Thursday 19th July - Portosin Marina
We left Carmarinas at about 9.00 on the Thursday morning for the sail to the Ria de Muros. Sandpiper having left about 30mins earlier. Once out in the bay, sails went up and off we went in a gentle Northerly F3. The wind slowly started to build as the morning went on and just as we were reefing down, guess what, dolphins around the boat again!
This leg was to round Cape Finisterre. The area has a reputation as being a windy corner. It was a bit windy F4/5 but really a pussycat, however I wouldn’t want to be off this coast in a SW gale. Not for nothing is it called the Costa del Morte!
From Finisterre we were downwind with the Main and Poled out Genoa. A really exciting downwind run surfing down the waves at 9+ kts!
We took the inside passage down the Canal de los Meixidos into the Ria inside some nasty offshore reefs. Careful pilotage was needed but with good visibility, perfectly OK. As we turned into the Ria, we looked behind to see Sandpiper coming in behind us. Very satisfying. It turned out that they went outside the reefs but sailed the same distance as us?
The Ria offered perfect shelter so we motored to the Marina at Portosin. A laundry day was needed.
One night at the Club Marina was more than twice the price of the last club Marina at Carmarinas. This was to be a single night stop, laundry, fuel, water, a bit of fresh food then off! The town was not terribly interesting, a long walk to a decent cafe/restaurant with Cliff and Anita on Sandpiper for a final meal together. They would be moving on south before us and we were planning to visit Muros another town that gives the Ria it’s name as it sounded interesting in the guide books. This was the first restaurant that had chicken on the menu so Rowena was very happy – she could eat at last! The others all had seafood which was as usual excellent.
A last farewell
Washing done, fed and watered we set off for the voyage to Muros (5 miles!) The pilot book doesn’t mention a marina but a new one has opened in the harbour this year (same prices as Portosin). We went to the anchorage with a 5min dinghy ride to the slipway.
On entering the anchorage we saw a familiar looking yacht, and waved to each other. The following morning going ashore we saw it was Ray and Suzanne (Kay), they were berthed in Royal Clarence Marina and set off with us. We last saw them in Cowes at the start of our trip as we set off in company to the West Country. We went over for coffee and a chat about our shared experiences so far. They were remarkably similar – waiting for days in France for good weather to cross, high seas in Biscay, and finally huge satisfaction at reaching Spain. We wish them fair winds to the Med.
Muros town is very interesting, a real mix of very very old, a lot of Art Nouveau architecture and some modern. We got talking to an American girl who is here on holiday with two friends, one of whom is from Muros. She told us that the town is now an historic monument and cannot be changed. The tourist information was closed and she informed us that this is part of the austerity measures, a pity because it would have been good to have some information. Anyway, she told us to walk up the hill and round all the old streets. I also took the opportunity to ask her about goose barnacles. They are a local delicacy which we haven’t yet tried, partly because we didn’t know how to eat them and partly because of what they look like!
Walking round the town was really strange. It was mostly very run down, but in between there would be a house beautifully restored with pot plants outside. Up and down countless flights of wonky stone steps, winding streets some with little stone bridges over. Sometimes it felt like a ghost town, and then round a corner would be a little plaza with cafes and tables full of locals eating and drinking. There were quite a few old chapels and even some of them were boarded up, very unusual.
When we have more internet time I will have to look up the history of Muros.
Muros old town
Thank heavens for laundromat's
We had a pleasant lunch under umbrellas at a harbourside cafe. I tried the Pimientos a Padron, another local dish (delicious) and Richard had pulpo (octopus).
Sunday 22nd July
Nobody expects the........ you’ve guessed it the Customs again, just as we are about to have coffee! Showed them the form we were given earlier, no they have to do it all again. Last form was criticised as not being completed properly by their colleagues (but in Spanish to each other!)
The anchorage was like the UN. We have yachts from Spain, Andorra, USA, France, Holland and of course the UK. Still kept the Customs guys busy!
It was very hot again today so we had a lovely lazy day on the boat watching all the activity in the bay. Being Sunday, the beaches were full and various boats were out and about, some waterskiing or pulling children behind on tubes and other inflatables.
It was a very low tide and a few people were wandering around up to their thighs in the sea poking with sticks and catching things in hand nets. Even with the binoculars we couldn’t make out what they were collecting. (Deb, see, there are opportunities for curtain twitching even on a boat!)
We had a swim, even though the water was a bit cold, with really cold patches every now and then that made you catch your breath! Afterwards we showered using the solar showers we had been warming on the deck. The water was not very hot but quite warm enough especially in this weather.
Tomorrow we are off to the Ria de Arousa. We need to go to Vilagarcia to collect a parcel. (More about that later).