Mittwoch, 9. September 2015

On to Galicia

We could have spent one more week in the Azores before making the 900 mile crossing to the mainland, but the weather forecast did seem quite favourable at the time. And so we left Ponta Delgada expecting a series of westerly and south-westerly winds strong enough to push us swiftly across.

Before setting course for the north-western end of the Iberian peninsula, one has to sail along the rather nice southern coast of the island of San Miguel. Particularly beautiful is the little island of Ilha, not far off the main shore at Villa Franco do Campo. It is actually a flooded volcano and has an almost circular lake inside and a tiny entrance pointed at the main island. Some years ago we visited a number of times by dinghy but had to anchor the dinghy outside and snorkel in as the island is a nature preserve and no boats are allowed to enter.

When we sailed by this year we saw the preparations for a figure jumping contest.

Unfortunately the favourable forecast didn't materialise. Yes, we got southwesterly winds, but at 5 knots instead of at least 15. 

And so we had calm seas with a huge 4-5m swell from northwest.

At some point we had no wind and the sea was clear like a lake.

And so we could at least enjoy the great artistic performance of a school of dolphins.

Eventually, after burning a lot of diesel, some wind set in for the last run to La Coruña.

Where we arrived in the middle of the night, led by the light of the Hercules Tower. An ancient light tower already built by the romans and restored and modified a number of times since.

Again we tied up in the down town marina of A Coruña and enjoyed the nice town as well as a visit to the famous light house.

Great view from up there.

Now that we were in Galicia a bit too early for the centenary rally of Alfredo Logs' shipyard, we decide to sail one step further east to the Ria de Cedeira.

It turned out a beautiful anchorage and very safe in almost any weather, once around the corner through a possibly spectacular entrance.

We really enjoyed the little town with good shopping, many nice restaurants and wonderful beaches.

When we finally left Cedeira for Caraminãs we had some great sailing in decent north easterly wind.

Anchored at Caramiñas we waited out another south-westerly front before moving south further and rounding Finisterre.

We rounded Finisterre in calm weather and...

.. sailed to the anchorage at Sarninero, just around the corner. Another one of our favourite places. Unfortunately we had to leave the next morning as another wave of southerlies set in and made the anchorage untenable.

So we sailed on along a magnificent landscape to anchor shattered at Muros.

After a night at anchor and some shopping, we tried to go on to another of our favourites, the nature preserve island of Salver. 
We end up in thick fog and choose the safer track around all reefs and the island itself.

We didn't see the island even when passing along in 200m distance.
But as soon as we turned into the anchorage it cleared and we could see the masttop of another boat in the same fog that we had been in a few minutes earlier.

When we finally went ashore and toured the island, the fog had cleared and we could hike along in bright sunshine.

We were a little worried about the unsheltered anchorage and pending more wind, so that we decide to sail over to another anchorage at San Vicente on the mainland, just before sunset.

The onward trip down to the Islas Cies was swift with strong northerly wind. Just the genoa was enough to make us at good speed.

The Cies were as spectacular as ever and of course we did the standard hike to the lighthouse.

The second night we spent at anchor at to southern most Cies, San Martin.

And then we were in time to sail to Bayona for the start of the centenary rally of Lagos Shipyard.

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