A quiet night at anchor but during the evening
there was a superb firework display presumably not just for us but
while your scribe retired to bed the chief photographer decided she should stay
up and record it for you all.
An unhurried start and motor back out through the
port of Bilbao. Ships that look large at sea appear quite small beneath the
massive cranes and it is apparent that a small mountain has been removed to
supply all the rock for the breakwaters and docks. All a bit of a novelty to
West of Scotland sailors!
We ambled gently along to Castro Urdiales which is
a busy harbour with room for anchoring.
Fiesta time and a public holiday so the world and
his wife are messing about in boats, spread out on the beach and promenading on
The Club Nautico operate a launch service for the
owners of the yachts in the harbour and extend it to visiting yachts so about
5pm we headed ashore and wondered through the old town.
C.U is now obviously largely a dormitory town for
Bilbao but it has retained it's heart around the old harbour. Fiesta time meant
marching bands, fancy costumes, street decorations, greasy pole competition and
families generally out for a good time.
The restaurants do not open until 8.30 or 9 and as
we had to catch the launch before 10pm we had a meal of tapas at a harbourside
bar watching all the celebrations and fIreworks. We wondered why the fireworks
were so early and then realised everything had been brought forward as Spain
were playing Portugal in the World Cup! Back to Moonbeam and listened to
the roars from the bars as Spain scored and beat Portugal!
Another not so early start but I hailed the launch
and nipped ashore for a quick supermarket visit.
Then out the harbour and headed west in a gentle NE
breeze. Just as we arrived at Punta del Pasaje the breeze got up and would have
been ideal for a long passage along the coast. We picked up a mooring at the
Club Nautico de Laredo which again has a launch service, restaurant, bar and
swimming pool. Theoretically this should be a perfect spot but it is blighted by
high rise holiday apartments on the peninsula.
View from mooring
It is noticed that the run down fishing port of
Laredo has a massive new breakwater for an enlarged harbour that does not appear
in the 2010 Reed Almanac. Where do they get the money from?
( what would happen if there were not any
We went for a walk and at the north beach the wind
surfers and kite surfers were out in force but I decided not to demonstrate my
skills. Lynn noticed that some of the men sunbathing on the beach were obviously
impoverished ( see earlier blog!)
There is a constant decision making process going
on! After Sandander there is a 90 mile gap with only possible harbours so do we
go to the city or just miss it out as it is only 17 miles away. Just in case you
are getting the wrong idea it is not easy having fun!
For the next step after Sandander there are fewer
potential stops for a boat like Moonbeam. A small catamaran would be ideal in
many ways as there are many shallow Rias which would provide good shelter for a
shallow draft yacht.On the French coast I had hoped to stop at Ars en Re purely
because it would have caused a few sniggers among blog readers. Ensanada de Poo
is en route but we may not stop!