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Date: 14 Aug 2009 14:51:36
Title: Combarro to Isla Cies N42 14 W8 54

After 3 days of strong winds we plucked up courage and left the marina with a good Force 5 blowing the boat down the estuary. As we neared the open sea the wind dropped and we found the swell was less than we expected, so we decided to stop at Isla Cies, initially just for a (cold) swim and then for the night.
 
 
Mistake! The boat rolled like a pig all night and as the wind increased  we worried about our anchor dragging.  Waking up to a glorious morning things seemed much improved. The wind had dropped again with the dawn and consequently we decided to stay for another night. Mistake! The boat rolled all night again although at least by now we were convinced the anchor was well set.
 
 
We had a super day exploring the largest of the islands that we had visited 28 years ago. Then we had  stopped out of necessity, when we sheltered  from a westerly gale for 2 or 3 days. We were then (in September 1981) the only boat in the anchorage and the only people ashore. This time the beach was packed with holiday makers and a stream of ferries shuttled tourists back and forward. The island is like Herm, in the Channel Islands, in that there are no cars and there are very few permanent residents. The beach was described by the Guardian newspaper as one of the best beaches in the world with its pristine sand and natural lagoon behind backing onto the Atlantic side with crashing waves pouring over the rocky outcrops. Despite the tourists it retains its charm and as before we made the 600 foot climb up to the lighthouse on well managed paths surrounded by hillsides of gorse, ragged blackberry, spruce, eucalyptus and lots of wild shrubs. The island is now part of an offshore National Park and it is very well maintained if a little sanitized with notices and fences.
 
We also had the pleasure of meeting some other Brits Andy and Sue in their yacht Spruce, a handsome Ohlson, who are hoping to do the same trip as us, including visiting the Cape Verdes on the way to the Caribbean.
 
Here is a picture of us near the lighthouse playing with the time delay, on the camera!
 
 

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