Altwasser sailing diary

Wednesday, July 30, 2003

Cedeira to Bayona
July 24th - July 29th 2003. 186 nautical miles.

La Coruna July 24th
After going ashore at Cediera one last time, we hopped around Cabo Prior to La Coruna, berthing in the old harbour, now home to a new marina. Perhaps we are already Ria-philes as we found crossing the fast dual carriageway on foot, walking past the cement works and gazing at the concrete and glass buildings less attractive than watching dolphins in a blue-water bay ringed with coniferous woods and small holiday and fishing towns.

Sado / Fontan July 25th - 26th. Tasks for a rainy day.
So, on Friday morning, after getting tired pointing west into a rising 25 knots for a couple of hours, we turned round and went east into Ria de Betanzos, anchoring near the Sada Marina and town of Fontan.
We were greeted with festivities, fireworks and a street procession as the feast of St. James, celebrated here as Dia de Santiago or Galicia Day coincided with a congressional supporters gathering for Deportivo La Coruna. With a parade led by seven concrete mixers, decked out in blue and white, each driven by three people, one steering, one permanently pressing the horn and a third leaning as far out of the window and waving as many blue and white striped balloons as possible, we wondered if the popularity of the Saint had been eclipsed by the footballers. Although we English donít understand the finer points of Spanish football, we noticed that many of the newspapers and magazines continue front page coverage of our David and Posh.
The wind blew up on Saturday, a front passed through and we were reduced to facing the list of maintenance tasks reserved for a rainy day. Richard spent some hours in full wet-weather gear sewing a repair patch on the spray hood.

Camarinas July 27th.

Oh Joy! Calm seas, fair winds, magnificent headlands, a safe and attractive anchorage and interesting folk to talk to in the yacht club in the Ria Camarinas. What more could we ask for. Sorry we didnít do a better photography job to share with you.

Muros July 28th.

We sailed as a small flotilla, met the previous evening, from Ria de Camarinas to Ria de Muros. Calm seas, light winds with a sporty sea breeze gathering in the afternoon, blue skies and more dolphins. Significantly, we have now rounded Finesterre and the north west corner of Spain. Known here as Costa del Morte, we experienced flat seas and gentle winds that paralleled the benign conditions a month earlier in the Chenel du Four and Raz de Sein, the north west tip of Brittany with an equally treacherous reputation.

Bayona July 29th.

More calm seas and the predominantly northerly winds from the Azores high with tide washing us gently down the Atlantic coast. Bayona, at the foot of the Ria de Vigo will be our last Spanish port, we have the Portuguese courtesy ensign ready. Enough typing and story telling for now, weíll tell you all about Bayona next week. We now have to go back 600 years as we row past the replica of the Caravel Pinta which landed in Bayona in 1493, the first ship to bring back news to Europe of the discovery of the new world and then deep behind the castellated walls of the 15th century Monterreal Fortress where the friendly secretary of the yacht club has offered his internet connection to post this report.