Friday 12 October 2018

Ria de Vigo

Wednesday 19 September to Friday 21 September 2018

We left Ria de Pontevedra on Wednesday 19th September. We had stayed longer than planned due to the thick fog and heavy sea swell that had engulfed the Ria on Sunday evening.  

Fog at Ria Pontevedra

We were beginning to wonder if we would ever leave the Ria, but when we woke to glorious sunshine and light winds, we decided to take our chance and go the 20 odd miles to our next destination which was Vigo.

We had light north easterly winds and hoped that we would get a few hours sailing under our belts.  Unfortunately it wasn't to be. Despite raising the Yankee (the front sail) and changing course slightly to sail best course to wind, we could not get Offbeat to perform.  So, we put the engine on, set the auto pilot and had a cup of tea!

The trip itself was very pleasant as the scenery was once again stunning.  I dont think we will ever tire of going past the islands and the headlands of Galicia as they are truly stunning and with the variable weather, can never be taken for granted. 

Ria Vigo from a distance

Cies Island

Ria Vigo

 Ria Vigo is the southern most Ria of the Rias Baixas.  It's western entrance is protected by the Cies Islands, which are part of the National Park of the Atlantic Islands. The city of Vigo is the largest fishing port in the world and therefore one of the busiest in transportation.

Having said that, motoring up the Ria was pretty uneventful.  There were a couple of ships anchored outside of the Ria and we encountered a couple of ferries we had to dodge, but nothing like the traffic we were expecting.

We arrived at Real Club Nautico marina in Vigo and called ahead for a berth. Yes, they could fit us in and we waited for the marinero to come and show us to our berth.  As we were following him round (he was in a dinghy) I noticed that we had gone past all the pontoons that you tie on to at the side and he was taking us to the pontoons that you tie onto at the back.  Surely not I thought, haven't you seen how much kit we've got on the back of our boat? But yes, we had our first experience of stern to mooring.

Offbeat's stern!

Mark did an excellent job of reversing Offbeat into her berth and with the help of the marinero, they secured her ropes.

Real Club Nautico, Vigo

But, here was the conundrum. How the hell was I going to get off the back of this boat? I don't particularly like heights, I suffer from vertigo and have a serious phobia about walking on planks! And, we hadn't got round to sorting out a pasarell (the thing gangplank that goes on the back of boats to walk up and down). 

"No problem" Mark says, "I've got just the thing" and produces a pieces of wood about 6 inches wide by 4 foot long.  He then ties the thing on the back of the boat and demonstrates how easy it is to get on and off. Hmm, might be for him, but I was going to take a bit more convincing. So, after a few demonstrations and a bit of coaxing, with a pounding heart and clammy hands, I gingerly climbed off the back of the boat onto land.

The Plank!

In the end it wasn't too bad.  Crikeys, if I can sail across the Bay of Biscay I can climb off the back of the boat!

We didn't really do much whilst we were in Vigo, other than catch up on washing and shopping. The main purpose of our being there was to meet with Jo, Mark's sister who was helping us sail Offbeat to Lisbon.

Jo arrived on Thursday afternoon and so we had lunch (tapas and wine of course) and had bit of a wander around the old town. We then had to go on an expedition to the port area as Mark needed a few things from the Chandlery.  This was definitely not the tourist side of town and I think Jo and I were both glad when we were back in sight of the marina.

That night we went out to dinner and after a fair bit of wandering around, we found a lovely fish restaurant.  As it was our last night in the Rias, it seemed appropriate to finish it in true Galician fashion with fresh, succulent fish and a fine bottle of Albarino wine.

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