Roaming the random header image

Salt on the table again

September 9th, 2008 · 2 Comments

Mary: Ria de El Ferrol does not get a good write up in the books but I really like it, it is sheltered because of the great big wall that has been thrown together at the entrance, which removes any swell from entering the ria. We anchor off just east of the first fort, and take a trip in the dinghy, using our big outboard we plane up to El Ferrol. Now I like going fast, but not for too long as you bounce along the waves and wash, it gets painful after a while, maybe I need better support! In town we find a place to refill the gas bottle but we need to leave it overnight, not really a problem as we have two bottles. That evening we go to an open air concert in one of the squares. (double click on photo for better view) 01_Ferrol_fiesta.jpgThe girl has a super voice, everyone around is enjoying the concert including the three year old boy who talks to me and points to the stage very excitedly, I have to admit to his father that I don’t understand, he tells me that the boy is very excited about the lights. We find our way back to the dinghy about midnight and work our way down the coastline. I’m glad our anchor light shines brightly and we remembered to put it on before we left.
By the next day the wind has blown up so we decide to take Giselle up to the harbour rather than the dinghy to collect the gas bottle, and sit against the harbour wall. Easy enough to do but when we get there we find that there are no rings to tie on to, well there are but they are about eight feet above us now as the tide is low, and there is no one to throw a rope to. Quick thinking David cups his hands together and I get a lift up not very ladylike but we get the job done. All tied and secure, David goes off for the gas.
Capitan capitan I hear, this is the harbour police wanting to know how long we will stay, una hora, I tell him and he is happy, any longer and he would charge.03_gas_ferrol.jpg
Back to the anchorage. The little village here is very pretty, built on the rocks going down to the sea. We chat to our neighbour on the next boat he lives on board all year, and has just got a dog for company. He feels that it is very safe here and would not want to move anywhere else.
No wind, flat sea, oh for just a little wind to sail. Watch out for what you wish for!
By the end of the day we had our little brightly coloured storm sail up and just a little bit of main sail showing! The sea was confused as it often is around headlands, and so was I because this was not forecast or expected, and I had thought I could put away my oilskins! Giselle continues to slice though the water and we arrive at the entrance to Cedeira, the entrance is difficult to spot, it only opens up when you are just about past it. Usually when arriving at a harbour you get shelter, but the wind was gusting down the cliffs, and concentration was required though the narrow channel. The ria opens up, the sails come down, we look for a spot to anchor. There are maybe a dozen boats at anchor, all riding out the vicious squalls.
We sleep late and by the time we are up half the boats are gone. Breakfast and cockpit table up and there IS the salt so we did have big waves yesterday! It seems that nobody had moved from here yesterday, not even the fishing boats, so now everyone is rushing around trying to make up for lost time.
A trip ashore is called for and we ask for wifi at one bar they take us out on to the street and point to another bar, we ask at the second bar and they take us up the street and round the corner, pointing up another street, finally we arrive at an Irish pub with wifi. I may add we didn’t have a drink at every bar!
Morning again and we watch boats lift their anchor or at least try, average time seemed to be about ten minutes, they had been well dug in and there was rubbish on the bottom. Learning from them, when we went to lift our anchor David motored over the anchor as I pulled it up, well I pressed the button to pull it up! It came up first time maybe we had a cleaner spot.
So the forcast is for good light winds and that’s what we got, but the wind got tired of blowing and we had a flat calm, I know there is no pleasing some folk! After a long day we come to the edge of Galicia, into the Ria de Ribadeo, now the pilot book tells us where we can anchor, first spot is at the entrance, probably a bit rolly with the swell, next spot looks good but when crossed referenced with the chart plotter there is no way we could anchor there. Not enough room to swing a cat never mind the boat, if we anchored fore and aft we would take up all the channel All the time the tide is current rushing past us. Time to make our mind up, marina? Well it is the only option so I guess marina it is. Just at that point the sky opened fully and the rain pelted down, what an entrance. Very friendly little marina, quiet, with excellent showers and free washing and drying machines, that is if you can find them!

Next day we go walkabout, going on part of a route that the pilgrims would have taken to get to Santiago de la Compostela. We follow the conch, clam shell sign, and walk a few kilometres very quickly into countryside, with farms and farm dogs, eucalyptus and pine scent, lizards and buzzards.06_Santiago_Waymarkers.jpg 09_church.jpg
Thought my sewing friends would like to see these chairs, unfortunately the shop was shut so I couldn’t inspect the design closely, but I’m sure you could work it out!11_Chair_2.jpg 10_chair_1.jpg
At the square on the way back we bump into a French couple from the marina, we chat and they tell us about a very good Spanish bar, somewhere close by. We hunt it out and fill ourselves with local fare. El Pulpo a la gallega y meillones y rebeiro. Mmm 12_Pulpos.jpg 13_Mussels.jpg 14_Cheese_jelly.jpg
Back on the pontoon we invite Helene and Hubert to share a bottle of wine. They communicate in excellent English and I fail miserable at French, trying to put in Spanish words will I ever get one language right? They live in Morbihan, a lovely place that we have sailed around before. One of the times we got caught in a squall at the entrance, Andrew who was probably only ten then had gone up onto the foredeck to retrieve the spinnaker bag (spinnaker was up of course) the squall hit and he had to hang on to the mast till the boat righted itself, he thought it was great fun!
Helene and Hubert sailed off this morning west and we are planning on hiring a car and going off to the Picos de Europa, a little walking in the mountains.

Tags: Atlantic Leg

2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Chris Hall // Sep 11, 2008 at 9:15 pm

    Nice to see things are going well and that you seem to be having much better weather than here. I am truly envious, in the nicest possible way of course.

    How goes the weight loss Dave? I have now lost 21 kg and my BMI is down to 29.4 so I am no longer obese, meerly very overweight. Only 15 kg more to go!

    Do you by any chance have any knowledge or experience of the Sangean ATS 909 receiver? I’m toying with the idea of getting one for Cherry Pye.


  • 2 David // Sep 18, 2008 at 11:07 am


    WELL DONE. A huge achievement. You are close to overtaking me on the weight loss. My weight has stayed off even loss a tad more. No scales on board so doing it by waist measurement. I had lost 21kg before we left. By that stage none of my clothes fitted! I had to take some real favourites to the charity shops. I walked into a few of the fashion shops to view their clothes just because I could now fit into their sizes – landed up with the clothes from Marks and Debenhams though. Now size 34 trousers and 16 shirt.

    I think you followed something different to my low GI diet. Interested in what you are on.

    Info on Sangean ATS 909 receiver. Short answer is no. Is this AIS radar or HF radio? We have a SIMRAD AI50 AIS receiver and transmitter which is excellent. We can see merchant ships always from 20 miles and sometimes 40 miles. I have the VHF and AIS aerials both at the top of the mast separated by 0.6m which is less than they wanted but it has been OK. If its HF you may want to look at Frank Singlenton’s site or even e-mail him. I think he uses a NASA HF receiver at about £400.