Sunday 24th May 2015
As I was chatting to Matt on the phone yesterday and discussing our trip across Biscay, I had to have a little smile. When Matt did his Yacht Master a few years ago during December and January, I always remember him telling me how they would go for days without changing, hardly even taking off their wet weather gear or life jackets little alone their underwear. I had tutted as Mum’s do and put it down to teenage boy slovenliness. But now we understand. When you have on as many layers as you can fit and still move, when the boat is rocking and rolling so much you can’t stand, when you are on deck for a cold three or four hour watch and have a only a few hours of rest before your next one and when concentrating on every clip, zip or piece of Velcro makes you sick, it is the obvious default position. So it was that I found Ian, Rick and at times Chris laying fully booted and suited on the salon sofas.
No need for that today however, we sailed for just 6hrs and are now tied up in the Galician village of Muxia in Ria de Camarinas, Northern Spain and a little peeved that we are STILL not warm. We seemed to have been plagued by north winds since we moved on to the boat in March and for the last couple of days it has been blowing a gale, literally.
It is common for there to be a strong north wind here at this time of year, they call them the Portugese trades because they run right down the Spanish and Portugese Atlantic Coast, but even the locals seem fed up with how chilly they are for the time of year. They have helped the sailing of course, as they did today with us averaging nearly eight knots for the 45nm from A Coruna to Muxia. But it would be nice to sit in the cockpit and relax in the sunshine without being battered and blown.
It took a day or two but we decided that we liked A Coruna with its quaint old town and bustling restaurants. Having Ian with us, as we wandered around, was great fun because as an architect he looks at a town through slightly different eyes and we saw things that we would normally never have noticed.
For example it is characteristic of this area of Spain for buildings to have a false facia that stands about a metre proud of the building and is made of windows of glass. This gives the occupants a small ‘conservatory ‘ area in winter (and when the North winds are blowing!) and can be opened and shaded, to keep the rooms cool in summer, as can be seen in the lovely terrace of apartments in the picture above.
We took a day out, while in A Coruna to visit the medieval town of Santiago de Compestella with its narrow streets and churches, it is place of pilgrimage for Roman Catholics and was thronging with people loaded down with backpacks, wearing walking boots and carrying staffs. We drank beer and wine in a terraced garden courtyard, wandered the streets and felt on holiday for a few hours.
Rick worked on things on the boat, we did the laundry and reprovisioned, a busy couple of days and then this morning we left Ian on the dock to catch his flight home, as we sailed to Muxia.
The Spanish Rias that run all around this coast are deep inlets surrounded with wooded hills and pretty beaches, we had planned to spend a few days exploring them, they are meant to be very beautiful and littered with secluded anchorages. However, the combination of our delayed start and the cool windy weather has made us decide to keep going South, next stop Baiona.