Cruising in Greece

Sailing TB from the Villaine River in 2009 and now cruising Greece in 2011.

Vessel Name: Tobin Bronze
Vessel Make/Model: 35ft cold moulded plywood sloop
Hailing Port: Bristol
Crew: Peter and Judy Ward
Launched in 1985. After one year sailing in the Bristol Channel, TB has been sailed for 17,700 plus miles by Peter, Judy, Charlotte, Ben and Sofie - firstly based in Dartmouth and then in South Brittany. [...]
03 July 2016 | Agmar Marine Boatyard. Partheni, Island of Leros
30 October 2015
01 October 2014 | Kilada to Orei
25 November 2013
19 July 2013
26 June 2013 | Koilada
01 December 2012
01 November 2012 | Koilada
29 September 2011
10 September 2011
15 June 2011 | British Columbia, Canada
20 August 2010 | Ria de Vigo
28 October 2009 | Cangas
17 September 2009
Recent Blog Posts
21 June 2017

Dodecanese Islands - Spring 2017

Judy and I arrived back at Leros airport at 08:15hrs on Wed 10 May 2017. We had a three and a half hour wait at Athens for the small commuter plane to Leros. A long wait but we enjoyed the views of various islands on the one hour flight to Leros. The boatyard had arranged for a hire car to be waiting [...]

03 July 2016 | Agmar Marine Boatyard. Partheni, Island of Leros

Orei to Leros, Summer 2016

Judy and I returned to Greece on 17 April 2016. Sofie and one year old Edith met up with us at Heathrow and we flew off together. We picked up a hire car at Athens airport and drove to Orei on Evia Island, crossing on the Arkitsas to Edipsos ferry.

01 October 2014 | Kilada to Orei

Summer 2014

19 July 2013

An Island Too Far.

For the first trip of the summer, I planned a nice little cruise down the west side of the Argolic Gulf, past Cape Maleas to north west Crete and along the coast to Iraklion. We were to meet up with Kevin and Lesley there and then continue the loop back to Koilada via Thira (Santorini) and Milos in the [...]

Early summer in Rias Baixas

20 August 2010 | Ria de Vigo
On Wednesday, 02 June 2010, Judy and I headed back to Spain via Oporto in Portugal with Easyjet from Gatwick. We were laden down with 3 heavy bags of gear for the boat. We hired a car for a week from Oporto airport and drove the 160 or so kilometres to Cangas, Ria de Vigo, where we had left Tobin Bronze laid up for the winter. We stayed for three nights in the Hotel Playa which was right on the beach in Cangas.

Tobin Bronze had been well looked after by Adolfo at the Nautica Sernade boatyard in Cangas. Within a few days the anti-fouling was on and TB was ready to go back into the water the following Saturday. We then stayed in Cangas for three nights, catching up on boat maintenance.

On Tuesday 08 June, we motored across the Ria to Real Club Nautico in Vigo where TB was eased into a Mediterranean mooring - stern to the pontoon with the bow secured to a mooring by a lazy line.

In Vigo marina Look in the Photo Album 'Galicia - Spring 2010' for enlarged image.

Next morning, Judy and I took the ferry back across to Cangas, collected the hire car and returned it to Oporto railway station. We spent the afternoon wandering around Oporto and visiting Taylor's Port Caves. It was an interesting and enjoyable afternoon. We caught the "international" train back from Oporto to Vigo at 18:00hrs. I was expecting a modern train but the train was more reminiscent of the rattle-trap carriages used by South West Trains from Bristol to Southampton. It was also "all stations to" Vigo and took about three and a half hours.

River Duoro in Oporto Look in the Photo Album 'Galicia - Spring 2010' for enlarged image.

The weather the first week was a mixed bag; some rain but generally warm - over 20 deg C.

On Thursday morning, Judy and I rode the tourist bus around Vigo which is a busy, thriving commercial city. The "Celebrity Eclipse" liner was alongside in Vigo; all 122,000 gross tons, 315 metres long, 17 decks high and with 2894 passengers plus 1218 crew. It certainly blocked out the horizon.

View from fortress in Vigo Look in the Photo Album 'Galicia - Spring 2010' for enlarged image.

The highlight of my stay was seeing a yacht named "Drake" in the marina at Real Club Nautico, Vigo. Perhaps a slight lack of sensitivity from the owner!

On Friday afternoon, we moved back across the Ria de Vigo to Moana where TB had spent a lot of time last year. We were greeted like old friends by the marina staff. The facilities still have not improved but we were reassured that the marina complex would be built by 2011.

Over the next few days we made our way up back north to Vilagarcia in Ria de Arosa. The weather was generally warm but prone to fresh gusting northerly winds. A large high pressure system was stationary out in the Atlantic, resulting in northerly winds all down the Iberian peninsula. The mountainous Galician terrain also influenced the wind strength and direction; so conditions were quite variable.

Judy enjoying the sunshine Look in the Photo Album 'Galicia - Spring 2010' for enlarged image.

Vilagarcia is a well sheltered marina with very friendly helpful staff - they could not do enough for us. The town is also well positioned for crew changes by train to Santiago de Compostela and La Coruna. Judy returned to Wiltshire for a week from the 16th July to attend her cousin's wedding, leaving me to get on with doing some painting on the boat. Being a wooden boat, TB is very demanding on maintenance and I had a work list that seemed to be getting longer each year!

I spent a couple of days in Vilagarcia until the winds reduced in strength and then had a great sail across the Ria to the anchorage at Caraminal, a town with a nice beach and friendly atmosphere. When I came to leave Caraminal I found that my anchor was fouled by an old abandoned mooring chain. In the end I had to go into the extremely cold water with snorkel and goggles to sort it out. Fortunately for me, Chris a Kiwi guy cruising with his wife and two young daughters came over to give me a hand.

Early morning fishermen off beach in Caraminal Look in the Photo Album 'Galicia - Spring 2010' for enlarged image.

Judy returned with oldest daughter Charlotte on Wed 23 July and we had a nice sail down to Isla Ons that evening. The Rias Baixas are protected form the Atlantic Ocean by the islands Salvora, Ons and Cies, all part of the Atlantic National Park. They are mostly un-inhabited with only small resident communities on each island. Charlotte and I had a great walk up to the top of Isla Ons. Late that evening we were visited by a sleek looking Spanish customs launch. The two officers who came onboard TB were very polite and charming. They collected details from the ship's papers and from our passports then waved us goodbye.

Next morning a Coast Guard cutter was nosing around the anchorage and inspecting some of the boats there. Being a National Park, fishing boats and yachts have to get a permit to visit the islands. I had been told - unofficially - that foreign cruising boats did not need this permit. So I was very relieved when the cutter did not bother us or the other British yacht in the anchorage.

Charlotte's friend Laura arrived on Sunday and we collected her from Vilagarcia. We had a few days pottering around the Ria de Arosa in the hot sunshine. Charlotte, Judy and Laura showed great fortitude in going for longs swims to and from the beach. My excuse was that I had to row the dinghy but as far as I was concerned the water was far too cold for me!

The night before Charlotte and Laura were to fly back to London, we watched Spain beat Portugal in the World Cup. We were in a packed open air bar in Vilagarcia and the atmosphere was wonderful. After that Judy and I made sure that we were near a bar for the rest of Spain's games. We were lucky to be there at that time,

Judy and I then spent a few days before friends Pat and John arrived on Monday 5th July. Highlights of their visit were the Baiona (Spain 1 - Germany 0) and a great walk on Isla Cies. We also cheered Spain to victory over Holland in a bar in Moana. The celebrations after were something to be seen!! Amazing.

Lookout on Isla Ons Look in the Photo Album 'Galicia - Spring 2010' for enlarged image.

We hired a car on Monday to take John and Pat to the airport in La Coruna and to pick up Roger and Jenny from the return Vueling Airline flight from Heathrow. As Judy and I were killing time wandering around La Coruna, we heard from John that the flight to London was cancelled. I wonder if it could have had anything to do with the crew suffering from their celebrations the previous night.

Anyway we drove back to Moana without Roger and Jenny and they eventually made it to Vigo the next day but minus their luggage which was still in Madrid. The helpful girl in the marina office in Moana was able to arrange for their luggage to be delivered to the marina. It eventually arrived at 11:15hrs on Thursday.

We sailed back south to Baiona Thursday afternoon after stopping for lunch at Isla Cies. It is such a lovely town that we wanted Roger and Jenny to visit it as well. After they had completed the compulsory walk around the walls of the ancient citadel, we headed back north up the Ria de Pontevedra to visit Cambarro which all the guide books rave over. The village is a fascinating place but a garish modern marina and extremely ugly conference has been built in front of the town. But once you get ashore and into its narrow streets it is another world.

Norrow streets in Cambarro Look in the Photo Album 'Galicia - Spring 2010' for enlarged image.

As we were sailing up the Ria to Combarro we were treated to a display as a forest fire fighting plane was practicing filling up with water and then dumping it back into the sea. They went around and around for about half an hour.

Fire fighting plane Look in the Photo Album 'Galicia - Spring 2010' for enlarged image.

On Saturday 17 July, we left Combarro at 11:30hrs and motored in bright sunshine and perfect visibility to Isla Ons. We picked up a mooring off the small jetty there but it was too rough to transfer ashore via the dinghy. After lunch we had a lazy sail under genoa alone to Porto Novo. Judy and I had visited it back in June and had found a very good restaurant there. Unfortunately there was no room for us in the small club marina so we had to go a mile or so across the bay to the big brash and expensive marina at Sanxenxo. In the evening we walked around to our restaurant in Porto Novo where the waiter remembered us and gave us a great welcome. We had a delicious seafood meal and even when one brandy, three beers and a bottle of Casa de la Luna wine was included the bill still was only 69 Euros.

But that night the music in the marina at Sanxenxo was very loud and went on to 06:00hrs. Which seems to be pretty much the norm in Galicia.

Next day we motored over a flat calm sea back to St Adrian where we had arranged to leave Tobin Bronze. Off Vigo there was an enormous gathering of pleasure boats for some maritime festival or the other. The Spanish really know how to enjoy their festivals. Tugboats firing water canons into the air and an aerial display of precision
flying and another by aerobatic planes.

Monday found us travelling back home by taxi to Vigo, train to La Coruna and the flying to Heathrow.
Tobin Bronze's Photos - Main
Photos 1 to 3 of 3
Tobin Bronze going out in the 1967 Melbourne Cup.
Sept 2017. Dodecanese Islands
17 Photos
Created 20 October 2017
Dodecanese Islands
23 Photos
Created 24 June 2017
Cruising from Orei. Evia to Leros in the Dodcanese in May, June
18 Photos
Created 30 October 2016
Launch from Orei, sail north to Thessaloniki, around the Khalkidhiki paninsula and Mt Athos to Nea Peramos.
17 Photos
Created 14 December 2015
22 Photos
Created 15 October 2014
Re-launch in Kilada to Orei, Evia in early July
16 Photos
Created 22 July 2014
13 Photos
Created 18 May 2014
A late summer cruise to the northern Cyclades
18 Photos
Created 20 January 2014
Cruise to Crete
11 Photos
Created 19 July 2013
Visits to Koilada May & june 2013
11 Photos
Created 9 June 2013
From Kalamata to the Argolic Gulf in July 2012
57 Photos
Created 12 January 2013
From Messolonghi to Kalamata May 2012
45 Photos
Created 10 January 2013
Italy to Zakinthos and Messolonghi
15 Photos
Created 24 November 2011
Lipari, Vulcano and Stromboli - three of the Aeolian Islands
30 Photos
Created 24 November 2011
Sardinia and Sicily Sept 2011
19 Photos
Created 24 November 2011
Sailing from Cartagena to Sardinia
24 Photos
Created 24 November 2011
Sailing TB from Faro to Cartagena in June and July 2011
64 Photos
Created 9 August 2011
Sailing on John's boat 'Derby Lass'
20 Photos
Created 6 August 2011
Delivery trip with Woody from Vigo to Lisbon when John Q. met us. Then to Ohao where Judy replaced John for a trip up the Guardina River.
41 Photos
Created 1 October 2010
June - July in the Rias Baixas, Galicia
26 Photos
Created 8 August 2010
Six days on the "Dunmow Flitch" between Braunston and Market Harborough in April 2010.
26 Photos
Created 1 June 2010
Lay up for winter in Cangas
17 Photos
Created 27 October 2009
Newport R.I.,Cuttyhunk Island, Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket
48 Photos
Created 17 September 2009
Highlights of the trip from Viveiro to Ria de Vigo.
34 Photos
Created 2 August 2009
Hugh pod of dolphins encountered 10:30hrs 04 June at approx 44º24'N; 006º32'W
18 Photos
Created 23 June 2009
Between 02 June and 04 June 2009 from La Roche Bernard to Ribadeo in Galicia, Spain
11 Photos | 1 Sub-Album
Created 18 June 2009
Port de Foleux is about 15 miles up the Villaine River, 6 miles upstream from La Roche Bernard
4 Photos
Created 18 June 2009