Wednesday, 28 August 2013

A Coruna To Ria De Arosa

     After five nights in A Coruna we set off for the Western Rias around what is known as the Coast of Death ( Costa De Morte). We departed on 16th August at 1000 hours in grey and swelly seas after watching two Cruise ships berth at La Coruna, one of which we have since discovered had Gaynor from Kemp Sails aboard. We were then given a grand send off by a port fire boat practising her drills in the bay.
The Fire Boat Gives Us A Send Off From A Coruna
   Throughout this passage we had 5 schools of dolphins join us at various points along the way. We had a surprisingly easy windless passage with a glassy smooth sea and good views of the rocky coastline. 
Dolphins Again!
6 Dolphins Approaching To Port.
Dolphin Playing.
     Every hill along the coast was covered in wind farms which you can just see in the photograph below. Rias De Camarinas was a lovely sheltered spot to rest overnight in the north west corner of Spain.

Coming Round Into Ria De Camarinas
Guy Surveying The Scenery
Anchored In Ria De Camarinas Beyond Harbour
    We awoke to thick fog the following morning with only two of our five companions at anchor visible. We pulled up the anchor at 11.30 as the fog cleared in the Ria to show the town and harbour of Camarinas and our way out of the bay. On leaving the Ria we plunged back into the thick fog with only 20m visibility at times. The fog stayed with us for five hours as Guy tracked our progress with chart plotter and radar and warning other boats by sounding our 'fog horn'!! At 1355 hrs we crossed south of the 43 Northing which we had followed westwards since reaching Spain a month ago.

Anchored in Thick Fog With 5 Other Yachts!
Camarinas Harbour Emerged From Thick Fog

Fog Clearing. Heading South From Rias Camarinas
Guy Blowing His Trumpet (Again) In Thick Fog.
20m Visibility.
     The fog lifted as we came round Cabo Finisterre and we sailed through thousands of seagulls resting on the sunnier waters and a school of dolphins before anchoring in the Bay of Sardineiro. It was a beautiful sunny evening for a swim, a BBQ and a celebratory drink now that we were heading South again. 
Rounding Cabo Finisterre
Anchored In Ensenada De Sardinero
Guy Preparing The BBQ
     We headed off at 11.15 for a coastal crawl around the Ria De Corcubion before heading south to the Ria De Muros. It was a glorious day of sailing in light winds and we entered the Ria De Muros under jib and anchored just off the town of Muros. 
Calm Waters In The Bay of Finisterre.
Old Fort Converted To House In Corcubion
 Corcubion Harbour 
Sailing Into Rias De Muros
     The clouds thickened over the hills that evening and the winds increased overnight as forecast.  The following day we awoke having turned during the night to be on a lee shore with hundreds of Spanish on the beach cockle picking we believe. We waited until midday when Guy's pain in his toe (gout?) had eased and the tide had risen safely enough to make a move into the shelter of Muros Marina. Along with the anchor we pulled up a fishing net which thankfully came off quite easily.
Thick Cloud Engulfing The Hills
Spanish Cockle Shell Pickers Swarm The Beach Of Muros
     We ventured into the town that evening and enjoyed a Tapas meal and drinks in a small and crowded plaza . We returned into town the following day to resupply and explore the narrow streets before departing for Portosin, a short hop away across the Ria. This involved meandering through the 'viveros' anchored in the bay.

Muros Town Centre
Muros Promenade With Marina In Background
Guy Sailing Past The Viveros (fish farms).
        We completed the paperwork for a permit to visit the islands off  the southern Rias, in Portosin and set off at midday to anchor off a lovely beach and island at Punta Aguiera due to the cost of the marina (Euros 37)! We enjoyed a BBQ but no swim due to the temperature of the water, it dropped to 17C.

Another Siesta Moment at Aguiera.
A Tough Life!
Anchored off Isla Aguieroa.
Ginny Preparing The BBQ
     We awoke on our Wedding Anniversary, 22nd August with dark clouds and winds approaching from the south. Ginny presented Guy with a Spanish cheese called Tetilla as a reminder of days gone by. We raised the sails and tacked southwards until the wind dropped 2 hours later. We put the engine on to take a short cut through the islands and rocky headland of Punta Falcoeiro into the Ria De Arosa. We negotiated several viveros and rocks before anchoring off the town of Palmeira.
Cloud And Strong Winds Approaching.
Guy Marvelling At The Shape Of The Soft Spanish Cheese.
Happy Memories!!
Ginny Watching For Rocks On Our Short Cut
Through The Canal De Sagres.
     We pumped up the dingy for a lovely trip ashore at Palmeira and the usual wifi drink in a harbour side bar. There was a lovely small harbour with a statue dedicated to emigrants to America perched on top of the rocks. We awoke in the early morning surrounded at low tide by rounded rosy rocks and viveros. Ginny rowed ashore for a swim in shallow warmer waters.
The Statue To Emigrants At Palmeira.
Guy Viewing Ria De Arosa From The Top Of Palmeirira 
Early Morning View Of The Viveros
The Village Of Palmeira
Surrounded By The Rocks At Low Tide

     We departed at 1230 to explore the safer anchorages and marinas of Ria De Arosa due to impending strong winds. We then anchored off to the south of the Marina Rianjo off another lovely beach sheltered from strong Northerlies. We spent two blustery days here. Guy tested the water with a jump into the Ria but shot back out quicker then entry due to the cold 16C temperature!

Playa De  Quenxo Just South Of Rianjo Town.
Our Anchorage At Playa De Quenxo
Sunset At Playa De Quenxo.
   The winds picked up to gale force, but despite being in gorgeous sunshine, we decided to up anchor and head off round the corner to Villagarcia Marina on the 25 August where we have remained for 4 days due to the strong winds and big swell outside. It has not been all bad as the sun has continued to shine forcing us to raise the Bimini. It has also been a good location to stock up, get the laundry completed and chat to several other Brits.
Guy Lifting The Anchor Full Of Weed And Mud
Guy Checking The Weather At Villagarcia Marina.
F8/9. But Sun All Day At 30C.
      We took the opportunity to visit Santiago De Compostela, a short trip away by train, and visit the cathedral and various old buildings. It was certainly an inspiring city and our feet were exhausted after wandering around all day. Zoe will certainly enjoy her visit in 3 weeks time.

Ginny In Santiago De Compostela
Santiago Cathedral
Santiago Square
Santiago Cathedral
     We returned to the marina and quaffed wonderful tapas with an outstanding sunset at the marina restaurant. We don't know how they make a profit as the meal only cost us £20 including drinks and was delicious. They are a really friendly and helpful bunch at the marina and restaurant.

Tapas And Sunset
    This picture of our route from A Coruna (white cross) to Villagarcia (red boat shape) shows our coastel hugging route all around the Bay of Death to the Ria De Arosa. We have practically followed the 10m depth contour line the whole way round. Not a single bay has been left unexplored! The coordinates at the top show our present position south of 43 Northing at last. 

  Sorry for delay in this post, but we have been anchored a great deal more over the last 12 days. We plan to move round to the Ria De Vigo and explore the islands once the wind has settled down a bit.