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Wednesday, 5 September 2018

Fog and Fishnets!

Tuesday 28 August to Wednesday 29 August 2018

Having done all our usual checks: weather, engine, route, we set off from Corme on Tuesday 28 August at about 11.30am with a plan to be in Camarinas mid afternoon.    We were seen off by another huge firework display as the village was celebrating the San Antonio festival.  As it was daytime you don’t get to see the fireworks, just lots of loud bangers again!

Once out of the Bay, we turned south and started heading for Cabo Vilan which marks the entrance to the Ria Camarinas.  The weather was a bit overcast and there was a slight mist near land, but when looking south you could see the clouds starting to form so we took the precaution of getting our wet weather clothing on.
By the time we had both changed, the weather was starting to close in and visibility was getting worse. At this point Mark made the decision that we were heading back to Corme as it was far too dangerous to try and continue, especially as we would have to navigate around Capo Vilan.

Capo Vilan is notoriously dangerous and has claimed many ships and lives over the years – this part of the coast is called Costa de Morte for a reason (Coast of Death) and we didn’t particularly want to add to it’s statistics!

Within 15 minutes of us turning back, the fog had caught up with us and our visibility was so poor we could no longer see the coastline.  This was a bit of a worry as we were heading back to Corme but to do so we had to navigate round Punta de Laxe, which contains outlying rocks, which we could get blown on to.

With all our navigation skills and electronic equipment we managed to make it safely back into the Ria.  However, visibility was so poor we decided to go to the first point of refuge which was Laxe, a small fishing village on the opposite side of the river to Corme but closest to the entrance of the Ria.

At about 14:15 we dropped anchor by the beach in the safety of Laxe.  As it is a fishing village, the little harbour is for fishing boats only, touring yachtsmen aren’t that welcome.

And boy did we find that out.

We’d only been there for about 15 minutes and just finished sorting out Offbeat when we heard the chug chug of a fishing vessel. Then we heard the shouting of the helmsman at the poor sod who was throwing out the lobster pots.  Up and down they went, throwing pots out along the beach. Surely they’re not going to drop them round Offbeat we thought.

Wrong! These two men were on a mission and so, as if we didn’t exist they continued up and down, all around us.  I know that these guys need to make a living and couldn’t get out to sea because of the fog, but there was a strong risk that we would drag them up when we pulled up anchor and if that happened we’d have no other choice than to cut the line.

By the time they’d finished laying out their pots, the weather had turned foul.  There was a strong wind coming from the north and the swell from the Atlantic was hitting us side on.  We were completely exposed to the elements and couldn’t do much about it other than wait it out.

I think it was one of the longest nights we’ve both had.  Neither of us could sleep because of the rolling of the boat.  It was like Biscay all over again, a pea on a drum.  When we did finally manage to fall asleep through sheer exhaustion, we were woken at 4am by the chug chug of the fishing vessel picking up its pots.  Mark was out of bed in a flash to make sure the anchor didn’t get pulled up as well – we had visions of being dragged behind the fishing vessel like a reticent child going to the dentist! Luckily all was well and the fisherman went back to the harbour with their catch.

As for us, we had a cup of tea, got dressed and cleared out of Laxe with a promise never to return!

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