Wednesday, July 12th, Baiona, Spain
Bienvenido a Espagna!
Zia made the crossing from the Azores to Baiona, on the
northwest coast of Spain, in four and a half days.
We left Sao Miguel at 8pm on Thursday night, hoping to
arrive sometime on Tuesday or Wednesday. It was an
ambitious plan, considering the forecast was calling for
some very light winds during the middle of the passage
followed by some strong headwinds starting Monday
afternoon. The total route was 850 miles.
That seems like nothing compared to the 1900 miles we
had recently traveled between Bermuda and the Azores.
The passage went very
well. When the wind went light after day two, we
fired up both engines and motor sailed along at 8 knots.
The new forecast we downloaded via satellite phone along
the way predicted higher winds than previously
anticipated starting on Monday, so we pressed hard to
get in as quickly as we could. It did get a bit
boisterous during the last 16 hours or so, but it was
nothing compared to the beating we took for the last
three days of our
first passage to Tortola in November.
Strangely enough, I love those conditions. Joe had
been suffering from back pain for the last few days so
when it came time to put a second reef in the main, I
volunteered to suit up in my foul weather gear and go
forward to set it up. I took a few good waves that
drenched me from head to foot, but otherwise
accomplished the task with ease. It took a while
to get all the lines coiled and put away up there, with
the boat bouncing around in the five or six foot seas,
but it had to be done. The last thing you want is
a mess of lines on the bow if it comes time to put in
reef number three. Glenn and Joe were in the
cockpit and even they took a couple of hits in the face
with the seas occasionally drenching the whole boat.
I was wide awake so I stood the midnight to 3am watch,
which Joe usually takes. We reefed down to the
staysail in the middle of it but it never got any worse
than that. The winds were up to 30 knots true,
with the apparent wind speeds (always higher than true
when you are sailing against the wind) bouncing up into
the high 30s.
The kids slept through
it, or at least didn't come out of their cabin to
complain about it in the middle of the night.
Glenn was a huge help, staying up past his watch to help
decipher the projected tracks of the numerous ships that
kept popping up on the radar screen. He was
always close at hand to help reef the sails. I
think Joe and I could have made the trip by ourselves,
but it sure was nice having Glenn there to ease the
load. The kids love having him around as well,
since he is always eager to think of new ways to
I am also thrilled to
report that our fishing woes were definitively ended on
the trip. We landed FOUR tuna! The first one
at the end of Day 1, just as the pasta was cooking.
We enjoyed sushi for dinner on Day 2, after loosing a
lure to something BIG out there.
Day 3, just as I was
getting out of the shower, I heard the engines slow down
and knew it must be a fish. We had two on the
lines so I ran out to help bring one in. It was a
pretty funny scene with me out there in my towel!
We landed the last one
in the morning on Day 4. Three albacore and one
blackfin tuna in the freezer! Well, we ate some of
the blackfin in the sushi and half of one of the
albacores for dinner one night, but we still have a lot
In other news, the myth
of the tooth fairy died for the girls on our crossing.
Juliana lost her second front tooth shortly into the
She had wrapped it up
in a piece of paper towel and put it on a shelf, and
then it disappeared. The tooth fairy didn't come
on the first night. She woke up after Joe and I
had put them to bed the next night, and had gone to bed
ourselves, to write a note hoping to explain the
problem. Well, that darned tooth fairy didn't come
that night either. Glenn told us about the note
the next day, and the girls hinted that they knew to
truth about the tooth fairy anyway, so we fessed up.
What a relief!
The sight of land, hazy
as it was, was very exciting for the whole ZIA crew.
We are embarking on
phase two of our adventure. We are full of
anticipation and wonder at the experiences that await
us. It is a rare privilege and I hope that we are
able to take full advantage of the opportunities ahead.
It isn't always easy, but it is always worthwhile.
Christy, Joe, Cassie
Many thanks to our
friend Craig Homenko for his assistance in setting up
We also would like
to thank our buddy Scott Brunner who has been kind
enough to host the website on his server.