Playa de Barra/Vigo/Isla de Faro - 42 13.4 N 08 54.0 W

Charles & Maggie Bevis
Wed 7 Aug 2013 08:44
Saturday 3 August - arrived at our next Rias very close to Vigo but we've chosen to anchor off for a couple of nights. Its a lovely anchorage with pleasant surroundings. We have several more yachts and motor boats of various sizes anchored around us but the majority will be gone by tonight. By 10:30, we are enjoying a warm starry night and the gentle sound of surf breaking on the beach in the distance and only 9 boats remain here.

Sunday 4 August - We woke to a beautiful morning and can just hear the songs of a few birds up on the hillside, about 100 mtrs away from where we're anchored.

Across the large bay we can see Vigo, between us and Vigo itself, there are dozens and dozens mussel rafts. More mussels are farmed along this part of the coast than in any other part of the world with the being majority in this area, between Villa Garcia and Vigo. Washed by the Atlantic they grow big and are allegedly, the tastiest of them all. Charlie loves them, unfortunately I don't, tho' I have tried.

As it's a Sunday and most things will be closed in town, we're stay here until tomorrow morning. Presently we are sat in the cockpit enjoying bacon and egg for breakfast and freshly squeezed orange juice, delicious. The weather remains good and we can see a small armada of boats out in the bay heading in all directions, several seem to be heading this way which is no surprise as it's such a good spot, with good beach, safe swimming.

A lovely sunny day and we've enjoyed watching everyone although we did stretch ourselves to do just a couple of small jobs, but mostly we've lazed and read and watched everyone else enjoying the selves. People watching is just as good from a boat as it is from a pavement cafe! By dusk there were only 6 boats remaining and we had another lovely quiet night on board.

Monday 5 August - We've just arrived in Vigo and moored up in the town marina. Time to get the bikes out and go ashore. We also need to find some spare parts for the engine and the wine 'cellar' needs replenishing!

A lot of work is happening along the front of the town by the marina, ferry terminals and promenade building two areas for the skateboarders, hopefully the refurbishment of pavements and some old buildings will also be included in the near future. The marina swimming pool is also undergoing a major refurbishment and from what we've seen, the club house certainly needs to be included at some point.

Vigo itself is very pleasant, with a real friendly atmosphere. From a distance the buildings didn't appear particularly attractive, but once in the town, there are some lovely streets and buildings to be found. It's a maze of one way streets around the main town with the main street being pedestrianised, very busy and with a good selection of shops. Almost every cross road at every street in the main town has a pedestrian crossing, which keeps drivers and cyclists on high alert! As usual, lots of restaurants and cafe/bars, most with outside seating areas and as in France, Italy, Spain, etc, the shops and offices close for lunch, so everyone has a lengthy lunch break, which keeps the restaurants and bars busy and the shops and streets quiet. It's a good time to cycle around and see everything safely as the roads are deserted.

Although for us only a one night stop in Vigo, we've enjoyed it very much. The scenery in this Rías is most attractive and has been worth visiting. Many beaches dotted everywhere, a few small islands with frequent ferries running to them from Vigo. It's clearly a very popular holiday area for the Spanish and the ferries are packed.

Visiting yachts we've seen have been mostly from France, Belgium, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, a solitary Swiss yacht spotted a couple of days ago, together with few Spanish, but surprisingly few Brits and only a couple spotted yesterday, one of which we've seen before.

Tuesday 6 August - This afternoon we've moved away from Vigo itself and are now anchored just off the beach at a small island called Isla de Faro. Now we know where many of the tourists have been coming to each day, the beach was crowded when we arrived shortly before 5pm, but most are now making their way back to the landing stage to catch the ferries back, as the service stops running about 7pm-ish. There's a small campsite off to one side and a clearing within the wooded hillside comprising of about 6 small stone buildings and a tiny chapel. Otherwise, that's it.

There's a very strong westerly wind blowing this afternoon, great if its blowing in this is direction tomorrow as we'll get a great sail towards Portugal tomorrow, but we hope it quietenes down sufficiently tonight for us to get a good nights sleep, especially as we're hoping to do an all night passage tomorrow night.

Our next port of call will be somewhere in Portugal. We have no plans to stay anywhere for long in Portugal as we need to press on, when we do go in, it'll just be to stock up and rest.

You'll notice a big drop off in blog entries once we leave here as we won't have the same Internet/wifi system, just making do with whatever we can get, whenever.

Depending on the wind/weather, our passage could take anywhere between 5 and 10 days, we just need good winds to speed us to our next Spanish port, probably near Cadiz.

The weather forecast and winds are looking reasonably good right now. We have set up the hydrovane steering system up in anticipation. As to whether the present weather system holds remains to be seen, if it does, we aim to leave here wednesday morning.

Wednesday and Plan B! The wind didn't look as though it was going to settle yesterday and as the anchorage wasn't very comfortable, we decided to return to our first anchorage here in Vigo, Playa de Barra where we knew it would be sheltered.

This morning it's raining and wouldn't you just know it, the wind is blowing from the south! Between last night and this morning all the weather sites we use have updated their predictions, but are now saying the wind will shift to a westerly and it will brighten later on today, we will see.

The manservant has just brought me my second cup of coffee and we are now just waiting and hoping the weather will improve and soon... This should be my last posting from Vigo, assuming plan B happens!