42:13.97N 08:44.42W Vigo Marina Davila Sport

Tue 4 Aug 2015 15:25
29th July. An auspicious day because we inflated and launched our Southampton Boat Show 2012 purchased canoe. So, dear reader can you think of a name for it? Suggestions are welcome as long as they are polite. We paddled across behind the ferry terminal towards the beach and it was fun. I thought of Adams and Clarke who, back in the nineteenth century, canoed right across the wilds of Canada from East to West. Well there were no bears catching salmon on the beach or wolves stalking wild duck, just amused bathers and sun seekers. As we continued around the fishing boat harbour next to the marina, fishermen’s wives sat under bright umbrellas mending nets and the fleet was bright and colourful and neatly moored each to its own pontoon.
30th July. I got my head down and wrote a couple of articles for magazines. Practical Boat Owner asked for one about a place of interest we had visited and Yachting Monthly are interested in a piece I wrote about goose barnacles, but we’ll have to wait and see if they publish them.
We met numerous English and Irish couples in Cangas and John and Linda have also met Sue and Chris from Larry. Small world in this cruising sailor life. John and Linda have an elderly Tradewind 33, Ambler of Arne and they keep her in the Rias and visit whenever they can. We got together and had a pleasant meal in town.
Now I don’t wish to bore you but we do have a problem with our batteries in that we run two circuits but are unsure what is running from either circuit. It is important that the engine battery is kept separate from the others and well charged so the engine will always start. Rob explored and experimented and thought he had worked it out. So he turned off what he thought was the engine circuit for the night only to find it was low in the morning. Bad news. So we got to thinking that the elderly electrics on this boat need to be looked at by experts and Melanie and James on an Oyster 49 two years younger than ours recommended the people in Vigo. They have an up to date system due to the marina on the Hamble launching Blew Beyond without closing the log sea-cock. They then left the boat for lunch and returned to find it had sunk to floor level, so all the electrics and batteries had to be replaced. This was under the previous ownership and they now needed to have their calorifier fixed and  engine hour monitor fitted.
Our batteries only hold their charge for a day or so and that’s no good with the Pacific in mind or any other long leg for that matter. So we were beginning to come round to the idea that we might have to spend a few days in Vigo. No real problem, but the marina is expensive compared to Cangas at £10.00 per night just across the Ria.
1st August. Blue sky. Our last morning in lovely Cangas and Rob reemed out the Hydrovane bearings so they wouldn’t be so stiff before we motored off to Ensenada du Barra (where the dogs wear more than their owners) anchoring in 8.4m depth on sand off the beach.  The tide was high and the thin strip of sand was covered in rows of teak skinned promenaders nursing their overall tans as they marched along the shore line while the rest languished under colourful umbrellas or swam in the clear, inviting water. We joined them and enjoyed the sense of discreet freedom. I swam further than I have for ages. Then we snoozed on the rug or leaned against the comfy inflated side of the tender letting the sun do its work. It was a fine day and as so often happens the next day dawned grey with low cloud and fog.
2nd August. But perfect weather for an early walk around the headland, looking across to Isla Cies we have already visited and watching divers fishing for barnacles and fishermen on the rocks casting their rods. Apart from the usual trees there was a grove of young sweet chestnuts protected all around by the taller Eucalyptus. They were covered in fruit and I suspect are harvested when ready. Reminded me of the lovely mature trees in the park in Oakham that Rob and I would raid in the late summer.
The sun broke through so we rowed across to Linda and Chris who had arrived in Ambler and had a coffee, then we were invited aboard the Oyster, Blew Beyond, I have just mentioned, for drinks. They were just on their way to Vigo to sort out the work so they didn’t come ashore with the four of us for a drink at the beach bar. The day was moving on and the sun starting to set so we invited John and Linda back aboard for a pot luck supper. A while later as it was getting dark we watched them row back to the safety of Amblers deep cockpit.
3rd August. A promising start to the day had us enthusiastically applying sun cream. Minutes later we were striding along the shoreline with a handful (maybe not quite the right word under the circs) of other enthusiasts. Then we sat a while and noticed a massive dark grey cloud of smoke rising above Vigo. It turned out to be a tuna factory just behind the marina we were going to and are now in. We carried the dinghy to the water and I said to Rob “think I’ll swim back”. At the top of the beach it really didn’t look far but turned out to be about 200mtrs. I flagged a bit halfway, so did some side stroke, I had to sort out my breathing, can’t hold one’s breath for that long after all! Zoonie was lying side on in the water ahead encouraging me by her presence and it was thrilling to get there and feel the achievement of doing something I have wanted to do for ages.
We waited aboard for the rain to stop then motored the 6 miles to Vigo. Roberto the marinero found us a berth and could not have been more helpful and full of enthusiasm.
Within minutes and electrician was aboard to do an appraisal of the system and politely said it must be brought up to date. The service batteries are separated and linked by a long cable which was the first bad news. One of the service batteries, bought in 2012, is caput and we need 3 new modern service batteries and a new engine battery. The whole system will be re-wired and a new monitor installed so we can see exactly what is using how much power. Oh boy, we thought as we supped teckila and lemonade while I cooked a curry supper.
4th August. This is an amazing place. Its a bit like being a child in an adult world, the pontoons are long, high and wide, the cleats we attach to are massive and many of the yachts are to scale. A blue motor yacht, White Pigeon, flying the Panamanian ensign has just backed into the mooring infront of us, she is 35 mtrs long, and we saw her fuelling up her 35,000 litre tank ( tar Google ) from a tanker parked on the quay this morning. They can give 10 lucky folk the cruise of their lives with a crew of 7 to ensure all runs smoothly. Tomorrow a 94 metre sailing yacht from Mexico is due to moor to the long waiting pontoon. Roberto will be in his element when she arrives!
We wandered into nearby Bouzas this morning. It is a long walk around the harbour full of fishing boats being either refurbished or dismantled. Across the way, near the burned out tuna factory, shipyards are busy with vessels in various stages of construction on their slips and in between little marinas where boats can be stored ashore and locals keep their craft. So now we wait to hear the electrician’s proposal and find out when they can do the work. Watch this space!