Finisterre & Ría de Muros - 42 46.9 N 09 03.4 W
Charles & Maggie Bevis
Thu 1 Aug 2013 12:49
After we sailed there was a large sea swell running and it was grey, grey, grey. Finisterre is just about visible ahead of us and we can see three other yachts on the same passage as us - we're all motor sailing!
If you've ever listened to the British shipping forecasts, then you'll know Finisterre is the furthest point west to be included in the shipping forecast. Named by the Romans (finnis terrae), the end of the world, it's also in an area of coast known as Costa da Morte. Despite its name, it is quite manageable and the passage is very rewarding as this part of the Galician coastline is both beautiful, dramatic and wild.
As we approached Finisterre the weather changed dramatically and within 30 minutes or so we were enjoying warm sunshine and improving sea conditions - in fact the sea reverted to a mirror calm for a few hours, albeit with the swell still present. Mirror calm meant no wind at all so we plugged on under power. The coast is beautiful, big rocks rising out of the sea, rocky hillsides and cliffs and scatterings of villages and small towns along the way. Beautiful white wild sandy beaches and dunes. Way off in the distant hills, the inevitable wind turbines, fewer in number here, but present nevertheless. As we sailed along and then rounded the 'corner' we had several sightings of dolphins but all proved to be very camera shy. Meteorologists are at this point off the hook as it's now pleasantly warm, even though what wind there was came from the wrong direction! It's a really lovely coastline and all the better for seeing it in sunshine.
Our destination for tonight is the Ría de Muros, which is on the border between the wild areas and the developed areas of Galicia, the most remote of the four Rías Baixas and the first after rounding the Cape. As we approached the headland north of Muros the wind filled in from the west. Our sail, yes I did say sail, was from then on delightful and we really enjoyed the peace and quiet with the engine off.
We have dropped anchor just beyond Muros harbour and have an interesting and varied selection of boats anchored around us with 17 yachts from Denmark, Germany, Sweden (the majority), France, Holland and last but not least, us, the only Brits.
A strong wind was blowing in the bay for a couple of hours shortly after our arrival and several of us realised we were dragging, ourselves included! We found the boat had drifted over the anchor buoy, that had fouled the anchor and tripped the chain. Fortunately Charlie had just finished the engine fuel filter service so we were able to return to our original position without fuss. A French yacht was not so lucky and needed to be rescued, as its occupants were ashore at the time she decided to take off! Three tenders together with their alert occupants all dashed off to capture her before she crashed into a newly arrived yacht that had just dropped anchor. Our dinghy is tucked away at the moment so Charlie was happy to be a spectator, but he would no doubt have joined the fray given half a chance I'm sure. Anyway, they successfully manoeuvred the errant walkabout alongside the newly arrived yacht who then held onto her until the owners returned. They must have got quite surprise when they saw their boat wasn't where they'd left it! All ended well, no damage done and no one seems to have claimed salvage! After the excitement and all boats safely secured, we spent a very pleasant evening on board with dinner eaten in the comfort of a sunny warm cockpit washed down with some excellent Rioja!
Thursday 1 August
This morning there is a strong southerly wind blowing which is of no use to us whatsoever. Only one boat has left, we guess they're either heading North or they're gluttons for punishment. We can now see how many of the visiting yachts are heading south - 16 in total should you be wondering.
So that means it's a day to tackle the job list. Charlie decided that an investigation of the plumbing was in order so as to prepare for commissioning the fresh water maker. That means we've had to switch cabins as most of the 'gear' needs to be installed under our bed, also floor boards in the saloon and galley have been lifted. For the moment, I'm relegated to sitting at the chart table surrounded by rolled back carpets, lifted floor boards and a maze of pipes leading in all directions as he's had to lift decking. With tools everywhere and a few exclamations at what he keeps unearthing, I'm keeping a low profile, but galley duties will be resumed once he's got it all back together! Whilst it's very useful having an engineer on board, it can be dreadfully messy at times! I can't even do any laundry in my 'antique' manual washing machine as the water is turned off, what a shame...
If this wind persists, it means we'll still be here tomorrow (assuming everything has been put back into place), then the dinghy may well get an airing and we'll go ashore as there's plenty to see here and it is reported to be rather pleasant.