I love Atlantic Europe. The people, the cultures, the food, everything. The fact that these are all very old boating
communities, ties them together even more than language, though all of them do have Celtic ties and culture.
For a fascinating discussion of genetics and human migrations in Europe and western Asia for the last 50, 000 years, check out:
So, my thoughts return to two issues:
- Should I have stayed in northern Europe for another year?
- The route I ended up taking between Galicia in the Northwest corner of Spain and the Canaries.
First the additional year. I love Ireland, the people, even the weather (you never got bored). But Ireland itself is not really cruising country. Getting up and down the coasts can be a bitch, at best. I did love A Coruna though. Why not there? That was Plan B after all.
Then Schengen reared its ugly head. For those of you who still don’t know what “Schengen” is, it was the city in Luxembourg in which almost all the countries of Europe (nothing to do with E.U.) decided to have open borders in 1989. Open borders meant just that. Prior to 1991 or whenever it went into effect, one had to stop at each and every frontier and show passport. On my many drives from the Netherlands to Italy, that meant 3 border crossings. But they were pretty quick (nothing like the USA-Canada boondoggle). They never even stamped your passport. While the rule was, you were allowed in 90 days in each country, no one cared and as I said, no one stamped passports other than at airports and not even then many times.
But with Schengen and the open borders, they decided they still had to control immigration. Therefore non E.U. people could only stay 90 days out of every 180 days. So, before you could move from country to country every 90 days a stay within the rules, now, you had to leave the continent or go to the U.K. or Ireland. That’s why Dauntless was in Waterford.
Ultimately, I realized that to keep Dauntless in A Coruna for the winter would not be feasible, since I could no longer go to NYC for 3 months and then return.
By the way. So, Schengen was written to keep people from overstaying, yet today the E.U. gets about 200,000 people a month from Africa and the Middle East.
But they got Dauntless out so all is OOOKKK.
And another aside. While those morons in Washington debate who to let in. NO ONE, Dems or Republicans, talks about we have no system to track who leaves. Wouldn’t you think if we really cared, the first thing would be using one of the billion computers the government has to track people as they leave and compare that list to who came in. What a clown show!
Now, sorry for the diatribe. My route which took me down the coast of Portugal and around the corner to Gibraltar. I didn’t even see the Gibraltar Apes.
I suppose the real issue here is that we were really beaten up almost the entire trip from Porto, Portugal all the way to the Canaries. By stopping in Gibraltar, I added about another 360 miles to our trip.
I actually had a sailor in France tell me that I should go direct to the Canaries from Vigo in NW Spain. But I wanted to see Portugal and I am glad I did.
But southern Spain and Morocco, ended up being exactly what I expected, hot, dry and dry and hot.
I could have spent those weeks in the Canaries. The Canaries reminded me of everything I liked about Galicia. Great people, food and a boating culture.
Oh well, I’ll have to go back.