Finisterre to Vigo

Wed 28 Sep 2022 08:15

Finisterre to Vigo

Wednesday 28th September

N 42 15.0,   W 008 46.0

We left you on Friday 23rd at anchor in a bay sheltered from the predominantly northerly wind in the Ria Finisterre, planning to sail to the Ria Arousa (or Arosa in some sources). 

At the moment it seems that the wind dies away to almost nothing at nights, which is great for anchoring, is light north easterly in the mornings and becomes fresh north westerly in the afternoons when the land heats up.

On Saturday we set off early for Arousa, bypassed the Ria de Muros on a whim and sailed 40 miles downwind until we turned up into the Ria and came onto the wind where we had to shorten sail quite smartly.  This was the first time since we left Plymouth where we had to sail to windward.  For the non-sailors, sailing downwind is blissful, the speed of the boat is subtracted from the wind speed so the wind is always lighter than reality.   When sailing towards the wind, the boat speed is added to the wind speed so the difference between downwind and upwind can be a real surprise.   In fact, sailing downwind can be a trap for the unwary and rather like driving in the old days where you were advised to engage the same gear going down hill as you would to go up the hill (showing our age here) a prudent sailor should also reef (reduce sail) going downwind in fresh winds in case there is a need to round up into the wind for any reason.

The Ria Arousa turned out be a much larger and windy expanse of water than we had envisaged but we found a bay at Ribeira sheltered from the north and anchored overnight.  Dinner on board that evening was tinned tuna with potatoes fried in curry paste, and the remains of some carrots which were spoiling.  The following morning, Sunday, we sailed another 8 miles or so upwind, tacking around rocks and extensive shellfish farm enclosures that took up a lot of the space, to the town of Pobra where we took a marina berth.  Showers were appreciated followed by bocodillos for lunch in the marina bar but all the shops were closed.  However, a bit of local research by Phil and Chris in the afternoon located an authentic, charming restaurant where we enjoyed razor clams, baby squid and Manchego cheese with Serrano ham for dinner.

We shopped for supplies on Monday morning and then set off south again in very light winds toward the Ria de Vigo. By late morning the wind had piped up and we were inside (east) of the Isla Ons, which is a National Park. You need to have permission to navigate in the vicinity of the parks and then an extension to this to anchor. We achieved most of this with an online application as we approached the island and anchored for lunch.

Continuing south in the afternoon we approached the Ria de Vigo and the wind increased necessitating a reef. Altering course, we put in another reef and sailed fast into the Ria and anchored overnight in Cangas Bay, opposite Vigo. Phil cooked mussels.

On Tuesday morning we moved into the marina Rodeiro at Cangas and  took a ferry across the Ria which happened to disembark opposite the Real Club Nautico Vigo so we had some lunch there in a restaurant shaped like a large ship on the waterfront.  We are beginning to appreciate the Spanish tradition of serving a gratis tapas dish with drinks.

We had a light supper on board consisting of Pimento de Padron; these are small green peppers which are mostly sweet and juicy after they have been lightly charred and delicious with rustic bread
but, occasionally, one of them (they say one in thirteen) turns out to be super hot which amuses the other diners;  it’s a culinary version of Russian Roulette.
Vigo is a vibrant port city intimately linked with waterfront industries of ship building, fishing and sailing.
The Yacht Club Nautico de Vigo (RCNV)
A Dutch square rigger in the RCNV marina
Scathach in Cangas taken from the ferry to Vigo
The fish market in Cangas
The remnants of the Moules Mariniere al la Philip