Sugar 'n' Spice – Weblog 5

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San Adrian de Cobres, Galicia, Spain


42˚ 18’ N

8˚ 39’ W

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San Adrian

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Mon 9th June.  A grey day, more rain in the forecast, but after settling with the marina we departed Vilagarcia as intended.  We just unfurl the genny for the short hop to Pobra do Caraminal, the boat charges along – who needs more than one sail! - & we arrive about an hour later.  8.3 nm.

By now the wind is gusting F5 (not as forecast) so we tie up with more lines than usual.  While doing this the skipper notices that the pontoon was missing a hoop that should have attached it to the main piles.  Another rope goes on, then the harbour master arrives (rather belatedly), we must move to a different berth, so we do, & to be fair HM helped with unravelling/reravelling all the knitting.

The weather was also kind, the rain (a torrential shower) held off until this was all done, & gradually cleared away.  Now lunch time, we find one of the best menu del dias yet, walk some of the old town back streets, & a lovely avenue of trees through the harbour side gardens, & finally do a provisions  run.

Tues 10th June.  Woke to find the shellfish harvesters working the waters edge with their rakes & nets.



We wanted to do a walk we had attempted on our previous visit here when motorway construction forced a detour. We tried to get more information, but the tourist office did not open.  So we set off & had to detour almost immediately when the riverside path fell away & became the river, but we rejoined it higher up after a section on roads.  It was very picturesque through trees & there was more water flowing than our earlier visit.  Again we were balked by the now open motorway & had to detour via roads to access a bridge.  Rejoining the route we found huge boulders forming a stepping stone crossing of the river, & returned on the other side, then road again into the older part of town.



Returning earlier than we intended we moved out of the marina to the adjacent anchorage & enjoyed the sunshine & people watching.

Wed 11th June.  Shellfishers on the beach again.

A prompt start, loads of weed on the anchor, motoring (no wind) then unfurling the genny as the breeze picked up.  Midday we anchored at Isla Salvora, (9.9 nm) one of the offshore islands along this coast for which one needs a permit.  This island was used by the military until recently & one is only allowed to land on one beach & walk one path, to the lighthouse.  We were the only boat there, so we walked the permitted path & decided we had our own private tropical island!



We left at teatime, a genny only sail past a headland covered in old fortifications, to anchor off the long sandy beach (praia de Cruz) at Porto Pedro Negras.  5.5 nm.

We were tempted in for our first dip of the trip, but jumped out pretty quick as it was distinctly chilly! But it had to be done.

Thur 12th June.  A mix of sail, motorsail (light wind) & motor (no wind) to arrive mid morning at Almacin, Isla de Ons, (another permit needed, but not the same ‘ex military’ restrictions), where we picked up a mooring.  5.3 nm.

We walked a circuit taking us to the lighthouse on the highest point, where goats grazed the flowery moorland.  Then, after lunch, another shorter loop along the coast & back through shady woodland.



Departed Ons late afternoon for the same mix of sail, motorsail & motor as the morning to anchor at Playa de Silgar, Ria Pontevedra, just west of Sanxenxo. 6.0 nm.

Being close to a major town the beach was busy til dusk with people enjoying the sunshine.  The water was warmer, so Doug dived to check the anchor, & I swam to the beach & back.



Fri 13th June.  A 1 nm trip into the marina, to catch up on laundry, restock the supplies, fill water tanks, etc.  That evening live bands were playing on the central walkway & we joined the crowds to ‘promenade’, & enjoy very lush icecreams.

Sat 14th June.  A mid morning departure for a relaxed sail up the Ria, with just the main hoisted (the dinghy was on the foredeck & it gets in the way of handling the genoa).  The wind did a nasty shift & increase at Isla Tamba, just short of our destination of Combarro marina.  8.9 nm.

Combarro has an old town that has been restored & has a vast number of horreos – the traditional drying stores for grain built on stilts – making it very picturesque.  We dully went for an exploratory stroll.



On Sunday (15th June) took the cameras & went for a more comprehensive explore of the Old Town including lunch of gambas ( shrimps) in a shady sheltered garden.

Mon 16th June.  Left Combarra mostly motoring (light winds)  down Ria Pontevedra, crossing the mouth of Ria Aldan, to anchor early afternoon off Praia de Barra, in Ria Vigo.  16.7 nm.

Tues 17th June.  A prompt start for the short 3 nm hop to Praia de Rodas, Iles de Cies (the Medio or Faro Island), another permit!

We went ashore & walked, a new to us, path, north to the bird observatory, then back via the route to the high spot, Alto do Principe.  We had done this before, but the views are amazing & it was worth the effort.  Then lunch, & back to the boat.



Our permit meant we could have stayed for the night, but the forecast wind was not good for that bay so we returned, a nice genny sail, to Praia de Barra (more sheltered), & a relaxing swim to the beach.

Wed 18th June.  Woke, surprised to find fog on the hills.  So started the day taking dinghy to the beach & walking the length of it, about 2 kms.  By then the fog was clearing so it was off motoring the short (4.3 nm) distance to Illa San Martino (the southmost Cies island).



A very relaxing place, no amenities or access to the hinterland, but another golden sand beach, which we walked, had a picnic on the dunes & a swim off the beach.

Teatime we left, a mix of sail & motor (not much wind) to anchor off Praia Ladeira, Baiona.  6.8 nm.

Soon after going to bed (around midnight) we both heard an unusual clicking noise coming from the anchor.  Throwing on some clothes & sticking our heads out of hatches we saw a fishing boat very close & heading almost directly towards us.  A loud hail brought instant action – I think they had really not seen us (we had a light & anchor ball up) as they were heads down hauling a net.  The boat immediately reversed & then came bow on to us.  The two fishermen fed their net around our anchor chain while Doug (at their request) hauled the anchor up, everyone fending the boats at the same time.  Fingers & hands were at severe risk at this point, but eventually, with no harm done, the anchor was heaved over the net, & they set off leaving us to anchor again.  We still haven’t worked out how the net got to that position as we were sure it was not there when we anchored.  The rest of the night passed uneventfully!

Thur 19th June.  Motored the 1.2 nm to Baiona’s fuel berth & then to a space in the marina.

We caught up some jobs & restocked the larder, then friday (20th) we followed the river Baina, at the edge of the town, on a boardwalk path. It passed flowery gardens & tree shaded areas & seemed well used.  There were also some old wash houses.  When the boardwalk ran out our route continued uphill via a very narrow rural road, & the through forest, finally reaching a reservoir.



A side path took us to some petroglyths, although some of the carvings seemed fairly faint to us, & then in a loop to join the road & our return route.  About 6 ml.  That afternoon we took the bikes east along the coastal cycle path, past the Foz estuary, to Nigran, the next town, with its 13th century bridge.



Saturday (21st) we took the bikes west, again on the coastal cycleway, to another, very short, boardwalk path at Baredo.  It has 8 watermills (3 restored, but not open) along its 760 metre length, but seemed less loved than Baina’s.  Then on to Cabo Silleiro with its lighthouse & crashing waves, before retracing our path & continuing on for another look at the mudflats & birdlife of the Foz estuary (very reminiscent of East Anglia).



Sun 22nd June.  A midday departure, after the sun had burnt the cloud off, for a fast sail, Keeping pace with a larger boat (an X442), to the S end of Rodos beach, in the Cies.  Then a lazy afternoon, well a swim to the beach, before moving on to anchor for the night in the better shelter of Praia de Barra.  10.9 nm.

Mon 23rd June.  A morning swimming & walking the beach, then a short motor (no wind, rain threatening, to Cangas & its marina. 4.7 nm.

Tuesday (24th) we started the day with churros & hot chocolate, a local favourite we had intended to try, & very lush it was.  Then took a ferry for the 20 min trip across the ria to Vigo.  As well as seeing the City we wanted to check out facilities for the boat, as they are spread over a long waterfront.  The City itself is a mix of narrow streets with close packed buildings, & wide grid pattern boulevards, both climbing steeply in parts.  We climbed to O Castro, an old fort looking down on the city from a  hill of parkland gardens & trees.



Part way down was an even older iron age settlement.  Then leisurely back to the ferry & Cangas.

Wed 25th June.  A stroll through the old part of Cangas, & some jobs (an overdue wash for the boat) then midday we departed.  In the harbour mouth were several large dolphins – obviously on a mission (fish), but doing lovely acrobatics in the hunt.  We warned them to watch out for ferries, don’t know if they listened.

Then a short sail to the head of the ria & under a tall road bridge into the Enseada de San Simon to anchor off San Adrian de Cobres.  7.7 nm.

Much more developed than other places we have been recently, & more background noise - roads, trains etc.




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