Sugar 'n' Spice – Weblog 4

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Corme, Galicia, Spain


43º 07’58 N

9º 10’94 W

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Camarinas, Galicia, Spain

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Monday 16th May. A mid morning start for a very pleasant sail 6 nm to the island of Ons (another nature reserve & another permit) where we anchored off the beach at Playa de Melide (Malide) for a coffee stop. It looked very pleasant, the island was lower than the Cies, but it was not an overnight anchorage, so we continued, first motoring through a narrow channel between island, rocks & a beacon then sailing again. A beat into the Ria Arosa, then the wind dropped & we threaded our way in shallow water between viveros (mussel rafts) & anchored behind Punta Cabreiron, Isla Toxa Grande. (13.4 nm)



The island, joined to the mainland by a bridge, sported hotels, & a golf course but the anchorage was a very peaceful spot with just a few passing fishing boats. As the tide dropped the mud flats became home to various gulls & waders, some sort of owl called in the trees around the golf course, & we think we heard a nightjar ‘churr’.

Tuesday 17th May. A very late morning start on a rising tide. Despite this we still touched something on the bottom once (the depth gauge read ·7 of a metre under the keel). As we cleared the shallows there was a glimpse of fins in the distance & we could sail. A beat. After about an hour the wind died so the engine went on until we reached our anchorage off Isla Cortegada, near Vilagarcia. 15 nm.



Another nature reserve, another permit, & this time we went ashore & walked round it. It was a delightful wooded (oaks, firs & eucalyptus) island & the route was literally round the circumference, 3½ kms of fairly level walking. Back at the boat we decided to move to a quieter anchorage for the night, as just across the water fishing boats were moored & behind them on the waterfront were several restaurants.

So we backtracked 4½ nm to an anchorage we had used travelling south behind viveros at Punta Pineiro. We remembered it as ‘one fishing boat bay’ & sure enough there was a fishing boat in the same place. It was a glorious evening & made the ‘backtrack’ worthwhile, & a very peaceful night.



Wednesday 18th May. A prompt departure, the wind already starting to blow (as forecast) through the viveros to the marina at Vilagarcia. (4.4.nm).

Once moored we headed off to the rail station & the 20 min trip south to Pontevedra in the next ria. There is a low bridge to seaward of the town so although Sanxenxo was in the same ria we could not take Sugar ‘n’ Spice to Pontevedra from there. The river (Lerez) does a big loop round the town, we headed to the seaward end, only to find that the old town with its narrow streets, churches & crosses, fountains & columned squares, was a very small area on the other side of the loop.



Needless to say we did a lot of ups & downs, & did find a very pleasant lunch stop in the old town before heading back to the station for a train to Vilagarcia.

Thursday 19th May. A leisurely morning doing some provisioning, gaz, water etc & giving the wind a chance to drop, before departing about midday. A dredger was working in the harbour entrance & we crept warily by, then could sail. The wind gradually died, Doug fished (normal result - nil), a couple of freighters passed, then mid afternoon we threaded our way between rocky outcrops & anchored off Playa del Corosa near Santa Uxia. 9 nm.

A pleasant relatively uncrowded beach, but the fishing harbour to the west was busy.

At dusk the ‘men in black’ (well blue) arrived in the form of Customs in a large fast rib. They came gently alongside & 2 very polite & courteous officers came on board to inspect our papers. All very civil, but we had our supper later than planned.


Friday 20th May. An untroubled night. We woke to find lots of fishermen in little boats using the low tide to harvest shellfish. They use rakes with very long flexible handles to reach the depths & it seemed hard work for a small result.



Left the anchorage around 9am sailing. Later at a narrows between rocks & a beacon there were lots of fishing boats so we furled the genny for better vision & control through the tight gap. (it seems wider for the fishermen!). Turning up the coast we got a massive header that put the wind on the nose, there was a big swell, so the engine went on to motor sail the rest of the way to our destination across the bay from the town of Muros in the next ria north. 24.5 nm.

As we arrived a group of dolphins were circling the bay, presumably fishing. Needless to say by the time the business of anchoring was done they were out of practical camera range.

We took the dinghy across the bay to explore the town which had some interesting architecture & buildings.



Back at the boat we were just finishing supper when the Aduana (Customs) arrived again. A different crew, this time in a bigger boat, still very polite & courteous, but they still had to come aboard & do the paperwork! As they left we asked if we would see them tomorrow which caused amusement.

Saturday 21st May. Left the Muros anchorage motoring with light wind dead on the nose. There were some lovely silver sand beaches,but the sea was bouncy. Each headland we rounded the wind followed round & stayed on the nose – it was SE in the anchorage & NW when we arrived & anchored in Ensenada del Sardineiro within sight of Cape Finisterre. 19.6 nm. Another quiet & peaceful anchorage.



Sunday 22nd May. A prompt departure to round Cape Finisterre before the wind got up, as not for nothing is its name ‘the end of the earth’. Fish were jumping as we left the anchorage (well it was Sardine bay!), the wind was on the nose again & again followed as we rounded the Cape, the most westerly point in Spain, but not in Iberia.

A few yachts were heading S, there were gannets, the obligatory fishing boats & marker floats. Otherwise it was a grey, cool day. We stopped at the town of Camarinas, another return visit, at the Yacht Club marina. 25.6 nm.

We had a stroll round the town, realised it was Spanish election day, which seemed odd to us for a Sunday & finished with supper in the Club.


Update.  Generally this week Doug seems much better & the rash is calming down. As people have obviously realised we are doing rather shorter distances in a day than our norm, & are motoring when the sailing would be a beat, which would lengthen the journey & so get us into the stronger afternoon winds as well.




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