Coruna – Camariñas, 59Nm, top speed 11,3 knots
Leaving La Coruna we knew that it would be a tough day, with between 10-14 m/s in our back. We had prepared the jib and two reefs in the main, but when we got out of the harbor there was almost no wind. Steering further out to sea than our planner route to get some winds in the sails the strong wind finally kicked in. but by then we had changed to the Genua. The winds were fierce but the waves were quite okay and after a while we raced south in six knots with only the jib.
Did I hear someone call our name on the radio?
The wind was roaring and we were surfing the waves which pretty much demanded complete concentration. Next time I heard something on the radio I listened more closely.
“Mouni, Mouni, det är Linnea här!” Said Anders from Gothenburg on the VHF.
We decided to respond a little bit later once we got a bit further in from the sea, assuming it would be calmer then. It was still rough as we entered the bay, and the waves grew as it became more shallow but we managed to call them up on the radio. They had called us to say that they were moored up in the harbor in Camariñas and had saved a spot for us. We had intended to anchor, but it didn’t look sheltered enough in this wind direction so we were quite happy to moor up next to them and get some help to tie the boat in the strong wind. Later we joined Anders and his three friends at the restaurant by the harbour for some gambas and “carne asado” (which was marveoullous) and a beer. Two tired sailors went to bed to get some sleep, after racing 60 miles.
Camariñas – Ensenada de Sardineiro 34Nm, top speed 10,6 knots
The next day the winds should be equally strong, but we only intended to make a shorter trip around the tip of Finistére and therefore took a slow start. Started off only with the jib but there were weak winds in the bay so we considered to raise the main too, luckily we didn’t. As soon as we left the bay the wind picked up (20-25 knots) and it was quite thrilling to see the log showing between 5-8 knots in approximately three meters of swell heading straight south. The sun was shining and since we had the wind and swell in our back it was quite enjoyable, until we rounded the peninsula of Cabo Finistére and had to tack against the wind towards the anchorage. Roughly the last four miles took equally long time as the previous twenty. Choppy seas made a wet and bumpy ride. Our anchorage was just by a long golden beach with a village and hills in the background. There was quite some wind in the anchorage, but no waves so good enough for us. Thank you Gunnar for making sure we didn’t miss this beautiful place!
Ensenada de Sardineiro – San Vicente do Mar 44,8Nm, average speed 5 knots
The next day when the wind direction changed to southwesterly we needed to keep up as close as possible to the wind. The strong sun quickly evaporated the all the spray, which gave us a very salty surface on the deck, sails and everything else. Since the forecast said there would be strong gale force winds the next day we needed to make sure that we settled in a harbor with good shelter. At one point we considered to go straight to Vigo, but since we already had sailed pretty far we settled for the ría before Vigo, at Porto Pedras Negras. When you approached the harbour and the village it looked like a typical modern resort town, with lots of apartment buildings and villas with balconies towards the sea. Sandy beaches surrounded the bay. But when I decided to take a walk along the water I quickly realised why this was such a popular place – the views were stunning! I took the pathway around the peninsula to get a good look at the sunset. When the winds hit the next day the weather stations close-by reported winds up to 50 knots (25m/s) and we were happy to stay in harbour. We used the time to do some projects on the boat, I did some paint jobs and Jens installed the last speaker. We are now ready to throw parties onboard 😉
San Vicente do Mar- Cangas (Ría de Vigo) 30,5Nm, Top speed 8 knots, average speed 2,1 knots
The last stretch to the bay of Vigo was probably the most tedious passage we have done in a long while. The wind was straight on our nose so we were tacking back and forth but the winds were weak so the speed was low. The only comfort was that we got a close look at the national park of Illa Ons and could take advantage of the slow speed to do some fishing. The bait delivered once more, and we managed to catch tree mackerels for dinner (a fourth one were lost). Once we got into ría de Vigo we intended to anchor by the beach in Bouza, but we got called up on the radio by Anders once again letting us know that he was staying in the harbour on the other side, Cangas. Once we realised that his crew had flew home we asked if he wanted to join us for dinner to eat the fish we caught, and we ended up having a nice evening in the cockpit of Linnea instead. Just before we entered the harbour of Cangas we were greeted by a pod of dolphins, the biggest we have seen so far. It felt like we indeed were destined to stay in Cangas.
Although Cangas was a nice place and the yesterday we went to the beach just outside Cangas for a night on the hook. We have now moored up in Vigo (Porto Deportivo Real Club Nautico) for a very special reason – our new crew arrives today! We are very excited to have another crew onboard, and hope to enjoy both winds and sun going south over Portugal the next few weeks. Welcome Stine!
– Petra & Jens
NOTES FOR SAILORS
This stretch of coast is very beautiful and it is really recommended to not be in a hurry. We heard about sailors spending several years around this area exploring the different Rias (rivers). Some of the places that we visited this time have small marinas (Camariñas 11€ and San Vicento do Mar 13€) so during summer it is probably important to call ahead on the VHF to make sure they have space available. Since we were a bit scared of the strong winds we only anchored twice but anchoring options are plentiful. If the proper preparations are made with food and water, there is no need to go to the marinas. Navigation is easy but one thing to look out for is nature reserves which extends out to the water around some of the islands. Permits are required to sail through these waters. Take your time and enjoy.
Vigo is of course a big city with at least three different marinas and also big commercial harbours so look out for the heavy traffic. The marina where we stayed (Porto Deportivo Real Club Nautico) is the fanciest place we have stayed so far with an indoor pool and sauna. This is reflected in the price though. We had to pay 23 Euro for one night, the most expensive so far in Spain (but compared to the west coast of Sweden and Norway still very good value). Opposite Vigo lies Cangas, and here we paid 15€ but if you want to go to Vigo there is a ferry that costs about 2,2€.