Best Laid Plans.................

Zipadedoda of Dart
David H Kerr
Thu 10 Aug 2006 19:21



It has been an eventful past few days. The fires, ash and smog finally drove us out of Ria del Arosa. It was really just awful. No sooner had we cleaned the boat. Inside and out than it as covered again in minutes. The sky is like an old fashioned London smog. Visibility is between 100 and 200 metres and the air is acrid and pervades everything. It is such a shame that a few political nutters can ruin this beautiful area, for everyone. Goodness knows how much economic damage this has done to Galicia.


That said we did meet some interesting people and went to dinner with a highly entertaining couple from Cork and a group on a Vancouver Pilot House 38 as well as another couple in a Swan yacht,  who are sailing off to South America…………..


So crew and I had a team talk. It was agreed that we would head off further north for the next Ria, and stop off at Potosin, to provision, top up the diesel etc. We also agreed, that if the weather was better than forecast, then we would head straight off across Biscay and to St Mary’s in the Scilly Isles. The forecast for Finisterre was for NE 25 to 30 knot winds and moderate to rough. But for the rest of the area going north it was F3 to 5 North or NNE. So the logic was, go through a bit of pain to get into the bay and then be on our way. Once out of Ria Del Arosa, the wind was ENE, 20 knots. Ideal. We had a lovely sail for around 2 hours. Then the wind was all over the place. Eventually we motor sailed out towards the Finisterre  TSS. Once there (Portosin well behind by now), it was blowing old boots and a rough sea, with waves of 4+ metres and we were being thrown around quite a lot. At one stage the wind was up to 40+ knots true.  We decided this was not fun, but that we would get around Finisterre and divert to Camarinas. This is some 50 miles west of La Coruna. We actually took a bit of a beating, and for the first time ever some of the hatches were leaking.


We are anchored on the North end of the Ria, about half a mile away from the town of Camarinas itself. Position 43 degree 7 mins North, 9 degrees 10 mins West. We arrived here at 2000 last night. It is a beautiful peaceful spot in which there was only a faint whiff of the smoke from forest fires, vis was good. It is rather like some of the anchorages in the Western isles. Only warmer and midge free!!


We had a delightful, comfortable night here and both slept very well.


We had a lazy start today. Then checked the weather forecasts from both the French and Met office sites. Finisterre and South Fitzroy both had pants forecasts, so we stayed put and planned a chill out day. At around 1100, we noticed a big plume of smoke just North East of our anchorage. It seems the arsonists had struck once again.


After a late breakfast, we set up the dingy and went to town half a mile across open water in a 2 man dingy in winds gusting 20 to 30 knots. This made for a lively crossing and we both looked like we had been caught short by the time we arrived at Club Nautico Camarinas. Had a tour of the town. Nice, natural and not at al touristy. Bought a few provisions and then a relaxing drink at a harbour side café. By this time we had dried out so it was time to return to the boat. Well, if we though the crossing to Camarinas was damp, the return was a case of “Who goes there, friend or enema!”  We had trouble staying in the dingy, and were completely drenched by the time we got back to Zipadedoda. Still it was a good laugh, and no harm done. Although the fresh bread was by now a tad damp!


Just was we arrived back at the boat, the local forest fire fighters started work. They take the form of two large sea planes that landed on the Ria quite close to our anchorage and filled up with water before heading of to the fires to “bomb” them with their cargo. It was a spectacular show and the pilots must be hugely skilful as they skim the water to load up with (presumably) thousands of gallons of water before slowing raising up into the hills to do their best to douse the flames. One of attached picture shows two of them lifting off into the sky with the fires raging in the back ground. Whilst all this was going on another (British) yacht came into the Ria, and proceeded to motor directly across the path of the planes as they were loading up. Somehow the planes managed to fly around him.


The plan now, is to get up early in the morning and head off around to La Coruna. Hopefully the weather will not be too bad. If it is, it will be interesting to see if my efforts to restore the Hatches back to being leak proof will work.


The Tall Ships are due to be in La Coruna until the 12th August, so hopefully we will be able to get there to see the ships and catch up with the crew of Moondance………..


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