43:23.80N 08:48.06W Between Porto Novo and Sanxenxo
Thu 23 Jul 2015 10:58
For two days we explored the contrasting seaside resorts of Sanxenxo, with its plush hotels and long sandy beach off which we were anchored and Porto Novo approached along a long wooden board walk and home to a big caravan and campsite. Separating the two towns is a wooded headland with a few walked and gated houses and a lovely wood built bar with verandas on three sides, where we passed a number of hours in quiet contemplation as you can imagine.
At this point I should mention that we are moving Zoonie on around headlands and in the water contrary to what the route map of her wanderings suggests. Another Monbus coachride took us into the main city of Galicia, Pontevedra. We took a taxi to the old town from the coach station and spent a few hours following a pink line showing points of significance on a tourist map provided by a young lady in the Information Office who learned her perfect English in America and London where she was nanny to three badly behaved boys.
“My basic English was good but I had to quickly learn the words needed to control those three boys who were constantly fighting!” The _expression_ on the face of one of the images of the Virgin Peregrina (Pilgrim Virgin) reminded me of my on line Scrabble teacher’s _expression_ when she feels I could have scored more points than I did. She is patron saint of this area which is on the pilgrim route to the Shrine of St James at Santiago de Compostela.
At lunch time we sat at a bar around a fountain where pigeons were taking a shower but as no one appeared to be serving we moved on down a stone-walled street and chose two comfortable looking directors chairs next to an ancient wall, green with age and providing wonderful cool shade. Our waiter learned his English while in Florida for a year and served us a tasty lunch of calamara, deep fried green pimientos and bread and then slipped us a tapas of mussels.
Rolling along the road back to Zoonie we passed the fishing village of Combarro where the horreros in the fishermens’ gardens overlook the viveros just offshore. The former provide winter storage for any food that will keep, like maize, potatoes, garlic, grain and maybe, in this location, salted fish. The horrero is a lovely part of Galician culture, little pantiled ‘houses’ on legs some topped with crosses, a charming pre-refrigeration means of food preservation that is still used today.
While the tender was in the water we decided to give Zoonie’s hull a scrape off around the waterline. Rob held the dinghy in so I could lean over and with a paintscraper edge flat on the surface I took as much off as I could while happy I was not scratching the coppercoat. After which we decided to take a swim around her a few times.
I could not but admire the slender outward curve of her accommodating hull as I swam slowly around the part of her we rarely see. At the stem, (front pointy vertical part) I swam backwards away from her a few strokes and looked up and down her most forward line, about four inches wide, with numerous repaired dents and scratches, her strong stem that is leading us over the surface of the earth.
We had an excellent spot and could watch the goings on on the beach and in the pedallos, boards, dinghies, kite surfers and swimmers all loving life itself. The local Marine Guardia were checking on the papers of the anchored motor boats who were not flying ensigns. We fly our red ensign and a neighbouring French yacht was flying the tricolor so I wonder if that’s why they didn’t bother with us this time.
Such a trouble free, restful place to anchor firmly in sand we were reluctant to leave but on the 21st July we departed as soon as the fog cleared bound for the first of the Galician nature reserve islands we would visit, Isla Ons.
Zoonie was sailing nicely in 6 – 9 knots of wind towards the island when, with an _expression_ of steely determination on his face, Rob appeared with rod in one hand and box of tricks (hooks etc) in the other. Zoonie was sliding quietly along at about 3 knots, perfect mackerel conditions. Within minutes two were on the line but one dropped off. We landed the one fish in the washing up bowl and in quick succession Rob caught another six. So lunch and supper were catered for.
We tried anchoring in weed over sand but she dragged. Although we could have had another try I spied some blue visitors buoys off the mole at Almacen where the visitor boats to and fro to the mainland all day and we picked one of those up instead.