Thursday, August 06, 2009

The best made plans of mice and men…

Left Ria Muros behind and headed out for Ria Arousa, a short trip of 20 nautical miles. As soon as we were outside the protection of the bay we experienced the familiar ocean swells – tedious, swinging, uncomfortable waves that make it difficult to do anything productive underway. These are a nasty drawback to cruising along the Spanish coast. We were hoping to anchor close to the Castro Barona, an old Celtic fortress settlement and head in the dinghies to explore. Unfortunately, due to the swell and the lee shore we didn’t think anchoring was a good idea. We didn’t want to come back to find that our sailboats had joined the dinghies on the beach (please do not interpret this as a statement of disrespect for our Rocna anchor).

Instead, we dropped the anchor in a small bay on the edge of the Ria Arousa called Correbedo. The Mjolner crew invited us for dinner to help them to enjoy the two mackerels and the very long funny-nosed fish (we are still researching the official name) that Jeroen had just landed. Both types of fish were delicious.
The following morning’s plan was to head out to explore the lagoon on the other side of the bay where the pilot suggested that wild orchids grow. Unfortunately there was too much swell again to land the dinghies on the beach so we opted instead for a walk to the lighthouse. It was a beautiful walk, up through the village and back along the cliffs with some impressive views of the waves crashing in. We then pulled up our anchor and headed for Isla Salvora, a island nature reserve in the middle of the bay.

Following some careful rock dodging we approached an idyllic island covered in birds, huge jutting rock formations and (to our great excitement) feral horses! As we prepared to drop anchor we saw a figure waving madly at us from the shore. After some careful (and friendly) back and forth he was able to make it clear to us that we were not allowed to anchor without a permit. It turns out that we should have ordered this at least 24 hours in advance… something that the neither of our pilot books chose to mention. Grrrr. Sadly we motored away and headed for a nice but significantly less picturesque anchorage.

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