I ran the Berlin Marathon, we crossed the Bay of Biscay to Spain and now we are in Portugal!

Olá dear readers, I am sorry I did not write my blogpost sooner, we were too busy enjoying our life the last weeks and I never found the time.

We have a new crewmember since sunday, our friend Moritz came from Berlin. I’m pretty sure he will catch a fish before Lukas, who still caught nothing but some seaweed and a bird. But more about that later.
About three weeks ago we left Mila all alone in the harbour in Brest and went to Berlin with the Flixbus, which only cost us about 60€ per person but was of course extremely uncomfortable. It took about 22 hours, with a little break in Paris.
We were happy to meet our families and friends and to have some drinks in our favourite bar, the Flop. On the 25th I ran my first marathon in 3:56. Five days went over really fast and then we headed back to Brest to continue our journey. It was a strange feeling to return to the harbour, like dropping into a completely different life again.
After we made sure everything on the boat was fine we drove to Camaret sur mer, just 11 nautical miles from Brest. We arrived in the dark and I was super tired from the travelling but Lukas convinced me that we should go to the Irish pub and eat a pizza and drink some pints. When we arrived there it was too late for pizza sadly, so we just had the beers and watched the barkeepers’ impressing games of darts.
Camaret is much more charming than Brest. We were especially fond of the ancient ships rusting away on the side of the harbour.

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Camaret sur Mer

The next morning we got visited by some customs officers that were anchoring in front of the harbour. As they were a lot of officers coming to watch one guy filling out some forms Lukas didn’t invite them inside but let them sit outside in the rain. Fortunately they still found nothing to complain about. So we paid the harbour fee, got some water in our canisters and bunkered 150 liters of diesel for the crossing of the Bay of Biscay.
Due to our detour to Berlin we couldn’t cross it together with Tuuli and all the other boats with young crews that they met in Camaret, so we went on our own.
The leg started pleasant with about 10 knots and a crazy crowd of dolphins hunting for jumping fish around us in the first night.
The next night was less pleasant with about 35 knots in the peaks. We sailed through it with just the jib up and were racing along with up to 8,4 knots. I took this photo the next morning, when the waves already got smaller.

Waves on the Bay of Biscay
Waves on the Bay of Biscay

In the evening the wind died and we had to use the engine until the harbour. It took us 63 hours from Camaret sur Mer in France to A Coruña in Spain.

In A Coruña we had a great time partying with sailors from Norway, England, Sweden, Germany/US, Belgium, South Norway. One evening we tried to fit 12 people into a tapas bar.
For sobering out Lukas and I wanted to visit the Hercules tower, which is situated on a cliff north of the marina. The tower was already closed when we arrived there, but the view from the cliffs below the tower was amazing enough anyways.

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Cliffs north of A Coruña
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My headache disappeared and I made a handstand to celebrate 🙂

We also got out our snorkeling gear and went for a dive with Sigurd and Tobias from the Landkrabbene. It was fun, although the water was too agitated to see anything.

Snorkeling on the big beach in A Coruña
Snorkeling on the big beach in A Coruña

When we had enough of A Coruña we left the harbour together with the sail boats Tuuli, Rosanna, Landkrabbene, Divina Remi and Danae. We were starting a bit later than the others because we had to get some diesel in the morning. I am proud to say that we still arrived in the bay of Camariñas first 🙂 Our colourful booster did a great job in the steady wind from the north, driving us forward really fast.

Lukas booming out the booster
Lukas booming out the booster

Oh, almost forgot the fishing story. Lukas came to wake me up for my shift and suddenly we heard the fishing rod making sounds outside. When we rushed out we discovered it was a big bird, we think a kind of grey gannet that bit on the rubber octopus Lukas was fishing with on the surface.
My stomach flipped over at the thought of Lukas having to pull out the feathers of that bird, spill blood everywhere and eat it, because when it’s dead anyway you should at least eat what you caught. I helped him to carefully pull the heavy bird onto the boat, trying not to break its neck. When it sat there in the net in the back of the boat it was alive and we saw that it spat out the lure already so we didn’t have to risk our fingers getting near its sharp bead. We got him back to the water as quickly as possible and were extremely releaved to see him fly away. Unfortunately there was no time to take a picture for the blog. After we were not shaking anymore Lukas started fishing again with a heavier lure, that was not staying on the surface. And … had bad luck again. The reel broke when he caught a giant bulk of seaweed. I have to confess that I was happy he wasn’t able to fish for some time then until he bought a new reel.

All the boats were anchoring next to each other in the bay in Camariñas and we had two nice campfire evenings with two guitars on the surrounding beaches.

Anchoring with boat buddies in the bay of Camariñas
Anchoring with boat buddies in the bay of Camariñas

I also paddled into the river with my paddleboard and found a beautiful little beach just for myself. See here:

Lonely beach at the mouth of Ria do Porto in Camariñas
Lonely beach at the mouth of Ria do Porto in Camariñas
View from the top
View from the top

Lukas came by with the dinghy and we went for an exploration up the river. It was really interesting to see the colour of the water changing from the shallow mouth towards the inland where it got a lot deeper. We could see a lot of fish under us in the clear water.

Further up in the river
Further up in the river

We pulled up the anchor on Saturday midday and had perfect sailing conditions until the Cape Fisterra, where the wind picked up a lot and we had to steer by hand as the windpilot started to steer a zigzag course which caused the boat to lean from one side to the other side in every wave which was slightly annoying.

Cape Fisterra - the Romans thought it would be the end of the world before America was discovered
Cape Fisterra – the Romans thought it would be the end of the world before America was discovered

In the evening the wind decreased a bit until it died completely. We had to use the engine and had some dolphins visiting us again in the dark. After a while a heavy fog appeared reducing the visability to about 30 meters. I started to sound the horn every two minutes making it impossible for Lukas to get any sleep. But as we still didn’t install our radar I was a little bit scared we might run into a boat without AIS. Luckily there were almost no ships around us except of some fishers. When we reached the harbour of Póvoa de Varzim in Portugal at 8 in the morning everything was still covered in fog and the harbour was filled with hundereds of mullets eating stuff on the surface of the water. We slept for a while and then visited the city centre to get some breakfast. We got breakfast and 4 pairs of shoes for 50€. And we also went to a Portuguese Lidl to restock our provisions. In the night Moritz arrived with the metro. The next day he had a walk in the city while Lukas tidyed up the boat and I went for my first run after the marathon.
Well, that was yesterday, in the afternoon we motored about 3 hours to Porto. When we arrived we were greeted by Emilie from a Norwegian Hallberg Rassy. Had some lovely cheese and port wine on a big new German boat without the Germans, but with an Irish guy and the Norwegian girls. When we moved to our boat we also conviced the Crew of the German boat Kobold to join us and in the end had about 11 people in the saloon heating up the air quite a bit 🙂
Was a really cool evening, thanks to everyone for making our first night in Porto awesome. We learned that it is really more communicative to park the boat with its butt to the pier, so that other sailors can see the home port, which is a great conversation opener.

Puh, I think I’m through now. As soon as Lukas is back from getting our outboard engine fixed we can finally go and explore the city.

Adiós for now, don’t let autumn get you down in Germany 😛
Well to be honest, sometimes temperatures are getting lower here as well, so it’s not the weather for t-shirts all the time anymore, actually I’m sitting in the cockpit at the moment with a blanket wrapped around me.

9 thoughts on “I ran the Berlin Marathon, we crossed the Bay of Biscay to Spain and now we are in Portugal!”

  1. Hallo Ihr beiden,
    wie schön, wieder etwas von Euch zu hören und zu sehen!
    Wir fanden es ja ziemlich verrückt von Dir, Teresa, die Reise für den Marathon zu unterbrechen…aber Hut ab…Du hast alles super geschafft! Auch sonst scheint Ihr eine gute Mischung zwischen Herausforderung und Spaß hinzubekommen. Schön finde ich auch, dass Ihr auf so viele andere Gleichgesinnte aus der ganzen Welt trefft.
    Eine gute und sichere Weiterfahrt,
    much love and biiig hugs,
    Doris und Erni

  2. Hi Teresa and Lukas, Sandra here in NZ, I am so enjoying reading of your travels, just amazing.
    Your writing skills are very good Teresa, you will be able to publish a wonderful travelogue, it would be a stunning read.
    I have just been talking to your Mum and listening to her “worries” about your impending journey to cross the Atlantic. Where are you heading to after Portugal? I think Doris asked the same question.
    Your photos are a joy to see, it almost feels like we are onboard too.
    Until next time, love and biiig hugs, Sandra. 🙋
    We are having a terrible Spring down here, snow expected this weekend

    1. Hey Sandy,
      we are happy you enjoy our blog.
      We want to go to the Canaries after Portugal and then to Cap Verde. From there the plan is to cross the Atlantic and arrive in French Guiana, which is a shorter distance than to go from the Canaries to the Caribbean. Hope your spring gets better soon 🙂
      Big hugs back, Lukas and Teresa

      1. Hi both of you, thanks for the info, now I can try to keep up. When do you plan to leave for the Canaries?
        All things equal about how long should it take to get there?
        Doris and I are having fun on whatsapp, heaps of great messages. I even phoned her.
        Lovely to hear from you, please keep it coming.
        Great day here, only about 22 degrees but that’s better than south winds, north west winds prevail here as we settle into spring.
        Biiig hugs to you both, I’m trying to track Urs, I’ve killed his mail address!!

    2. Hi you two, are you sailing well with no problems I hope.
      We’re are you now? I’m keen to hear.
      Also Urs mail address would be good to receive, I haven’t heard from him for ages.
      I’m looking for some more photos, they are so beautiful.
      Best love to you both, and big hugs too.
      Sandy

    3. Hi you two, are you sailing well with no problems I hope.
      We’re are you now? I’m keen to hear.
      Also Urs mail address would be good to receive, I haven’t heard from him for ages.
      I’m looking for some more photos, they are so beautiful.
      Love and big hugs, Sandy.
      Is it walming up for you two?

  3. Hi again Teresa, I’m sooo pleased to be able to follow you, yes, English was a great decision. The photos are amazing too and I can’t wait to see you down here.
    Maybe Doris and I could fly to meet you on some exotic place to catch up again. Like Tahiti or somewhere.
    It’s not so warm here, spring has been cold and wet but the dogs and I still go to the beach 2/3 times a week.
    Napier port awaits you.
    Love and biiig hugs, Sandy.🏝🏝

  4. haaha amazing stories, cheers heaps, and have a blast! coz

    PS i hope you got a nice bit of music to keep you entertained

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