The Magical Cies Islands 42:12:17N 08:54:26W
Yesterday we departed Club Monte Real de Yates, after a thoroughly enjoyable experience. We visited the club house earlier the previous evening for an aperitif, and to see if we could find any of the crews from the two “other” Bluewater Rally boats (Baccus and Tapestry), who were also participating in the Rally Portugal. The Rally Portugal boats had started arriving in Bayona a couple of days before, after their Biscay crossing.
Shortly after our arrival in the bar, Jennie “found” Ian and Lesley from Tapestry and Keith and Suzanne from Baccus. So we all teamed up to go to dinner, in “down town” Bayona. Keith selected what turned out to be an excellent restaurant, and we enjoyed Salt Sea Bass and local seafood Paella. All washed down with Alberino and Rioja wines. It was a good laugh and I am ashamed to report that we were so noisy that the people on the table next door to us asked to be moved to the other side of the restaurant. Well at least our noise drowned out that emanating from the crying baby!
The party then decamped back to the club house where we indulged in a night cap. It has to be said that the spirit measures in this club are still as outrageous as they were last year. They use full size brandy glasses half full when dispensing Single Malt whisky. One of these guarantees a good nights sleep. Two, renders the victim senseless!! Needless to say they closed the club at 3am and we were all still having a ball, but we agreed (eventually after the third time of asking), to call it a day at that point (very appropriate, as it was nearly dawn).
Now back to the matter in hand. The Islas Cies. Having
headed north out of Bayona, to the Las Estelas Islands and the rock hopping Channel de la Porta, we
proceeded to the larger of the two main islands in the Cies group. This is in
Having anchored in 5m off the beautiful Playa Arena das
Rodas beach, some 300m south of the landing jetty, that is used by the tourist
ferries. We erected the dingy and landed on said beach. This is not like your
As we headed up the slope away from the beach, we were surrounded by Scotch Pines (with masses of Fir Cones strewn all about), and Eucalyptus trees. In amongst these were large areas of wild Honey Suckle. The aroma from these plants and trees was quite intoxicating. On the pathway in front of us small dark green Lizards were sun bathing on the patches of ground where shafts of sunlight had penetrated through the canopy above us. They would then awake and dash off under the nearest cleft in the surrounding granite boulders. These same shafts of light would catch the silica in the sandy ground, so at times the pathway seemed to sparkle and scintillate. As we climbed higher we were welcomed by a plethora of wild flowers, and astonishingly, they all seemed to be in flower at the same time. There were Milk Thistle, Cornflower. Fox Gloves, Daisy of various sizes and colours, wild Holy hocks, and many, many more that we did not recognise. But rather than this being some sort of visual anarchy, all the colours were contrasting and at the same time complementary.
The Cies are also a bird sanctuary, so there were flocks of Chaffinches, cheeky Chiff Chaffs and Stone chats, and the joyful sound of song birds all around us.
As we reached the summit the view (and the breeze) was literally breath taking, as the picture attached shows. So impressive was this view that for once I managed to get a picture of the First Mate without her eyes closed!!
This truly was our
We then headed back to the boat riding at anchor and we grind like children as we watched a number of the tourists taking pictures of her, proudly flying the Red Ensign and our Bluewater Rally battle flag.
After a spot of late lunch and a siesta, we once again
raised the anchor and headed for the smaller Islas St Martin, where we planned
to anchor off the beach in the NE side, to spend the night. As soon as we arrived
I spotted a boat we meet up with last season. This is a Lauren Giles designed
boat, some 40 years old, with wonderful classical lines, and is called Moshulu. The couple who own her are from
And so to bed, what a day!