Ria de Pontoverda (Aguete) to Ria de Vigo (Baiona)
23 June 2014
Stu & Shar
We left in light NE winds which shifted to the south as a small front passed through. We were sitting right on the edge of this front with dark grey clouds and raining to the east and clear brilliant sunshine to the west......the wind picked up and kicked in quite heavily as we passed between the mainland and the Islas de Cies...we had a full main and headsail set and I was thinking of putting in a reef and rolling up a bit of headsail, but had a couple of miles to go to the bay we were going to anchor in on the island and thought I'll "pinch it" and ride it out not far to go.....as they say when you're thinking of putting a reef in...do it....well the decision was made for me, when a good gust came through and dipped Songbirds rail in the water and the saloon windows allowed a good view underwater.....I didn't fight it too hard and she rounded up and gently flipped us into a "heave to" position...... I turned the wheel to hold her in this position and all went quiet on board, the boat settled and the gust blew and whistled through the rigging for a couple of minutes, while we gently drifted down wind in what was quite a choppy sea and about 1.5 - 2 metres of swell....this was brilliant as I was able to show Shar and Jack exactly what could be done if you got caught in a bad squall and needed to ride it out...they were both surprised at how stable and how comfortable it was just sitting there......anyhow we put the reef in and sailed into the bay at Islas de Cies......what an absolutely gem this place was...very popular with the locals and quite a number of people enjoying the day on the Island...Shar and I went for a very long walk up to the lighthouse and back which had spectacular views, well worth the effort. We debated whether to stay the night here or continue the 7nm trip across the bay to Baiona. A wind shift of 30 degrees would make it a very uncomfortable night, so off to Baiona we went, pulling up on a mooring about an hour before dark, to be shifted by the harbour master as it was a private mooring. Once we had tidied up the boat, had a shower and swapped the "grotty yachty" look for a few smarter clothes, we walked into the club rooms......whoa !!!......this was a very posh and old yacht club, with deep leather furniture, heavy linen table clothes and set up for fine dining cuisine....not so......it was very relaxed....very reasonably priced and good quality food, wine and beer. This was all set in the grounds of an old fort/castle set on the side of a headland, a great place to celebrate Jack's 17th birthday. We spent a couple of days here taking the bus up to Vigo and waiting for a good patch of weather to move further south into Portugal. We packed away the dinghy we had been towing since we entered the Ria's as the coast southwards was less hospitable and quite exposed to the elements, with only a few select locations to duck into for cover if needed. On Jacks birthday it was also 'San Juan' festival (or festival of fire and water), so all the coastal towns in the Ria turned on a party which pretty well lasted all night, which was brilliant, but definitely an ear plugs night when we turned in.