Wednesday, 6 February 2008


January was an excellent month for sailing, we had good winds and calm waters. And, as I had little work, I got a lot of sailing done, probably more than during any other month since we launched.

The GPS reveals that we’ve covered 81 nautical miles, hit a whopping max speed of 8.2 knots, albeit on a wave, and maintained a moving average of 2.7 knots, which neatly makes 30 hours moving time. I have to admit that I have been pushing for maximum speed on most occasions and sailing long stretches on favourable points of sail. Sailing in the relaxed pre-GPS era I doubt I would have logged these figures. I also doubt that I could maintain numbers like this when cruising.

The tranquil sea did show its more savage side for a few days this week bringing a six-foot swell from the south. With OB snug under her tarp I took the opportunity to check the entrances to both my local marina at Torredembarra and the new marina being built up the coast at Roda de Bara. Both have narrow entrances that face southwest and quite frankly I wouldn’t recommend either as a safe haven in a southerly swell. The two marinas have rocky shores near the entrance, which reflect the swell back out causing a crossed sea at the harbour mouth. The waves were not big enough to break across the entrance but they were close. Later I spoke to a live aboard at Torredembarra who reported that they’d had a rough day inside the marina.

So if by some remote chance you are reading this while planning a cruise in the western Med, don’t run for Torredembarra or Roda de Bara in a southerly. Stay at sea or go to the commercial port at Tarragona.

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