Still BBQ weather here in Cartagena. 50+ adults today. Great company and music.
Last Days in Spain Monday 13th July
sorry not many photos in right places, problem with app.
Saturday 4th July – we couldn’t get the anchor to hold in Ensenada de San Francisco so we motored back around to Muros and anchored (on the 2nd attempt) between Rivalady and Deja Vu. This is when Neil misses Jake particularly and his 20 year old strength and stamina!
Sunday we set off early and sailed off the anchor, well more like drifted off. Neil put the engine on after 45minutes and then it took an hour and half to motor out to open sea. By then the wind had picked up and we had a nice sail round to Ria de Pontevedra and we anchored off a large tourist beach, Sanxenxo. Being a Sunday the beach was packed and within about half an hour the water around us was full of jet skis, teenagers in pedalos (practising their English by asking the time) and kayaks. The water went quiet at about 8pm but the beach stayed really busy till about 9pm. There was one other boat anchored, Kwanza from Luxembourg which we have seen a few times on our trip.
Monday morning we left Sanxenxo for Combarro at the end of the Ria. Neil said a couple of nights in a marina for my birthday would be good. We motored up the Ria and saw a pod of dolphins swimming down towards the sea. These were very showy Dolphins and regularly not only jumped out of the water but did twists before diving back in. Brilliant.
Combarro is a restored old fishing village of granite and has a huge number of ‘hurreos’ which look like stone sheds raised on granite legs and are/were traditionally used to store grain, potatoes etc that needed protecting from rodents. We have seen these all around this area and have seen new ones for sale in a garden centre type place.
The old village was really unusual with narrow streets and regular tat shops all selling the same things. Mainly witches! Witch t-shirts, hanging ones, standing ones, witches on thimbles, magnets and Celtic symbols on leather bracelets or painted on ceramic tiles. Also selling the local wines from the vineyards just beyond the town. There were granite crosses placed at all the crossroads in the old town. Apparently this was done when there was a problem in the area with witchcraft. Explained the shop tat a bit. Loads of restaurants too. Think Polperro with the sunshine. It has been beautifully restored with most of the houses looked lived in.
My birthday – Neil warmed the huge chocolate croissants we had bought the day before for breakfast and I opened the two cards which I had with me that Philippa and Rachel had given me before I left. Lots of messages on Facebook and a couple of emails. Mum and Bry rang to sing Happy Birthday. As we were walking in town a couple stopped to chat, it was Heather and Tony from the Luxembourg boat, Kwanza that we had been following about. They weren’t in the marina but were anchored just off the marina wall. They too are also blogging about their trip a t www.sailingkwanza.blogspot.co.uk
We had lunch on board which was chorizo sausages, salad and champagne and thought we’d be continental in the evening so didn’t go out for dinner till 9pm. We picked a restaurant overlooking the Ria, to be fair most of them did, and had a lovely meal with a bottle of Rioja between us. Just as we were leaving at 10pm, past our usual bedtime, a group with about 6 kids under ten were just settling down to place their order. Not as continental as we thought. Gavin, my younger brother, just got his birthday call in before I got on Facebook to shame him for not ringing me. He called at 11.03pm our time and sung Happy Birthday.
Wednesday 8th July after a disturbed night what with the wind blowing well and a huge Local Guardia boat coming in and docking in front of us with what sounded like jet engines, we had a lazy morning. I did do some washing on deck which dried really quickly with the wind and in the bright sun. We have decided to stay in the marina for an extra night as the wind is really strong and isn’t due to die down till early Thursday morning.
Thursday – wind has gone. Yesterday was too much and now there is none. We motored away from the marina about 8.30am. After 15mins Neil put up the sails and then wouldn’t put the engines back on until the approach to Baiona our next stop and last stop in Spain. At one point we were bobbing around barely doing a knot of speed for about 2.5 hours. In theory it shouldn’t bother me as even if we had reached our destination in a few hours, we weren’t planning to get off the boat. But it’s Neils frustration that winds me up. Stomping about pulling this or tightening that then complaining that there’s no wind. ‘Put the bloody engines on then or stop moaning’, my view obviously. Neil did say he wasn’t going to motor even if it took till 3 in the morning to reach Baiona. I said well he wouldn’t be eating till the morning then as I wasn’t going to cook dinner while at sea or in the dark! I lay down, bored, in the watch bunk and hey presto the wind picked up. Almost too much wind then. When I popped back out, I thought the coastline was approaching a bit too fast and was keen for Neil to get an engine down and the sails. However, it was much further away than it seemed. We also saw a couple of planes which looked like they were crashing beyond a piece of headland. Turned out they were fire fighting planes that were swooping down and picking up sea water. Don’t know if there was a fire somewhere or if they were just practising. As we motored into the anchorage in Baiona the catamaran in front of us was ‘Friendship’, June and Garry who we had met in ACoruna. After we had settled in, they popped over for a drink and a chat and gave us the important information on the town like where the supermarket is. Our trip took 9hrs and 13mins to do 24 miles with an average of 2.5knots (less than walking speed) but a maximum of 10.5knots. Definitely a trip of 2 halves.
Friday 10th July – friendship left in the morning to head back up to Vigo to pick up visiting family. After a late start we headed ashore for a bit of an explore. We walked around the castle on the headland which had some spectacular views out over the Atlantic. There was a woman, don’t like to say old because I actually think she wasn’t much older than me, stood feeding the seagulls. She didn’t seem to be enjoying it though. They were swooping down at her and she had some kind of cover over her mouth and nose. I think she was only wearing a hat to keep them from pooping on her head. They kept landing on her head and she would shoo them off. A bit more dangerous than feeding the pigeons I guess.
Saturday – what a busy day in the town. There was some kind of sporting event of the beach in town which involved swimmers swimming through the marina, not the brightest idea I thought as water looks murky and there was no one stopping any of the boats from moving around. Music being played from different places, impromptu marching bands seemed to appear along the sea front for a couple of minutes then disappear, maroons set off randomly and regularly and to top it off a music concert that was very loud, even in the bay and didn’t finish till 4.30am when maroons were set off to confirm the ending I assume. We walked up to the Virgin on the hill which is a great granite statue overlooking the entrance to the bay. Again spectacular views.
Sunday – a day on the boat. Reading, washing, sunbathing … Friendship came back in the afternoon and we dinghied over for a drink and to say hi to their son Garry and his fiancé, Hannah.
Monday – a day of chores as we hope to move on tomorrow. Shopping, rubbish disposal, wifi, water etc.