We checked the forecast and it looked OK. A westerly wind 10-15 kts veering NW in the early afternoon. Sea 1-2 metres. So we set of after an early lunch.
Our course was initially NW then West a journey of about 35 miles.
At first everything was fine, sailing NW with a westerly wind. At the point where we had to sail west the wind was still from the west so we carried on waiting for our windshift. Nothing happened so we tacked back towards the land, tacked again and carried on.
The wind was now beginning to increase so we reduced sail, eventually having 2 reefs in the main and a few rolls in the No2 genoa with 25+kts true wind, 32+ accross the deck with 3-4m swells with breaking crests.
Our progress against the big seas was slow, sometimes being knocked up to 20 degrees off course and slowing down to 3 kts over the ground. We had been taking a lot of water over the boat and eventually one of the bigger waves tipped us over more than 45degrees and one of our plates escaped the rack and committed suicide on the chart table furniture. We have a scar on the woodwork as a permanent reminder! Never mind the plate feeling suicidal we were pretty fed up as well. A pleasant afternoon sail was going to be a late night entry into another strange harbour.
As we rounded the last headland before Cedeira, the sea and wind had calmed a bit but still with the wind on the nose. So we motored the last 8 miles which took 2 hours against the seas.
Night entry was pretty straitforward, a sectored white light guiding you in with the rock in the centre of the entrance lit by an isolated danger mark.
As we entered the anchorage we noticed a rib charging about and a lot of shouting. A water taxi or the harbourmaster collecting dues? No sooner had we dropped the hook than the rib zoomed over and shouts of ADUANAS! (Customs). Just what we needed after a difficult passage at 11.30 at night. They were very apologetic as they checked our paperwork, everything OK just statistics. You really wonder what our Euros are being spent on. The customs then proceeded to wake up another yacht obviously asleep!
Lessons learnt.1) You cannot fight wind and swell on this coast. It is not like the Solent or English Channel
2) If it looks better to go back than go on, then go back!
3) Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition, but always expect the Spanish Customs!
4) Must learn how to say "Eff off I'm asleep" in Spanish! May come in useful later.