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.