Captain Hugh and the Reluctant Navigator
The Voyage of Vega

More Rias


Friday 7th to Thursday 13th August.

My last post ended over a week ago arriving one evening in a pretty bay off Isla de Arousa where, welcomed by dolphins, we dropped anchor, opened a bottle of Albariño and cooked supper. Bliss. We looked forward to a walk around the island the next day. Although the bay was supposed to be sheltered from the strong northerly winds there was still 20 knots of wind blowing and we had some nagging concern about how near we were to several crops of rocks surrounding the bay. After a few hours Hugh noticed how much nearer we were to one particularly threatening group of rocks, and getting nearer all the time. The anchor was quickly raised and we motored off to spend a more secure night in a marina in A Pobra do Caramiñal, helped into the berth as darkness fell by the rather harassed marinero. We clearly weren’t the only yacht seeking refuge late in the strong winds. The next day these winds blew a Spanish motor cruiser trying to leave its berth into Vega and smashed our Hydrovane. They apologetically exchanged insurance details but we won’t be able to get replacement parts until we get to a major port. Oh well, worse things happen at sea.

We had a couple of days in Caramiñal, a fishing port and holiday town with a long beach of silver sand. We befriended an Irish couple in the next yacht who had set off on a round the world trip five years ago, got as far as the Rias and no further, they loved the area so much. They were full of advice as the where to go. Everyone has recommended the Isles of Cies which the Guardian described as having the best beach in the world. We hadn’t realised that you need a permit to anchor here, and before you can apply for your anchoring permit you need to apply for and obtain your navigation permit…. so although we have now applied it may be too late for us. Before leaving Caramiñal Captain Hugh had become convinced that there was something around the propellor so ordered the crew to dive down under the boat to clear it. Despite the wetsuit the water was cold and rather murky so it was a relief that the propeller appeared clear.

From Caramiñal we decided that we needed to get on and south and so, with some regret as there are places in the Ria de Arousa that we had hoped to visit, we moved on to the next Ria. We left in warm sunshine and only a few knots of wind behind us. A perfect opportunity to get out the pole which holds the genoa, the front sail, on the other side on the boat from the mainsail, so that the boat can goosewing ie. one sail on each side of the boat like a bird, to get more efficient use of the wind when it’s directly behind you. Half an hour later by this manoeuvre our speed had increased from 0.8 to 1.8 knots, but in the sunshine and feeling relaxed and content it didn’t seem to matter. An hour later with our speed back to under a knot and time getting on we gave up and motored out of the Ria to where the wind picked up and we able to turn the corner into the Ria de Pontevedra. Here we dropped anchor in a small bay off Porto Nova. This time we were prepared and Hugh had downloaded an app to alarm if we drifted at anchor, as well as setting the boat’s anchor depth alarms. I’d like to say we had a peaceful night at anchor but the next bay was Party Bay with the music carrying across the water until the early hours. (We had decided not to anchor in this bay as when we arrived as it was full of power boats and those horrid noisy jet skis).

We then had a few days in Combarro, a very picturesque but touristy old fishing village, characterised by horreos, stone grain stores on stilts topped by crosses. We also visited Pontevedra, the capital of the region, elegant squares and arcades. We searched the local cafes for chocolate and churros and had to settle for coffee and cake.

Back to Porto Novo, a pleasant town with a silver sandy beach for an overnight stop as the winds had come up and it was cold and raining. So now on to our final Ria, Ria de Vigo where we plan a stop in Baiona to see if our navigation and anchoring licences for Islas Cies come through in time for a visit, and after this on to Portugal.


A Formal Apology

In an earlier post entitled ‘The Rias of Galicia’ I stated that Hugh had man-flu when he in fact had a proper infection requiring antibiotics. I sincerely apologise for this slur and for any hurt or damage caused to his integrity. I am glad to report that he is now almost completely recovered from this distressing episode.







  1. The Jetski

    August 14, 2015 - 8:53 pm

    Guess I’ll take the bait and reply!! There’s nothing like a v8 howling at full bore to get the adrenaline going…….
    Trip sounds lovely so far but far from easy in those marinas. Glad Hugh is getting over his genuine man flu.

    • annie

      August 15, 2015 - 8:17 pm

      Dear Jetski. I have thought long and hard about a suitable reply… nothing comes to mind that would get past the censors of this PG rated blog. Thank you very much for taking the bait 😉 and for your concern about Hugh x

  2. Jerry

    August 15, 2015 - 12:19 pm

    Ahoy there! Sorry to have been a bit slack with posting a comment, but just to let you know that I really look forward to each informative and entertainingly written entry. And top marks for the excellent photos. I think it is important to let you know that I am not remotely jealous, and am perfectly content with my whirlwind life of sudoku and the Oxfam shop. Also hospital radio going well, and I presented my first show last week, my only mistake being that I inadvertently played Pinky & Perky instead of an aria from Aida.

    I am glad you are finally taking my advice by visiting somewhere beginning with ”p”, and am looking forward to the next instalment. Love to both captain & crew, Jerry xx

  3. annie

    August 15, 2015 - 8:24 pm

    Ahoy Jerry. Thank you for your kind remarks and delighted that you like the blog. I had no idea that you had Pinky and Perky in your record collection. Possibly even more shameful than having the music from My Fair Lady? However I’m sure it cheered up the patients no end. What not to play on hospital radio? Dylan’s ‘knocking on heaven’s door’?
    You’ll be glad to hear that our next stop should be Porto x

  4. Jim Lucas

    August 15, 2015 - 8:42 pm

    Glad to have caught up on your blogs and glad insurers have made the hydrovane claim relatively painless — at the moment!! All this nautical terminology is just like reading one of the Jack Aubrey novels – although not sure which one of you is Captain Jack and which Stephen Maturin, the doctor and naturalist. Seems you are though entering battles , more Don Quixote (ish) than Capt Jack, with fights against fenders and Spanish cruisers rather than French frigates. Still Im not sure what all this fuss is about making sure your anchor doesn’t slip etc – we’ve just come back from our cruise up the side of Norway and the ship stayed where it was, meals ready at any point of the day, cocktails being served at a glance, entertainment laid on. Our only concern the internal winds and nothing external. I have to say the 200 strong crew got us around without any problems with a hydrovane or concerns of a toothbrush making us think a generator playing up. We did have to abandon a game of mini-golf as the wind got up at one point. Really don’t know what the fuss is all about.
    On Hugh’s quiz I can’t expand the picture to see even closely what type of vessels they are but sadly I think they are moving aggregates!
    Hope all going well and not long to Portugal now x

    • Hugh Lucas

      August 19, 2015 - 9:47 am

      If you haven’t had to prepare a hearty meal in a galley rolling through 60 degrees then you just haven’t experienced life at the edge. So sorry to hear about the mini golf – maybe a kite would have been more appropriate? HXx

  5. cheryl

    August 17, 2015 - 8:54 pm

    I have finally remembered to read through everything – the dolphin video was amazing . Glad you have found your sea legs and have already been to some really lovely places . That area of Spain has now been added to my list . I think we will only need to follow your blog to sort our holidays for life .xxMy retirement big plan is to do the whole pilgrimage walk to Santiago de Compostela

    • annie

      August 19, 2015 - 9:46 am

      Stronger legs than mine then. It’s a long way, the walk to Santiago de Compostela. And you need really to finish at Finisterre, of course x

  6. Paul McLoughlin

    August 18, 2015 - 7:31 am

    Great to see your adventure is sounding to be everything you hoped for and that despite misdiagnosed man-flu and and sea-hogs you are both well and living the high-seas life.
    Take care
    Love Us2

    • Hugh Lucas

      August 19, 2015 - 9:55 am

      Hi Paul, good to hear from you. We are now in Porto and the sun is out at last! Getting into the swing of this adventure thing but when it is low cloud and rain and you are cooped up in a small space it can be testing! I have a technical hitch with photoshop light – the editing programme quits “unexpectedly” and won’t open – any ideas?! H

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