The infamous Cape Finisterre and on to Bayona

Cape Finisterre in October

Camarinas was a just a ‘sleep stop’ but it was here that we said our tentative goodbyes to the crew of ‘Yayou’ as they pushed on towards Porto at an unsavory hour. I state “tentative goodbyes”, because we may yet catch up with Andre further south.

Another Bonito for supper

The rest of us rugged up for a 9am departure and set off in a chilly Force 5. As luck would have it, upon reaching the infamous Cape Finisterre, Aeolus let up on his puffing. The sea rapidly calmed, and we were able to motor to within a cable of the headland. What followed was a once in a life-time ‘hey mum, look at me’ photo-shoot, sailing between the mainland and Finisterre’s little island. The local fishermen must have thought we’d gone completely loco.

Fish feast (German family centre)

On route I managed to catch another whopper of a bonito, so after anchoring off a lovely beach in Muros, I set about preparing the catch of the day. Much too much fish for one person, so the usual crowd gathered on ‘Avel Vat’ and we invited everyone else at the anchorage (just one German registered vessel) to join us for a fish feast.

Force 6 with gusts of Force 7 the following morning had me scrambling to put in one reef after another. It took quite a while to find a sail combination Eileen appreciated, but when we’d reached three reefs for the mainsail and set a whisker pole on the stay-sail she settled down. Eileen of Avoca managed to glide effortlessly at 6 knots under this sail arrangement! Not too shabby for a little 23ft boat.

Life vest inflates!

Unfortunately the wind did not last, and now that we have reached Bayona the forecast is for more dead calms. Looks like I will be using the motor generously over the next few days.

Despite the novel easy-going conditions I’ve still managed to get into all sorts of trouble. The latest incident involved getting the inflation cord of my life vest stuck while lowering the mainsail.

Now that it has been unexpectedly inflated, the vest is almost useless until I can find a replacement CO2 cartridge and have the zippers reset. Naturally the type of cartridge I need is about as common as 23ft boats crossing the Atlantic!

Muros and Portosin

Taking on fuel at Portosin

I was running low on fuel and my wallet had a measly 10 Euro left in it, so I persuaded myself (after much discussion), to investigate the possibility of diesel and an automatic bank teller at Muros.

As I tied off to the outer pontoon I was met by the port police and immediately told that there was no fuel to be found here for the likes of me. Funny, I hadn’t noticed the “Solitary yachtsman, please abuse” sign pinned to my back this morning…

I suppose that the mention in Imray’s Atlantic Spain and Portugal guide, of subsidized diesel being sold to pleasure craft here, had led to a rush the authorities are still fighting to dissuade.

Fortunately, I was permitted to stop for the few minutes it would take to visit a bank, and not wanting to antagonize any additional officials by my mere presence, I made my tour of Muros notably brief.

Tiller in hand, (for no apparent reason, my ST-2000 tiller-pilot died this morning), I motored the 4 miles to Portosin in search of regular diesel. A shame really, because the weather would have been perfect for rounding Finisterre and now I am stuck in port waiting for the next weather window. I almost made a run for it this morning, but conflicting weather forecasts and the prospect of rain quickly dissuaded me.

I guess I’ll be visiting more of Portosin, and who knows, perhaps one of my north bound 3-day friends will catch up with me.

With free Wi-Fi, comfortable marina cafeteria at hand, and a fee structure based on boat size, I am in no rush to move on.

Piedras Negras to the anchorage at Muros

Dolphins escort Eileen of Avoca

Over the next leg I had a dolphin escort for much of the journey. Rather large dolphins I might add, perhaps it’s all that fertilizer floating in the Rias that’s bred a race of super large and extra cheeky cetaceans. I say extra cheeky because individuals in this pod had developed a new way to amuse themselves by splashing me (without resorting to the blow-hole technique describe in an earlier post).

The trick involves leaping from the water and giving an extra slap of the tail at just the right moment upon reentry to effect an extraordinary large splash . Very sopping amusing…

The ‘Big Brother’ helicopter was at it again today, but it was more interested in a trio of south bound yachts, and only bothered to give me a single flyby.

Approaching the anchorages off Muros, Spain

Approaching Muros, the wind picked up considerably (to its usual two to three times that indicated in the windguru.com forecast). Double reefed, I made excellent time traveling at a brisk 6 knots so I arrived in Muros by mid-afternoon giving me plenty of time to examine its two anchorages.

The one closest the marina (and town) was over (reportedly) foul ground, and at 10 meters, I opted for the shallower eastern side over sand and weed. Here I would have ample scope for my meager 25 meters of anchor chain.

It was a tranquil night and my sleep was only interrupted once when at 5am a crescendo of engine noise, followed by subdued Spanish conversation and culminating in much rattling of my anchor chain, had me frantically reaching for my clothes.

Once suitably attired (yes, I know I have questionable priorities), I ventured on deck to discover a couple of fishermen passing their tiny boat under my anchor chain. Upon seeing me, they explained that they were just getting themselves unstuck from my chain and that there was no need to worry, which I figured was the polite Galician way of saying “you anchored on our fishing net, dimwit”.