09/21/2009, Ria de Arousa - Caraminal
Force 3-4 NE forecasted and we eighed anchor soon after breakfast. Sunny and nice with the Atalntic Ocean flat as a livingroom floor as far as one could see. We made 3-4,5 knots under sail until noon, then the wind turned variable and very light. Sailing and motoring on/off for the remains of the day. We made good some 40 miles to enter the largest if the Rias, Ria de Arousa 15 miles long and 7 wide. A cruising ground in itself according to Reeds. Well, we dropped the hook at 8.30PM just outside the marina/fishing harbour/commercial port combo. A local fiesta opposite the port provided us with musical entertainment until midnight. We are looking forward to explore this area a few days since the high pressure system that covers a huge part of the Atlantic at the moment, from the Acores to France will stay around for a while providing light and variable winds.
We decied to stay here until tomorrow. We slept quite (a bit too) long in the morning and just didn't feel like 'hitting the road' again today. Instead, we did some small stuff on the boat and read a while before taking the dinghy to shore after lunch. We spent the whole afternoon walkng around town. Sunday, siesta time, so we hardly saw anyone. Not too many boaters/tourists come here I guess. Because everyone said 'Buenos Dias' or 'Hola' and some asked where we are coming from. We are the only visiting boat anchored off the city wharf too.
Quiet evening in the cabin, tomorrow we will 'move a bit south' again. we are like migrating birds, escaping the northern winter. I must admit that if feeels good to be in T-shirt, shorts and sandals when I consider the usual weather in late September back in Sweden. At least two weekends usually are cold, windy and rainy and less agreable for sailing.
After Rain comes sun as the saying goes. And at noon the sky was mostly blue and we weighed anchor. Before doing so, we rowed ashore and provisioned food and local wine at a near by 'supermercado' . Best to take advantage of the relatively short walking distance to buy 'heavy stuff' I e wine and canned food. Mostly 'mejillones' (mussels) and 'pulpa en su tinto' (octopus in it's ink) which we really love. Talking about mejillones, they were found in large numbers where we landed the dinghy. As it was low tide, I could not withstand the temptation to pick a good kilogram of the smaller ones for lunch. Yummy!
The only thing that was less than perfect today, was the lack of wind. Thus, motoring. Again. But it was quite enjoyable on a flat sea, To pass 'Finisterre' (land's end) the end of the known world for the Romans and Europe's most western cape I believe. The Romans might have been well organiszed and fierce warriors, but they were by no means seafarers, originally a small tribe from the Alps. When we passed by this rugged, rocky and several hundred meters high Cape, I could almost sea the roman legions - for my inner sight- marching to the end of this peninsula. Stopping, shrugging their shoulders when they found 'just water', and then turning eastwards again.
So did we. turn eastward that is... Finisterre is a 3 mile long peninsula stretching from North to south and inside another of these beatiful Galician Rias opened ahead of our bow. Ria de Corcubión, where we dropped anchor in some 20 feet of water a good hour before dinner time. Dinner time for us is usullay around 7.30-8 PM, french dinner time more or less. Here isn Spain, dinner time would typically be 9-9.30 PM.
13 degrees C in the morning. We have been spoiled the last montth or so, with ever lasting sun and warmth. Time to go south (or fire up the cabin heater) We choose to continue south. Very light and variable winds forecasted for today, and that was correct. We woke up in a wrapping of dense fog. Later in the morning it seemed to lift at sea even if it linguered inside the ria and over the mountains of course. At 11 AM we decided to go around 20 miles to the next Ria expecting to motor most of the way but since it's not that far...
This part of the coast is called 'Costa del Muerto' (coast of death). In bad conditions it' must be a scary coast to be approaching, but the name emanates from history. This was one of many places on earth, where the locals lit fires at night i stormy weather so causing the sailing ships to believe that the fire was (the origi of lighthouses) showing the safe entrance. When the ship got wrecked, the locals took whatever they could salvage, often killing the surviving sailors in the process. A horrifying grim act by today's standards, but nevertheless quite common in many parts of the world in the past.
During the day we passed 'Cabo Villano' (Cape Evil) and tomorrow we expect to succesfully pass 'Finisterre' (land's end) - the most westerly point of Spain - before going south to the 'Rias Bajas' (lower Rias) before crossing the border to Portugal.
The fog came back after an hour or so, and we practised radar navigation again, motoring inside a confined universe of humidity and a very narrow horizon of water, often a mere 50 meter away.
Much to enhance our overall mood, the fog lifted magically when we entered Ria de Camarinas. The entrance is straightforward, epecially compared to most landfalls in Swedish waters and the anchor sooon landed in 6,5 meter of water inside the breakwater again.
The remains of the day was spent, changing galley pump with united force, and then renovating the old one. despite being the same make, they obviously didn't fit exactly the same hole pattern. Anyone who has experienced this ?? ;-)
Yesterday our new galley pump arrived. The staff at the chandlery were very helpful and the parcel arrived exactly as said. Impressive. The often commented 'Manana' attidtude is something we haven't encountered at all. On the contrary, the Spanish are helpful, interested and very pleasant to deal with all in all. (at least that goes for the people in Galicia)
Yesterday we had the Customs visit us too. Three uniformed gentlemen in a RIB. Even they were very polite and correct and we had a quite amusing chat while they briefly overlooked our documentation. Apparently they are busy during the winter season with refugees trying to enter Spain, Mostly Maroccans as I understood it. We were allowed to stay, maybe an advantage of the European Union.
Yesterday night we were invited to a birthday party on board 'Zephyr' from Jersey, who were anchored close by. We first met them in Ria Vivero and had a quick chat there. They are on the same route as us basically, so we'll probably see them around from time to time. A very entertaining evening with Steve, Colin and Danielle.
Thank you so much and welcome onboard 'Röde Orm' the next time we'll see you!
it was raining during last night, it rained on and off in the morning and then it just poored down all evening and night. At least 55 mm of rain in a bucket in the cockpit. Shocking, since we haven't had a drop in at least a month iIIRC. Add no wind and a three meter swell and this was not a day to remember for great sailing. All of you who have been on the water no what I am talking about here.
The Iron Genny had to work during the approx. 30 miles to the westsouthwest where our chosen stop was. A smaller Ria with one litlle fishng harbour each side of it. Corme and Laxo. Corme is protected against the N and E so was our choice for the night. In the poor visibility we could just about get an impression of the town and it's surroundings. Must be very pretty on a clear day.
We anchored inside the breakwater and spent the remains of the evening arranging all our wet gear in the cabin trying to get it dry with the aid of oil lamps.