Captains Blog 47 – Full 10 on the Smug-O-Meter

Following the last Blog post, I’ve done some reading and feel a bit more confident that I can fairly convincingly give the impression, to anyone that doesn’t know me, that I know more than I actually do about sailing! 

We’d been invited onto our neighbour’s boat while in Muros. Our neighbours were PJ and Roxanne, the folk I’d mistakenlythought had chartered the lovely new catamaran. The truth is they’d purchased their beautiful new cat and were planning to sail it to South Africa, the long way around. It was fascinating to chat with them and hear all about their backgrounds, their plans and life in South Africa.

We’d stayed in Muros a little longer than planned, due to wind (not the first mates ongoing flatulence problem). Having the chance to relax and explore our surroundings made a welcome break. Plus, we were in the ideal spot to help a friend of a friends, who’d sailed straight to Muros from Crosshaven in Ireland, through big winds and big seas and was desperate to get into the Marina for some rest.

On the 4th day the decision to leave was made to go and we decided to leave around lunchtime and sail into Ria Aurousa. A strong cross wind was blowing as we prepared to leave, but I was bobble-hatish in my preparation to slip the mooring. The time had come to slip our lines and I felt pretty cocky. Pj and Roxanne offered to help, but no need, Mr Smug had abullet proof plan and didn’t require assistance. 

And so, the last line was released and we hadn’t collided with the pontoon, oh the smugness just oozed as I reversed out. I tried to turn the wheel to port (left), but it didn’t budge. I’d lashed the wheel when we’d first moored and I’d been so pre-occupied with line preparation, I completely forgotten that it was still lashed firmly in place. 

A fishing boat had just entered the marina and was heading towards us. The first mate, Pj and Roxanne, were oblivious to my predicament, aside from the vacant, dumbstruck expression on my face. Then it hit me. “KNIFE” I screamed at the top of my voice. “Kitchen babe” came the nonchalant response from the first mate. “KNIFE, KNIFE, I NEED A ****** KNIFE NOW.” Thankfully the first mate realised the situation and bolted into the galley before handing me a knife to cut the webbing strap, just in the nick of time.

Catastrophe averted, we departed the marina and wereimmediately hit by 30+ knots of wind as we entered the main Ria. Thankfully it eased as we progressed although the winds were still strong enough to deter any ideas of heading through the shortcut, into Ria Arousa. 

We were on a close reach (wind about 45°angle off the bow) to start with and the sailing was great. As we turned into the main section of the Ria, we were into a head wind that was building. The headsail was stowed and the main reefed down as the winds increased above 30 knots. The engine was on by now but we could only make around 3 knots as we fought the outgoing tide coupled with wind, which for a while blew around a steady 40 knots. We ambled along hoping that our chosen anchorage would offer sufficient protection from both wind and swell.

As luck would have it the anchorage was pretty solid with only one other occupant. I had to question my decision to head into the ria at all though. We could’ve sailed on past on a nice broad reach straight into Ria Alden, without burning any fuel and met up with our friends! My only defence is that I can’t help wanting to explore, or I’m just too nosey and want to look around the corner.

The anchorage had been quiet and we’d had a good night’srest before deciding to move on. We left the Ria with a plan toanchor at Sanxenxo. It was a stupid idea. It was a stupid idea because we sailed straight past Porto Pedras Negras, while commenting to one another that it looked like a lovely spot with only a few boats at anchor. It was a stupid idea because we immediately decided to head straight back to Porto Pedras Negras, which meant battling into a headwind with the engine on. Again!

We made the decision never to pass somewhere that looked so inviting again without first venturing over for a closer look. 

Good news though, it was the ideal place to inflate my brand new (mmm, it had been a present from the first mate in September 2021) paddle board and take a tour of the bay. Everything was set up and ready to go. All I needed to do was jump on and start paddling. 

The board was in the water and I placed a foot on it. “Chuffin Nora, this is wobbly.” I thought it would be more stable than it seemed to be. No worries, just get comfortable, then get yourother foot on. I clung desperately to the swim platform as my other foot went on and realised, I probably wasn’t going to take to this like a duck to water.

After convincing myself that the worst that could happen was that I’d end up in the cold Atlantic, I let go and drifted away from the boat. Just to clarify, I was still on my knees at this point, I’m not a maniac. I paddled about and enjoyed exploring the bay, but I needed to stand up. I bit the bullet, and wobbled myself into a gorilla like stance, neither vertical nor crouched. The effort required to paddle to the swim platform, was focused on remaining upright rather than making headway, anything else was a bonus. After what seemed an age, I made it across the 2 metres of water to the sanctuary of the boat and quit while I was ahead.

I stowed the newly inflated paddle board on deck and the first mate and I kicked back with PJ and Roxanne to enjoy a fine curry and a good chin wag. The following day we set off South to catch up with our friends Liam and Maggie in Ria Alden. Before we left, I noticed the paddle board looked slightly deflated. I tried to big it up but it just no use, it was losing air and needed attention. I put it on the ever-growing list of things to do!

We arrived in Ria Aiden late afternoon and it was great to see our friends, who we’d not seen since we’d wintered in Licata, Sicily, 18 months earlier.

As we looked around the anchorage, we started to notice that there were a few Irish flagged boats in the anchorage. No,there were more than a few, it was an Irish Armada! They were everywhere. Ireland had performed some kind of land (water) grab and taken over Galicia. It was actually nice to see so many and, oddly enough, there was a noticeable absence of British ensigns, presumably as a result of Brexit.

Probably best leave it there.

Adios Amigos

Captain Mac (less smug these days)

3 Replies to “Captains Blog 47 – Full 10 on the Smug-O-Meter”

    1. Ahhh you’re too kind … Trev does have a great way with words. We’re hoping to get near to you guys next summer. Perhaps we’ll catch up in the North or in Florida one day xx


      1. That would be totally cool to catch up together – come to beautiful Georgian Bay – way more beautiful and way better sailing than Florida – just back from Italy 2 days ago, landed in Canada and are now driving to Florida where we will hang out with our winter buds for 6mos to avoid the crazy cold Canadian winter – looking fwd to getting there tomorrow⛵️⛵️

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Sailing Éalú

There is nothing – absolutely nothing – half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.

Skipper Jenn

POOP DECK: Because we give a SHIT

S/Y Maggie

Living the dream onboard our Beneteau 473 with our sailor dog

%d bloggers like this: