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
Here is a picture of us near the lighthouse playing with
the time delay, on the camera!