The maiden voyage of SV Eucalyptus
Our plan was to sail from La Rochelle, France across the Bay of Biscay to A Coruna, Spain. It would be the maiden voyage of SV Eucalyptus. Finally the day arrives. Veronique Claus had been training us in La Rochelle over a number of days, and after many exercises, she decided it was time to go. The Captain and crew were appointed. Veronique knew of a Cruising instructor, Franco Di Fabbrio, who was happy to join us. How could we go wrong with a Yachtmaster instructor and a cruising instructor? We were very well supported on our maiden voyage.
Day one- Seas a bit choppy and …
On the first day out the seas were a bit choppy and the wind was on the beam- 90 degrees. This meant the force of the waves were hitting the boat on the side. A little uncomfortable for everyone, even though I was determined to overcome any seasickness, I did succumb. After about 4 hours, despite my Chinese medicine patches in place on reliable points, I became rather unwell. I did heave a couple of times and was unable to do my bit. I moved around the saloon and cockpit with a bowl close by.
Remedies ? For me it was Veronique’s suggestion
Finally, I decided to get out my acupuncture needles. With the needles in position, I felt normal! Great. Until I removed them. Within 20 minutes, I was back to square one with the bucket. At this point, Veronique suggested I make ginger tea. Jill and Veronique made ginger tea and I didn’t heave again. I was out for a total of 36 hours. I was able to get up to do a watch, but Franco suggested I lie in the cockpit and rest. He was enjoying the night watch. Jill did all her roles and covered mine while I was out of it…what a woman!
Franco was so excited to see the dolphin pod early on the third morning and he encouraged me to sit on the trampoline to get my mind off my seasickness. It was an excellent suggestion and it was a glorious sight!
Preview of Jills video
Jill’s video takes over the story from the morning of day three. The Ria of Ensalada de St Marta was our first introduction to the splendor of Spain’s Galician Rias. The entry in was a long, carefully charted stunning route to finally reach Ortigueigra, in the evening of that same day. We found a place to moor beside the town concrete pier. We learned that restaurants don’t serve meals before 9 pm, but found the wait for food was worth it. It was a very tasty introduction to Spanish tapas.
A little challenging excitement late at night
However, it proved to be somewhat difficult getting back on the boat after our evening out as the tide had receded and the boat was quite a bit lower. As Jill refused to use the trampoline ( Suggested by the captain and crew) to descend the 8 feet or so, we pulled the boat along to a suitable ladder to board. It was still a long way down.
We finally arrive in A Coruna
The next day we sailed onto A Coruna. We had a following sea that pushed us forward at a cracking pace. Franco and Jill at the helm were excited when the boat surfed down a wave and reached between 10 and 13.8 Knots.
By now I was well on board and did the final exercise with Jill, we did two controlled gybes of the boat on our way into A Coruna! The first time we managed quite well, the second was a bit hairy… but we did it alone. We arrived in A Coruna and managed a brilliant dismount, executed by the Yachmistress Veronique! (1-4 May 2019)
Photos Shelley Beer, Video Jill De Vos