Warm weather in the beautiful Galicia Rias
30 August 2018
Our hopes were fully met when we awoke in the anchorage off the village of Louro. Sunny and not a cloud in the sky! After a lazy morning we raised the anchor at 1pm and motored round the Ria Muros before heading round the corner towards the next Ria de Arousa.
At around 3pm the breeze filled in and we set full sail. We had a glorious cruise about 1 mile outside the numerous offlying rocks and as we approached Isla Salvore, which guards the entrance to the Ria, we converged with two other sailing yachts, one of 60' and the other about 35' . Of course when two boats meet it always becomes a race! However not one that lasted long as we blasted past both at around 9.5kts in 18kts of wind (see video).
The quick beat up the Ria Arouca took us to the port of Riveira where we were given a berth on the outer pontoon. The harbourmaster was very friendly but so laid back it took until the following morning to persuade him to register us and take payment. We moored next to a Belgian couple with two daughters aged 4 and 6 who were also planning an Atlantic crossing in November. each stop prompts other cruisers to come over and share their plans. Flying the ARC flag helps indicated ours.
Dinner in Riveira was at a local tapas restaurant and bar. The waiter was apparently also an English teacher, very friendly and after a good chat also plied us with complementary glasses of coffee liqueur to finish the meal. Riveira is a busy fishing port with a large fish processing centre right next to the marina.
As usual we checked the boat over and added to our to-do list. We'd noticed we had a couple of inches of salt water in our port engine compartment after the Biscay crossing and that the automatic bilge pump had failed. We'd pumped the water out by hand and the day under motor had confirmed our suspicions that it wasn't an engine problem but that the hatch wasn't closing tightly enough and waves splashing over the transom were leaking through the hatch seal, this was easy to fix. We removed the bilge pump and discovered that the plastic impeller had stripped off the metal axle. An email to Whale pumps received an immediate reply, they are posting a replacement for us to fit. Great support.
We were now getting used to going slowly and decided to head a few short miles up to the top of the ria to another anchorage of the beach at Escarbote for the night. Yet another peaceful spot, as usual our Spade anchor set immediately we dropped it and we decided to get out the stand up paddle board for some light entertainment. I also flew the replacement drone for the first time since my embarrassing loss of its predecessor during the round the island race, when we sailed the boat beyond the guard zone I'd set up for use on land!
Friday meant another Ria, this time 20 miles sail round to Ria Pontevedra and the beautiful town of Combarro. This old fishing village has narrow streets and houses built directly on the natural granite of the coast. Very picturesque and Lucy took us to a fantastic restaurant she'd been to with her husband Jim some 10 years ago. "Raciones" again, massive portions of octopus, sardines, scallops and chorizo!