Baiona to Vilana do Castelo, Portugal

Tue 4 Oct 2022 07:37

Baiona to  Viana do Castelo, Portugal

Monday  3 Oct

N  41  40.5,    W 008  50.6

We are in Viana do Castelo now but Baiona lived up to all the hype and enthusiastic reports: the weather was great, the marina Monte Real was welcoming, and the town and surroundings were beautiful.

After sailing slowly down from the Islas Cies, we anchored overnight having realised that arriving in a marina in the evening is a waste of money.   Inflating the dinghy and pootling ashore at high water gave us a chance to compare the cost of the two marinas.  Anyway, the next morning we moved around to the Monte Real Marina d Yates Baiona. The basic cost at both marinas was the same at about 44 euros but our Ocean Cruising Club membership was worth 25% discount at MRYB which tipped the balance.

As we said previously, Baiona was lovely, we did a bit of maintenance, personal and vessel, during the morning on Saturday, including filling one water tank which was empty but had done seventeen days of moderately cautious use.  In the afternoon after a beer in the club, we walked around the ramparts of the fortress on the headland, probably a mile, and then into the old town for light refreshments and tapas intending to shop for the next few days afterwards.  That’s where it all unravelled: leaving the little bar-restaurant we were hailed by a group of locals, “hey English”! The evening turned into a very sociable interlude where a quantity of alcohol, mostly gin, was consumed, and we all agreed that ordinary people everywhere are great but politicians are useless. Shopping was completely forgotten.

Earlier we had reserved a table at the yacht club for dinner and had to extricate ourselves from the street party and turned up slightly late and rather the worse for wear at the club but enjoyed a good meal and a friendly welcome from a family that we had met there at lunchtime.

We could have stayed another day (easily) but the wind was favourable and the following day looked windless so, on Sunday, when all the shops were closed, we left with heavy hearts and a loaf of bread.  The passage was slow downwind to Viana do Castelo arriving around 6pm and tying up in the fish dock alongside the Gil Eannes, an ex -hospital ship that had once supported the Portuguese cod fishing industry on the Grand Banks. The ship is now a museum and from the bridge to the engine room, and operating theatre to crew accommodation, it gives a graphic insight into the business of handlining for cod in the 1950s.

Vilana do Castelo is also very pretty and elegant but much quieter than Baiona. We have also returned to British Summer Time which seems comfortable and there is also no siesta so shops and offices opening times are more like nine to five-ish.  We did a bit of maintenance on the pull cable that stops the engine this morning and, if I say it myself, were rather pleased with the result which involved hack sawing a rusted nut and re engineering the arrangement that fixed the cable to the boat.   This evening , after a walk around town, Phil did chicken breasts stuffed with chorizo and red pepper for dinner with broccoli and potatoes.

So that’s where we are now and tomorrow, Tuesday, we head down to Porto where Phil will disembark in a couple days.  We should catch up with Peter and Linda on Kokachin who have  overtaken us since we saw them in Coruna.

Tony, Phil and Chris

Baiona is just beautiful.
The fish dock at Vilana do Castelo beside the hospital ship museum, Gil Eannes.
Phil relaxing in Baiona
(PP: I must have been past the point of no return to start on the roll-ups!
Our new friends in Baiona
Maintenance work on the engine stop cable mount.
Scathach in Vilana do Castelo