Neither the forecast or conditions in port would inspire anyone to leave Vivero on that dull wet Wednesday morning. Everyone was staying put as the swell started building and rain fall increased. So why oh why did we opt to leave? The first few hours proved challenging with ever confused sea’s and the rain getting harder! As we reached the most northerly point we started to round the Aguillons, dramatic looking needles of rock, off Cabo Ortega. Instructed the helmswoman to hold steady and make ready to splice the main brace, should it be necessary. We passed the Aguillons and continued in the shadow of some of the highest and most daunting looking sea cliffs in Europe, a stretch of coast known as the Costa da Morte (coast of death). Time to put on our big boy pants and face the full fury the Atlantic Ocean. Anyway, it was all a doddle, even the 30 knots of wind didn’t faze the hearty crew!!
We reached the relative sanctuary of Cediera, anchoring just outside the harbour where we spent a blustery night. First thing next day we set out for A Coruna (♫ hey A Coruna ♫) arriving early afternoon in the marina. I had an exciting oil and filter change planned followed by an air filter clean, so there wasn’t a minute to lose. Could hardly contain myself!
Next day the first mate and I set out for some sight-seeing. It was a very nice place with stacks going on and a very welcoming feel to it. That was, until we got to the chandlers. We walked in to the dimly lit shop and could make out several rows of shelving ahead, presumably supporting all kind of boat paraphernalia. Further progress was halted by stocky grey-haired fella (I christened him Rodney, although I didn’t tell him. I suspected he’d have thought me a bit weird, which of course I’m not). Rodney pondered us with a slightly simple, gormless expression. “Hola” I announced in my best captain’s voice and tried to step forward. He stayed firmly put and said something to us in Spanish. At this point I realised that there was a counter behind him and you couldn’t go and look at any of the stock. In his best English, which was pretty basic though far better than my Spanish, he asked what we wanted. Between the first mate and I, we managed to tell him what we were looking for. Off he went to get the requested items, returned, stood directly in front of us, placed the items on the counter then, looking straight at us, moved his head from side to side as if limbering up before the big fight. It was all a bit odd, but the price was right, to quote Leslie Crowther and we got what we’d set out for.
Venturing out around the town a day or so later we watched the fog come in from the ocean at a rate of knots. We were enjoying a great walk around the sculpture park in the sunshine one minute and in thick fog the next. It was a taste of things to come!
There are always great looking boats to see when you get into a new marina. This one had a huge catamaran appear one evening. It looked immaculate and it was called “Rock Star”. A crap name for such a nice-looking thing, but I suppose if you can afford it you can call it whatever you want. In hindsight I should have alerted the boat naming authority to this horrendous faux par.
As we wandered around the marina in A Coruna (♫ hey A Coruna ♫) we saw another 37’ Sun Odyssey just like ours. We discovered that it belonged to Robert who’d spent the Last 9 years heading south from the UK. He’d set out on this adventure with his wife until earlier this year when she’d passed away after suffering cancer. There was no doubt that he was still very much missing her, but he’d made the decision to continue heading slowly south, as they’d both planned to do. He certainly made us realise that we’d done the right thing and was an inspiration for us to follow our plans. We both wish him well as he continues his adventure.
The day we’d planned to go there was thick fog so we decided to wait it out. At around 1 it was all clear so off we went toward Corma, where we’d anchor overnight, then head to Ria Muros the next day. All went to plan, we were the only boat in the small bay and everything seemed still and well. Next morning, thick fog with visibility down to around 75-100 metres. First mate checked all online weather sources using the magical black box and we waited until we thought we’d stand a chance of it clearing.
At 10:30, anchor up, nav lights on, AIS on, radar on, sprayhood down and off we set. For 5 hours we saw nothing but water and fog. We had some big swell that reduced visibility periodically to 20-50 metres rather than 100. We were both in full wet gear with woolly hats to help keep warm. Occasionally the odd hint of sunshine would appear above. It did nothing to improve visibility, but did lift our spirits a little. We’ started to approach Cape Finisterre by the time the fog cleared. As is typical when approaching one of the cape’s the swell seemed to build further, the sea state got very confused and the wind picked up.
For about 6 miles we clung on, then as we passed the cape everything calmed down. Within 30 minutes we’d gone from being in full wet gear, clinging on, with fully reefed sails (sails reduced in size) to T shirts, shorts and flipflops without a breath of wind. That’s how it stayed until we reached our next anchorage just outside Muros.
Muros was a quaint little town in a lovely bay, in which we’d anchored. We took the tender across and had a wander around before heading back to the boat around lunchtime. Nice afternoon on the beach and back on the boat by around 6. Then the wind started to build and was gusting up to 33knots, so we hoped the anchor would hold okay. It was a long night with little sleep and things didn’t improve the following day, so we made the decision to go and seek the sanctuary elsewhere.
We headed out of the Ria under sail and were making good progress or so I thought. A sailing vessel was following and gaining rapidly. It’s not a race I thought, as I looked at how the sails were set and wondered whether I could do anything to make the boat go faster (one for LFRS there). Frustratingly the other vessel not only caught us, it passed us sailing rapidly into the distance as I was making a complete hash of keeping Gianti heading forward. I mumbled and chuntered for the next hour at my appalling lack of ability before realising that the boat that passed us had been running under power, as well as sail. It didn’t stop me muttering and grumbling to myself.
I need to stop before you and I both get bored rigid, so I’ll finish by pointing out 3 significant advantages to living on board a boat:
- If there is an earthquake just as you step ashore, you’ll be able to balance far better than anyone who lives on land.
- It will take you far less time to run around the perimeter of your boat than it takes to run around the perimeter of the park, so you don’t spend unnecessary time running.
- A boat can float, whereas some things can’t. Lead for example.
Right then it’s time for bed.
2 Replies to “Hey A Coruna (feel free to sing along to the tune of ♫ Macarena ♫)”
I’m liking your advantages of living on a boat. Imagine how wise you will be by the time you finish your adventure🤔 thanks oh wise one 👍
You are very welcome.