Vigo and Bayona 28th Aug-9th Sept

Chris & Sally Longstaff
Mon 11 Sep 2006 22:44

Vigo and Bayona


Vigo, biggest fishing port in Europe, and now, we are told, the world (overtaking Tokyo). Presumably The Atlantic is also the most heavily fished ocean / sea in the world?


Arrive in Vigo’s new marina at Bouzas; a fantastic new facility with huge finger pontoons, and a surprising lack of boats; because, apparently, there are no ‘residents’ yet established. An extremely helpful and enthusiastic young marina manager greets us in his RIB with such excitement that he cannot quite decide in which of his many empty berths he would like us. He changes his mind more than once, much to the consternation of the crew, and then sets about tying us up with such gusto that we feel obliged to stand back. After he leaves we adjust all our lines so that we are actually in the berth.  We meet Terry and Voahangy, Mark and Anne, from Australia, in their super new Lagoon Catamaran, who have been stranded for weeks while trying to persuade Volvo to replace two badly engineered engines that keep littering the ocean with shredded metal. We count our blessings once again and compliment good old British workmanship, and Yanmar engines!


Great warmth of welcome from ‘Victor’ who seems to be actually in charge of everything related to the marina, and is the key to improved access to anything from a tuna sandwich to internet wifi.  Facilities are yet to be finished, but a fantastically efficient and economical place to get any work done. However Bayona looks like the place to ‘chill’ while Sally returns to the UK with Lauren.


Head for the super looking, traditional and very swanky ‘Monte-Real de Yates’  Yacht Club Marina at Bayona as recommended by all. Unfortunately so does Juan Carlos, King of Spain; and as they say, “this ol’ club aint big enough for the both of us.” However since the King has an advance booking to hold his regatta there we graciously give way, and move to the plebs marina along the bay; which outrageously costs 10 Euros more a night. We also move from very sweet pretty receptionist to sour faced cow who quite frankly is ‘parked on the wrong jetty’ of life. Fortunately she is an exception to a generally nice bunch of local marina crew, and the marina does turn out to be more conveniently placed for the ordinary necessities of life; shops, beach, restaurants (under-tens being ‘barred’ from the best facilities at the neighbouring Monte-Real).

 Celebrating Maddie's birthday on the beachCelebrating Maddie's birthday on the beach

Picturesque though it is Bayona doesn’t have much to do for a fifty-something and an eight year old. Fantastic old town back streets with a selection of atmospheric eating and drinking places; especially the ham, cheese and wine bars. However I cannot get Maddie to agree and end up eating more pizza and hamburger than I intend. (Neither can I persuade the owner of the neat Tequila bar to sell me his mini-sized authentic blue Sombrero….which would have been just the thing for those sunny afternoon siestas…..sorry Sonny!). However we establish a nice routine in ice-creams and patisserie cakes, and have a really fun week. Apart from Maddie absconding with the pedallo, leaving Dad at sea.


School starts! Perhaps the poor weather and lack of other children or entertainment has a silver lining. All goes extraordinarily well, although we ditch a bit of science to have more fun with English! Sorry Grandad, but you will enjoy Maddie’s story of the Butterfly and the Beetle.

Maddie establishes herself as a presence in the Pink Dinghy, motoring around the marina and beyond (Dad hanging on at the bows!). Meanwhile fog seriously curtails the King’s regatta. I don’t suppose his mood is improved by Maddie’s pink missile buzzing his yacht, but I maintain an English aloofness in passing.


Fog persists every day, and the week begins to drag. We decide, when Sally makes a welcome return, that we will head south, whatever the local weather. In the event, it is ‘fog’ ! We slip discretely past racing sloops losing themselves in the haze, and spend the day motoring on radar and plotter… Portugal!!!