to Ouistreham which would mean our first real night sail as well as our 24 hr sail. I am quite sure it won’t be our last…but for me, this was quite monumental! I didn’t think we would actually sail for this long today. Yves was optimistic with the winds that were blowing and the weather report seemed to be quite benign for the night. Well, about 45 minutes before our arrival to Ouistreham, I can say that the weather report was all wrong! Even though we had already gone through a thunderstorm before, I never actually headed towards one. *Please note that we were not trying to prove ourselves to the weather gods. The port we were heading to just happened to have the most impressive lightnening show right above. Yay?!@#@*

Nevertheless, we safely arrived at the port of Ouistreham where we had our second to the last ‘first’. We handled a ecluse together. Alone. In the night. A ecluse is where you go through a canal, tie your boat to the edge so it won’t float all about, wait for the ecluse to fill up with water, and you head out, in our case, the marina. Pretty proud of ourselves since we never did that before together and alone.

And for the final first of this Friday…we arrived at the port of Ouistreham and much to our surprise, the entire marina is filled with boats that came from Britain to commemorate the 70th anniversary of D-day. Who would have thought!?!



Good-bye Friday, Good morning Saturday!…I’m off to bed.