Around Finesterre

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After leaving Camariñas on Sunday we had a great sail around Cape Finesterre to Ria de Muros which took about 7 hours in total, passing the most westerly point of Europe Cape Toriñana.  It started out bumpy and uncomfortable with not enough wind to steady the boat in the swell, so we motorsailed a few miles off shore and had around 10 kts of wind from behind, which increased throughout day to gusting 25-30 kts.  Going downwind is so comfortable you can be lulled into a false sense of security, so we probably left it longer than we should’ve to reef the main, but all went ok and we put a few turns on the genoa too.  As we came into the ria the wind dropped to nothing so we took the opportunity to try fishing as we were only going 2 kts…perfect fishing speed!  Again no joy…where are all the bloody fish?!  The amount of boats using trawl nets out here is a clue.

We anchored off the town of Muros in 12 metres, along with 3 or 4 other boats, which is a lovely place made up of a large fishing port and lots of old back streets.  The amount of mullet everywhere is incredible, such a shame they don’t make good eating!

We did a big walk on Monday up to the top of the hill over looking the bay of San francisco, we took some gin and tonic to have a toast to Bens granfather as it was his funeral back in the UK, and had a moment to remember him.

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In the evening we moved around into that bay and anchored off the beach.  I had some good news via email…I’d passed my course so have qualified as a Naturopathic Nutrition Advisor!  I’ve got lots of ideas of how I want to use this qualification, along with similar interests that I might take courses in and my experience in catering I’m hoping to build some kind of future livelihood, and this time away was equally about living off grid as it was finding a new path when we return.

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Bora Bora in the middle

The water was so much clearer here as it’s nearer the sea than the inner ria, so we could swim!  We got our wetsuits on the next day and scrubbed the growth of the bottom of the boat then went for a sunbathe on the beach.  Ben cycled around the other side of the headland to look for some surf, when we went back to the boat we met another English couple, Simon and Amanda on Carried Away, as they had found one of our cockpit cushions floating in the sea!  That’d be my fault for leaving it on deck.  They told us they’d been told by someone you needed a license to fish in Spain, both with lines and spear fishing, so it’s a good job we didn’t shell out on the spear gun we’d seen (not sure how I feel about that anyway) but I think we’ll still try from the boat when we’re more offshore.

We had a rolly night at anchor, I woke up a lot.  I was keen to find the market in Muros so we popped back round the next morning.  The one we found in the back streets was a disappointment with only one small fish counter, good selection though, and some veg upstairs.  The lady asked us something we didn’t quite understand, thought she said do you want a bag so we said yes…turned out it was do you want them cleaned, and we ended up paying €10 for two fish!  For all we know they could’ve been the most expensive we chose anyway, they were delicious Sea Bass type, and we should’ve asked the price before buying…lesson learnt.

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We moved on that afternoon to Ria de Arousa.  We had a crappy motor sail with none of the wind that was forecast, which made for a grumpy Ben and a few silly bickerings between us.  We both hate having to motor as it costs us money in diesel we don’t have, and we’d much rather use clean wind power for the environments sake!  The forecasts which have been good till now are getting a bit unreliable.

We anchored off Ribeira.  A nice beach with a good beach bar at one end that has the entire ceiling covered in a living grapevine, really lovely.  We had a visit from the customs boat the next day…I had to run round hiding my kombucha brewing jar which looks like it houses a brain in liquid (I won’t go into it but in short it’s a living ‘culture’ of beneficial bacteria and yeasts that ferment a solution of green tea and turn it into an amazingly good for you slightly fizzy health drink!) and my various ingredients I use to make all our natural cleaning products and cosmetics from (see other blog) that look suspiciously like we’re drug runners.  I was actually quite nervous about being searched.  However they were really friendly and nice, if you ignored the armed SAS type get up, and we just had to show passports, insurance, ships registry certificate etc etc.  They said it was policy to go down below and he went down the steps then straight back up again, that was a box ticked then!

Yesterday, Friday, I made some bread (loving the quick proving time in the heat!) and we walked into town to get some shopping.  In the evening we moved across the ria.

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Dough rising in the sun

We’ve woken up in thick mist, anchored in a strange area just off Cambados, we hadn’t planned on the anchorage being so ‘void’ of…anything really!  We wanted to be as near to the town as possible as it’s supposed to be a bit older than others with a bit more character, so due to the shallow depths everywhere we ended up anchoring just outside the marina with a view of the harbour wall and a few fish factory like buildings, no beach in sight!  This part of the ria is packed with viveiros, the mussel growing platforms that the locals make their living from, and you have to wind your way through them to get here, dodging shallow patches and hidden rocks.  I must say first impressions don’t seem worth it.   I think we’ll go ashore and have a look around but end up moving on to somewhere more picturesque this afternoon.

We’re starting to think about where we want to spend the winter months.  It’s a toss up between going far East through the Med to Greece or Croatia, or down to the Canary Islands.  The only thing with the Canaries is to come back up you’re going against the trade winds, you should really carry on south…the question is are we ready to commit to that or play safe and stay closer to where we know?!  We’re going to spend some time looking into the weather patterns in both areas and the cost of marinas as free anchorages get fewer and farther between from here on.

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