Julian likened our passage from La Coruña to Laxe to a cross between riding a rodeo bull and being on a roller coaster in a wind tunnel while having buckets of sea water thrown in your face at random intervals. Suffice to say, it was not a pleasant trip.
We made an early start from La Coruña, as gusts of 25 knots were forecast for the late evening and into the night. The wind would be in our faces for much of the day, but the 35 mile passage shouldn’t take too long and we imagined ourselves arriving in Laxe in Ria de Corme y Lage in mid afternoon.
The first couple of hours were pleasant enough. We sailed along at 4 or 5 knots, knowing that once we rounded Isla Sisargas we would have the wind on our nose, and we’d motor the rest of the way. But a couple of miles from Sisargas the wind rose, the waves began to grow choppier, and we lost speed. We motored from then on. For the next six or so hours, we crawled along at sometimes only 2 knots, the wind whipping up to 35 knot gusts at times, sea water lashing us and the motion of the boat making us feel queasy. The strong winds had come much earlier and much stronger than forecast. Every time I looked at the chart plotter and at my watch we were three hours from our destination. Sisargas and a lighthouse beyond it took forever to pass – we seemed to be alongside that lighthouse forever.
We finally reached the sheltered harbour of Laxe just as the rain started to fall, and Julian and I got soaked as we manoeuvred to anchor. Lily, insisting she sit with us in the cockpit through it all, also got very wet. Smart Katie slept through the worst of it.
Carina suffered a little too. Lily and Katie’s room – the fore cabin – was soaking wet from a combination of excessive waves breaking over the starboard port hole and also into the anchor locker. Our first day in Laxe was spent drying the fore cabin out, taking advantage of the hot and windy spells that were annoyingly interspersed with rain.
We stayed in Laxe for two nights. Julian and Lily explored the town and walked to the lighthouse, but Katie and I only ventured as far as the beach. On the second night the wind shifted round to the north and we moved across the ria to Corme for shelter. We’ve been here now for a couple of nights, catching up on chores and having fun on the beach.
Corme is not the prettiest town we’ve visited. It’s quite run down, but it has lovely beaches, clear turquoise water, and quiet walks through wild countryside that remind me of the west of Ireland.
We’ll stay here for a couple more days before heading a little bit more south.