W. Eric Faber
Sun 21 Jul 2013 10:35
> Finistere greeted me with with a foul tide, mist and drizzle. Welcome to Spain! The engine has been purring away since 14.45hrs and by 1800hrs the sea had turned into a flat calm. I did not expect any wind to return until the end of the following day (Saturday) and prepared myself for a night full of shipping without much visibility. I used my wind-up kitchen alarm to wake me every hour to check that the radar, the AIS and the autopilot were doing their job properly and being on the engine, I took the radar off its intermittent watch (a power saving modus of operandi when under sail). Much to my surprise the AIS did not scream once and the radar continued to search for targets without success. I was now well in between the shipping lanes and the coast and any fishermen that might have been expected to be out there, must have known that the weather was going to be too unpleasant. By daylight the drizzle had stopped, but visibility continued to be poor.
> I could vaguely make out the steep rocky coast and was, therefore, reassured that my position was correct and that landfall would be nigh. The northwest coast of Spain is full of river estuaries (Rias) and any one can make for delightful local cruising, but I was on my way south and would, therefore, aim for the most southerly while daylight would help me find my way around as I have not any pilot guides with me. Vigo would be achievable and I increased the engine revs by another 200 to be sure I would get to the Ria de Vigo in the afternoon. I determined to find a marina near Vigo rather than Baiona, which is more popular with ocean sailors. I reached the Ria by 1400hrs and scanned its shores with binoculars for signs of mast swarms. The one I saw was well outside Vigo with a steep road leading away from it, but on the north side I spotted a Spanish boat disappear amongst a vast collection of mussel pontoons. There were some masts where he was headed with a backdrop of white houses and red roofs. That looked far more inviting. Luna Quest's echo sounder does not work, probably still asleep from three years of being ashore at Fox's Boatyard, so I was hopeful that wherever we were going, there would be enough water to float! The chart showed the village to be Gangas. We weaved our way among the mussel pontoons towards the harbour, where a small marina on the right hand side offered hope and shelter. I tied up to the visitors' pontoon, where I was told I was in Moana marina.
> Today is Sunday (21.7.13), when everything is closed, so I shall use the day to do my washing and carry out small jobs around the boat.