Sugar 'n' Spice – Weblog 3

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Sanxenxo, Galicia, Spain


42º 23’78 N

8º 48’27 W

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Sanxenxo, Galicia, Spain

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Sunday 8th May. We took a lunchtime stroll through Viana & were surprised how quiet everywhere was.



We took the funicular up to the basilica on Mont St Lucia, high above the town, & wandered the wooded paths, scented with eucalyptus & pine & with early mimosa starting to flower.

Looking down we could see breakers rolling halfway across the harbour entrance caused by a huge swell originating from a storm out in the Atlantic.

Monday 9th May. A prompt departure, at high water, motoring in light airs. The swell had reduced somewhat & there were no breakers at the harbour entrance, but sailing was still ineffective. (On this coast the swell is often more important than the wind). Within an hour quite a large group of dolphins were cavorting round us, but the swell limited the views of them. At 10.20am we crossed the border with Spain (an hour added to the time), & around midday we bore away & were able to sail the last few miles into Baiona. We fuelled & tied to a long pontoon in the Sport Marina with a lovely view across the port to the castle. 34.4nm, & another return visit.

A reminder recce stroll plus provisioning run, then a fish supper.



Tuesday 10th May.A late morning start for a very relaxed beat in lovely weather to anchor at Playa das Rodas, Isla del Faro in the Cies islands.

11nm & another lovely place we visited travelling south.

These islands are a nature reserve & require permits to visit.

The permits required are an annual permit to navigate in the waters of the Islas Atlanticas de Galicia and Island specific daily permits (2 for overnight).

Our anchorage was where the 2 largest islands (the mid & northern) are joined by a sand spit or isthmus. This time round we were totally legal. There seemed to be several ferries delivering large groups for walking (no vehicles on the islands) tours. They all departed about teatime & we were left in full possession! Took the dinghy to the beach, had our first ‘sea’ swim of the season, watched the sun set over the isthmus & relaxed in the peace.

Next day (11th May) we headed ashore early & walked the trail up to Faro da Porta, the lighthouse at the southern tip of the middle island (Isla do Faro). Seas raged in the channel between it & the southernmost island, but fishing boats were, typically, still working in the surf! A lot of nesting gulls yelled at us, but returned to the hollows that passed for nests as soon as we were gone. We continued on permitted trails to an unusual rock formation with a hole through it & a bird hide/viewpoint over cliff & ocean. Returning to sea level we walked the length of the isthmus beach (only our footprints on it!) to the dinghy & thence back to the boat.



The forecast had predicted more wind for the evening so mid afternoon we left for a more sheltered anchorage off the beach at Ensenada de Barra (west of Cangas). A lazy 3.5nm just unfurling the genny.

Thursday 12th May. Lots of weed when we hauled the anchor late morning. Initially motoring to charge the battery we left Ria Vigo heading north. We crossed the mouth of Ria Aldan, bore away some more & unfurled the genny to sail up the Ria Pontevedra. We anchored for lunch off the fishing village of Combarra which we had intended to visit. 17nm.

Doug had had a rash on his back for several days which, knowing the way his skin reacts to insect bites, we had assumed was due to bites or an allergic reaction. However at this point we decided it was getting worse, so we returned as far as the marina at Sanxenxo, a bigger town. (6nm). We were able to find a Health Centre, where after a wait, a Doctor inspected the rash & said Shingles. Not what we were expecting at all. So he has cream for the rash & painkillers, but basically the virus which lays dormant after chickenpox in childhood has to run its course.

Friday 13th May to Sunday 15th May. We sorted some jobs, the laundry & did some provisioning, but mostly stayed close to base, although I took a walk along the beaches.



We had intended to be in Sanxenxo for this weekend as strong winds had been forecast, & they duly arrived. The marina has very smart steel railings & at force 5 & above they resonate & play tunes!

Doug is feeling better today so if that continues & the winds moderate as forecast we hope to move on tomorrow.


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