The anchoring away that just preceded the video…
It was time to leave Arousa but that proved to be more difficult than usual. It is such a shame that we never remember to film at these times because there is always a varying degree of stress involved in the moving process. This time the anchor got to a certain point and wouldn’t budge. Shelley thought it was all the mud on the anchor and hosed it off. But it was in fact, an extremely stiff piece of something, which looked and felt like steel cable that held the anchor fast. After much coaxing, it came up. The debris attached to the anchor was a very old rope that had petrified over the years.
This video takes us out of Arousa, past the great rocky entrance and into some more beautiful rias. It also highlights the mayhem that accompanies us on our travels.
Overview of Sailing route
From Ria de Arousa, we pass the chance to anchor in Ria Aldan on the southern edge of Ria de Pontevedra ( due to lack of protection for predicted wind) and instead move on to Ria de Vigo. Our Planned 20 nautical mile route became approx 27 by taking this option. At our first stop, we anchored at Barra de Enseada. We didn’t know until the next morning that it was a naturalist beach, suffice to say there wasn’t a lot to see! We stayed two nights and then moved to Marina Moaña, which was 5nm further into the Ria and closer to Vigo. It was a quiet little marina and well priced but didn’t have a lot of amenities.
Barra de Enseada
Barra de Eseada was a beautiful quiet beach with plenty of room to anchor off the sand, in about 8 meters of clear water. The beach sand was a pristine white and the dark green pines behind made a stunning contrast. We even had a visit from a few dolphins on the first evening. There is protection here from winds that blow from West to North East. The unbuilt environment is an attractive place to anchor for a bit of peace and quiet.
We took Gumnut for a decent run
We had ordered an Atlas that would take us from Vigo to Gibraltar from Manuel the Chandler at Nautica sub in Cangas. Cangas was just around a couple of bays, an easy dinghy ride it should be, right?
It looked a lot closer on the chart. We went the fastest we have ever gone in Gumnut until the outboard just cut out. Jill started it again only to have it cut out again, repeatedly. It seemed like the fuel wasn’t getting through. But it was an easy fix. I had set up the fuel in the dinghy and the line under the movable dinghy seat had jammed when Jill sat on the seat. It crushed the line and the fuel was cut off. I had put the seat on top of the fuel line. Oops !
It was indeed much further than we thought so we aborted the mission and headed back to the boat. It was all good practice so the time wasn’t totally wasted. We returned to Eucalyptus with no chart but the experience of a long dinghy ride and a lesson learned.
The next day we moved to Moaña which was only another 3 nautical miles down the ria. After a successful docking, we headed out to find a taxi to Cangas to collect the Atlas. It was nice to see some civilisation and it looked like provisioning would be easy here. Manuel was not in the shop when we arrived. They were expecting us and we left with the Atlas, another 90 Euros gone. We left very happy that our remote transaction had worked out and we had the coveted NV Atlas 2. All the maps here are from this Atlas.
In the Ria de Vigo, the towns on the north belong to the Ria de Pontevedra and the towns on the south to Ria de Vigo. Perhaps that’s an Aspie thing I find interesting. So let me find something else that might interest you.
We are a sailing boat that sometimes we actually use our sails. As we had been doing quite a bit of motoring, this requires refueling of course. The fuel dock adjacent to the marina was predominantly for fishing boats as it was high above the water on a fixed concrete wharf. It was clear by the size of the fuel nozzles that this depot was for larger boats than ours. Our only option was to take the shopping trolley supplied by the marina to fill our jerry cans.
The footpath was rutted and uneven and the shopping trolley was one of those ones that had a mind of its own. It bucked and screamed all the way to the fuel station. Being women we had it subdued in no time with hardly a sweat raised, I joke of course.
The method used by the station was very different to any we have used before. The pumps are across the road from the attendant’s office. Did I mention the traffic just whizzes past without any lights to stop its’ flow? So we transported the trolley across the road, avoiding moving cars, to reach the pump and then have to go back across the road to pay for the fuel before we could get the fuel. But we did get the fuel!
Pushing the trolley back to the marina was not without its challenges. The extra weight of 120 litres of fuel may just have pushed that recalcitrant trolley to the brink, but with some gentle encouragement, we got it home. It took a bit longer to get back, but congratulations to us we did it and not a mansplaining bloke in sight.
Day excursion to Vigo
The Ferry service from Moana to Vigo is very efficient. Vigo is a large city and has a fantastic chandlery called Efectos Navales Jesus Betanzos. We were able to find most of what we needed: a telescopic fishing net, another chart, a fishing lure, fender covers and a dinghy anchor. Elsewhere we obtained gaz refills, 60 m of 10 ml Dyneema line and a replacement boom bag zip.
We even got haircuts in a children’s salon. Much cheaper than France, I must add. I think we were lucky the salon was empty when we enquired so I suspect she was happy for some unexpected work. Sadly, I didn’t photograph Jill sitting in the racing car seat.
Self-entertainment on board
We were in Moaña for 6 nights waiting for a weather window to continue on to Porto. It was an ideal time to use the fender cover material. It was no mean feat stretching the fabric over the length of the fender, to be cut to size. Gosia and I did the pulling and stretching of the tubular fabric and Jill threaded the cable ties to the top and bottom to secure the cover.
On a budget
It’s very easy to sample the local cafes and end up going over budget, no matter how enjoyable, there comes a time when sometimes nicer food can be made on the boat. Jill’s a whip at making most things. This night she made pizzas from scratch. We ate in the cockpit watching the sun setting. It was not only delicious, but also memorable.
Moaña is set on steep hills that plunge down to the water. To find the supermarket or the bus stop requires great stamina. It was a 15 minute steep walk to the supermarket but the reward is a great view.
One day while exploring the area we came across a Catholic procession. It was St John the Baptist Day, a very big feast day for Spain. I was brought up a Methodist, so the spectacular nature of the procession was unfamiliar to me. First I noticed a path covered in flower petals that spread as far the entrance to the church, reminding me of Tibetan monk’s sand mandalas. They were remarkable and beautiful in their impermanence.
Look what goes past
It can be rather interesting to watch the comings and goings of the marina traffic, and sometimes it can even be alarming.
A Belgian boat came in so fast, we thought it would collect the stern of our boat when he cut the corner sharply. I noticed the roadrunner logo on his bow and I recalled the sound the cartoon character made. Lo and behold- it was written on his stern. Bip! Bip! – get out of my way! As we were tied fast, I think to onus was on him.
Why did I choose this next event ? When the boat below was first seen, I could only see the rower. It seemed not right to see a rower when the boat had a big motor. I didn’t notice at first that he was not alone.
Clearly, they couldn’t start the outboard. While one person tinkers with the engine the other person rows, of course. Being bigger than a dinghy the rowing looked rather unwieldy.
They seemed to have their work cut out to reach the concrete slip, seen at the top of the photos. His accomplice in the black T-shirt didn’t manage to start the engine so it was rowing all the way. They deserved a well-earned VB at the end.
Final task. Change the mainsail halyard
While we waited for the next weather window, we arranged a rigger from Vigo to do some work for us. We wanted to replace our main halyard with a smoother and smaller diameter halyard and set up our second reef, so it could be controlled from the helm. Angelo, who was moonlighting from his day job as a photographer to help out a friend at Flow sailmakers in Vigo, finally succeeded in removing our factory-fitted 14 ml ‘sticky’ halyard and replaced it with 10 ml Dyneema. By the time he finished the wind had come up and so it was too late to test if the exercise had been a success.
So that wraps it up. We had a good time waiting out the weather window. You can easily plan a decent stay in this Ria
Shelley Beer 20- 28 June 19