Home > Wharram World > Letters from Peace IV > 2002 > North Spain

North Spain

By Anne Clement

The anchoring system is excellent. I was wrong to doubt it. Again though, I needed to see it working to understand. I have no idea why Bob Kupps [owner of professionally built Tiki 46 No. 3 in Thailand] thinks his sails set poorly. Maybe he is not pulling the strings right. Ours set beautifully once we get them up and have time to fiddle with them. They do take some fiddling with though if you are planning to make the boat perform. But that is part of the fun. During longer passages it is clearly worth while fiddling with the sails but maybe Bob is only making tiny sailing trips and does not bother. If we want to gunkhole a whole lot, then we will take crew to help fiddle with sails.

Meanwhile, we must set things up to make it easier for ourselves on longish day sails between the Rias here in Spain. We will do it but would appreciate any more detailed info you can give us to make it happen sooner and easier. It is so easy to have crew on this boat, I am now seeing it as a fun idea rather than a negative. So much room and such a lot of privacy! We like to be alone aboard because it feels more romantic, but often the others are in the other hull so we can be alone when we need to.

It is nice to be able to work on the boat even in quite windy conditions. She just sits here at anchor and 30+ knots of wind go by without bothering any of the stuff on the foredeck. Things in the cockpit stay on the seats quite safely and even tiny things do not blow away.She is fast already but we will learn to sail her faster so we can move out of the path of storms. I do not like to go faster than around 8 knots though, because the day dreams are why I like sailing. I am impressed that the piles of tools all over the boat did not fall over during the trip. Nothing moved at all and we had 25 knots of wind abeam. We were going then! Easy 8 knots and more through the water with only 2 sails up. If we had all up, she would have flown but Nev was in pain so we slowed off and he rested better. No rush any way.

By the way, that was a 535 nm trip we took from Milford Haven to Camarinas (North Spain) in exactly 3.5 days and that made it 6.4 knots average, including some long spells of light air with us only going 3 knots. Our crew were eager to get there (back to work syndrome), so we put the engine on after the wind died altogether, but if we had not had crew, that would have been our favourite part of the trip. Lovely shining sea and us all quiet and resting. I guess that when we had even 10 knots of real wind, we were doing 7, 8, or 9+ sustained, depending on how many sails we had up. We were only learning to sail this boat and could have used the gaff vang to good advantage for better speed then, if it had been in place. Most of the time we just had the full main and jib. She will be really fast when we learn how to drive her better and when she is properly set up. We are delighted with speed now, however. 6.4 knots was the hull speed of the old boat.

© Anne and Neville Clement, 2002