We arrived in Camarinas and spent 6 days in port. The weather deteriorated with big Atlantic swells forecast for a few days. We also had a fair amount of rain and the winds were cold.
Camarinas describes itself as the bobbin lace-making capital of the world and there are at least three lace shops and a museum of lace making to visit. Not to miss an opportunity you can buy lace coronavirus masks. Hope they are backed by something less permeable than lace.
We did manage to get out and about between the showers. The coastline here is stunning and wild and is littered with ship wreaks We cycled out to the English Cemetery this is a reminder of the dangers of the sea. In November 1890 a Royal Navy ship the Serpent was lost just of the coast here with the loss of 172 lives, they are buried at a site near the coast known as the English Cemetery. Only 3 crew survived. As a result of this tragedy the lighthouse was rebuilt to improve its visibility and consequently safety on this part of the coast.
You can read the story on this website http://blog.turismp.gal/without-category-en/the-tragedy-of-the-serpent-and-its-legacy-in-camarinas/
Whilst here we decided to check and clean out the dry food locker. We found our pasta and chickpeas had been infested by weevils. We are not sure how they got there but one of the packs we purchased must have been infected and spread. We discarded the infected packets and sealed everything else in ziplock bags and so far so good we seem to have evicted them.
After 6 days we decided to leave, the swell had subsided a bit and the winds were in the right direction. We left early as it was around 60 miles to Ares. We had hoped to break the journey overnight at an anchorage but the weather forecast for Wednesday did not look good.
We left at first light and the winds were light and the sea flat calm just off the Camarinas. Graham decided to host the mainsail with one reef just in case the winds picked up a bit as we headed out to sea, it could always be shaken out later.
As we turned the corner the wind was already building and we decided to put a second reef in. The waves were steep as we came out of the Ria and the boat was pitching and we were getting an early morning saltwater shower We felt that this would die down once out of the narrow entrance so continued on.
The sea did improve slightly and the salt showers stopped. The sea remained rough and although we were sailing at 6 to 7 knots it was hard to hold the course we wanted as it was dead downwind and the waves constantly pushed us off course. This added 5 to 10 miles to the journey as we sailed a broad reach to keep the boat from gybing unintentionally. The sea made Judith feel quite unwell and she spent most of the day lying down. Neither of us ate lunch. It was the first time we have felt cold since leaving Cascais which did not help the mood. Some dolphins came along to play but even they could not lift the mood on Island Girl.
After 12 hours we finally made our destination and were glad to stop. This was probably one of the most uncomfortable sails we have had on our trip (this does seem to be a difficult coast as the trip down 2 years ago was not good either). We needed the reefs in the mainsail and they were not shaken out during this trip.
We rested up in Ares for three nights and still, the weather remained damp and cool. Shopping and Laundry needed to be done and a few walks exploring the town.
Once again we only found a one-day weather window between rainy days to proceed along the coast so rather than the two short trips planned with an overnight anchorage became one long trip of around 55 miles to Viveiro
Another early start to leave at dawn, we got up at 5:30am and had breakfast and prepared to boat, at 6:30 the first streaks of daylight were coming across the sky and we were off. The sun rose about 7:10 and everything was still.
We motored out onto a much calmer sea there was still around 2m of swell but no wind waves so much more comfortable.
The wind was not strong enough to sail more than around 3 to 4 knots so as we had quite a lot of ground to cover the engine stayed on again all day. The morning was sunny. A few times it started to rain but it soon stopped and although it was quite cold we did not get too wet. This trip was much better than the last, no sickness and we both had lunch.
We are now having to revisit ports we stopped at when travelling south in 2019, options are limited in this part of North Spain.
We have decided that it is always wet in Vivero, it rained in August 2019 and it was raining this time.
On a boat something is always breaking. We had checked out all the navigation lights before leaving Cascais and all was good.
We do not sail at night much but we will be out for two nights crossing Biscay in a few weeks time. Our early departures have meant we have turned on the navigation lights and found that they kept tripping out as we sailed out in the pre-dawn gloom.
When in port they worked fine! A bit of investigation was required. Graham had replaced the Bow lights in 2018 so had the wires chafed? No there was no issue there. Looking at the stern light required the steering moved out of the way. The fuse tripped again and the source of the problem was identified. A cable was rubbing up against the steering mechanism and was chaffed through. The wire and was shorting when the rudder moved. Graham took the opportunity to replace the light as the lens on the old one was badly crazed. We are glad that we found this problem before we left to cross Biscay with two nights planned at sea.
From the marina all you can see is a row of ugly modern buildings with little charm. Walk a few hundred meters beyond the supermarket and you find a maze of mediaeval streets running up the hillside.
After three nights here we headed further east. Only about 35 miles this time. We had a comfortable trip but no wind! Dolphins joined us for a short while.
Some cargo ships were lying at anchor about halfway through the trip. We planned to sail through them but things got complicated. As we approached a third ship appears leaving the harbour and both the anchored ships decided it was time to move. We navigated our way through safely and carried on our way,
As has become common on this leg of the trip we were the only visiting yacht in the marina when we arrived at Ribadeo.
A two night stop here, time to revisit the cafe selling chocolate con churros and also buy supplies for the next few days before heading off again.
We took a walk down to the lighthouse, you can rent this home now for a holiday.
After 2 days we headed off to Gijon, this was to be another long windless trip of 65 miles taking around 12 hours. We left again at first sight of light, the navigation lights working properly this time. For a brief period just after dawn we had some wind, we did not expect it to last but we hoisted the sail and there was enough wind for about 15 minutes to sail before it dropped off and we had to resume under motor.
Reading the weather forecast is becoming depressing, the weather is either gale force or nothing. The forecast for inshore Wednesday is winds up to 7 knots, too low for us to sail at any reasonable speed (with a 65 mile journey we like to maintain an average of around 5 knots.) Looking forward that is the highest we are likely to get this week with next Wednesday promising 8 knots.
We hope that as we go further offshore to cross Biscay we will find some winds as we do not really want the engine on for 48 hours. It looks as we might get the winds we need Sunday and Monday next week
We arrived in Gijon and could not get the Puerto Deportivo de Gijón to respond on the radio and on entering the marina seemed quite deserted there were few boats in the Marina and none on the visitors’ pontoons we had stayed on in 2019. ( it turns out they have very restrictive hours currently and are closed by 16:30). Marina Yates about a mile away responded on the radio so we decided to go over there as we needed fuel. Marina Yates is on the edge of the commercial port and staying here allows us to explore a different part of the City.
We had our third visit from Spanish customs, a third green form was completed and presumable filed away somewhere in Madrid. It has the same information as I just give them the previous form and they copy all the info to their new form, I guess it keeps people off the streets.
We have visited three of these places on our trip south if you want to read about this you can take a look at the post from 2019
We will be leaving Spain soon and will update you when we arrive in France.