The Happy Hoppers Chronicles (Fallen Angel) - Part 1

andromeda of plymouth
Susan and Andrew Wilson
Tue 26 Jul 2016 14:35

The Chronicles of the Happy Hoppers (a.k.a. Fallen Angel) – Part 1


After an early morning departure from Lagos and a long walk on arrival, we finally met Bill and Ally in La Corunna – a lovely city with a really nice and reasonably priced city marina as well. This was the start of our next summer adventure. Fallen Angel is a Beneteau 36CC being sailed to the UK to be sold at the second hand boat sale event in the Hamble in August/September. Bill and Ally have other plans involving RV’s in the US/Mexico and then RV’s in Europe, hence the planned sale of Fallen Angel.


A quick stroll around La Corunna, which had a medieval event taking place in the main square, and a nice meal, set us up for a relatively early start the following day to our first stop, Cedeira. The initial plan was to sail across Biscay to the UK, but contrary winds resulted in a wise decision to head along the north Spain coast towards Gjon and then sail across to La Rochelle, then north round the French coast to the Raz du Sein, before, in an assumed weather window, across the channel, possibly via Alderney, to the Hamble. Well that’s the latest plan.


Cedeira was a nice and quite popular anchorage offering good shelter, though we did get a fair bit of rain overnight. An early morning departure saw us head toward Viveiro in rain and poor visibility, but we eventually arrived in fine sunshine and good conditions in a small but friendly marina. It is very popular with the French it seems, and is some 5 miles up a river. Later the weather turned cool and damp with showers, so we hunkered down for an early evening. This weekend was fiesta weekend across Galicia – so the music (very loud) started at 10pm and finished around 6am – wonderful. In Cedeira we introduced Bill and Ally to the card game “John” and much hilarity and raucous laughter ensued, with Bill, to his evident delight, winning two rounds – yes we had the song! Much scrutiny of the weather for the next few days is the main order of the day, however, as Bill and Ally would prefer Fallen Angel to be in the Hamble at the end of the first week in August, or so. No pressure then.


So far, on this trip, we have seen:-

  • Cormorants
  • Shearwaters
  • Gannets
  • Gulls – sorry don’t know which ones
  • Numerous Yachts heading North, South and West, not many heading our way, East
  • Lots of fishing boats, of all sizes
  • Several cargo ships
  • A herd of goats – yes, that’s correct
  • A large pod of dolphins


A fine day in the town of Viveiro; we saw two weddings in progress with much, much finery on display and some magnificent cars as well. It seemed that after the ceremonies most of the guests decamped to the local bars! The town had quite an atmosphere and was a delight to walk around. A fine tapas lunch, the peppers were amazing, and a visit to the supermarket for supplies for a fine tea, followed by another round of “John” finished off the day. Guess who won this time!


An early morning departure saw us heading off for Ribadero, while 7 Spanish flagged yachts were heading in, which is a small town on a small ria, also very popular with the French, though there were two Australian and two British boats in when we arrived. The marina is surprisingly large with good facilities, except for the fuel pontoon, which is very tricky with a narrow approach in anything other than slack water. There is a fair current across the entrance and inside the marina, so care is needed and a fair few boats arriving later had more hassle berthing than perhaps they had planned on. We did see a very large pod of dolphins on the approach to the ria and the dolphins spent of bit of time around the boat, which is always a positive (Susan has posted a short video on Facebook) – we even managed to sail for a couple of hours, which was even better.


The town of Ribadero is up a hill (aren’t they all) and is quite picturesque, with the old Library, alas in poor repair, boasting an amazing roof – red with gold highlights, quite special and very distinctive. While quiet on the Sunday we arrived, it was closed on the Monday for a saints day, though the marina assured this wasn’t the case – hhmm. So we wandered around and took a boat trip that did not stop at the town across the ria that we expected it to – ho hum.  The washing machines didn’t work entirely successfully so a bit of a day really. This trip is getting better.


So we had a light lunch on the boat while awaiting the arrival of Bill and Ally’s friends, Giles and Pauline, on Quintessence, a Bavaria 42. Ally did her day skipper course with Giles on Quintessence, hence the link, and they are at the start of their own sailing/cruising adventure having closed their sailing school to do so, onwards and eastward it seems, though we did try hard to sell the delights of Lagos for the winter – who knows. Sun downers and a fine late lunch followed. Tuesday sees some final provisioning and food preparation for the next part of the trip. We plan to leave on Wednesday (27th) for Audienne (or near), which will involve at least two, possibly three, nights at sea and some 300 or so miles; that trip will form part 2 of this Chronicle.


More in due course...........


Susan, Andrew, Bill, Ally

Ribadero, Galicia, Spain

July 2016