42:07.47N 008:50.55W Baiona (Bayona) Booms, bangs, bands, bells and bosoms (the photo will explain, they weren't mine, mores the pity) of Bayona

Sat 22 Aug 2015 12:42
14th August It would be nice to think the booms, bangs of rockets, church bells and bands playing were for my birthday, but I wouldn’t be so bold, there was yet another festival under way and everybody was having a good time. We booked into the marina for two nights of extreme comfort and moderate expense. The four times rule applies here to mooring, sailing tuition for youngsters and clothes washing, so we anchored for the third night and I trod the washing in our 5 gallon white bucket.
As soon as we arrived we booked a table for the evening and then wandered around the old town. Rob bought ice creams from a galetaria and a sweet young man who, when I mentioned it was my birthday, let me have my ice cream as a present, raspberry and caramel and very nice too.
We had a beer in one of the stone-walled streets of the old town before smartening up our clothes for the Yacht Club Restaurant, where formal dress and ties used to be the order of the day. Nowadays I think they are just glad of the business. The clubhouse has wood panelled walls and big sliding windows onto the shady veranda around two sides. Gold names on the wall plaques hark back to times when the club members raced against Lymington Yacht Club and Clubs in America, I wondered why that tradition seems to have ended, maybe for financial reasons. Well the sea urchin croquettes were novel, the grilled squid really tender and the lobster paella we shared was delicious. A slab of chocolate cake filled us up and the bill was very reasonable, especially as we discovered later they had forgotten to charge us for the two massive G & Ts we had to start with.
The next morning we walked around the outer perimeter of the Parador Conde do Gondomar which stands above the marina and protects the approach to Bayona. Fine views all around from the land out to sea and back again, which are even better when viewed from the battlements of the Parador itself, for which a small entry charge is made. A replica of the Pinta sits permanently below the Parador in recognition of Bayona being Columbus ’first mainland landfall on return from the New World in 1493. It is not hard to imagine the historic scene if you can take away from the picture the marina and yachts and replace the curious visitors like us with helmeted Spanish soldiers patrolling the ramparts. Picture to follow.
Our perambulations continued with a climb up to the beautiful statue of the Virgen de la Roca. She has a lovely face and her elegant robes are effectively floodlit a night, we stayed up that night just to see them being turned on.
16th August. We motored across the bay to look at Panjou with its quirky little 20th century church, with the intention of staying the night but we were in line with the Atlantic swell and though we discussed the likes of a little of the mainsail released to stabilise us, or a kedge anchor let out astern so we could hold her at right angles to the swell we eventually decided to head back to the anchorage just outside the marina.
Here we spied a very fine Oyster called Enjoyster and owned by Peter and Myriam from Holland. We were surprised to hear she is two years older than Zoonie, but then they have done a pretty thorough refit on her. She is 53 feet long and enjoys the luxury of an extra bunk cabin and a utility room with washing machine. No, I’m not jealous. Myriam also has here sewing machine on board, now maybe I am a little jealous. Despite making things for Zoonie like a Mobmat Bag (man overboard gear), new curtains and a bag for our inflatable dinghy I decided to leave my machine at home, well it was made in 1894 and I was afraid it would go rusty.
Next morning, when I was happily boiling a kettle for early morning tea, there is a knock on the hull by the galley. I poked my head out and there is Peter in his dinghy clutching a bag containing a still warm loaf of bread, what a gem that man is.
The day was very foggy, but we wanted to move on, Bayona ‘revisited and done’ we prepared to leave, fog horn at the ready about an hour after Enjoyster, bound for Viana do Castello about 30 miles down the coast, out of the beautiful Rias finally and back into the Atlantic.