43°07.8'N 009°10.6 W Wednesday 29th July
Camarinas - one of two uploaded at same time, so see previous first!
The weather held for our next short leg. Coming into Camarinas is exciting. You need to give the Punta de Vilan (or Villano) a wide berth as it has a reef sticking out into the sea that you cannot see, various unmarked rocks in the approach to the bay and two very shallow patches to avoid. There are good lines in though, lining up to a refuge church on one hill, until you reach a transit of two white beacons on another line, until you reach the next transit of beacons, etc.
If my spelling of the Spanish names seems erratic or eccentric, it is mostly because everything here is marked in Spanish and Galician, and I may be using one or the other. (Or it may really just be odd!)
The ria de Camarinas is lovely, with about six wide sandy beaches, a fishing port Muglia on the SW entrance, and Camarinas town tucked away further in the ria. The town is named after a local shrub, also called caramina or Corema Album. We looked for it, but haven't found it yet.
We put ourselves behind the breakwater and watched the comings and goings of other boats whilst firing up the barbecue. There was a German Hallberg-Rassy next to us (same make as our boat), a Swiss boat we had seen before, two other British boats and several French. You can tell the French are now on holiday, they are coming out of the wordwork and arriving in droves (well, not quite droves, but more than a couple!) Our German racing friends were here and dinghied over later in the evening for an exchange of photos. They are heading for Bermuda!
Spent the next few days here, the first exploring the town, which is famous for its lacemaking and doing the rounds of the beaches, and the second doing one of the "rutas" (coastal paths) out to the Punta de Vilan. We bought a little lace something as a present - will say later what it was. The workmanship is remarkable, there are examples of lace everything and how they are made. Dozens of little bobbins are spread out and worked over and under each other to form the various patterns, most of which have names, probably a bit like knitting or sewing stitches, but more varied and complex.
Met a young Belgian chap (we had seen him before in Carino) who had designed and built his own little boat called Chat Noir (Black Cat). It looked like a little black bug, very wide at the back, but a very small, short boat only about 6m long. It had creative design, very clever and done on a shoestring. Since we had seen him in Carino a fortnight ago, he has been down to Portugal and out to Madeira and back over 1200 miles! All in a little bathtub that got caught in a storm off of Porto and surfed down huge waves at 15 knots in 50+ knots of wind. I feel like a wimp in comparison.
We prepared really well for our little hike out to the point. One rucksack and a bit of water, money for ice-creams, etc. It took us over five hours there and back and as we hadn't left until late morning, we missed lunch, saw nothing along the way of an edible nature apart from a few early blackberries and a still very live cow. We walked about 15km, not much really, but it was hot! and we were glad of the reward of an ice cream when we got back to town.
The walk took us all around the coast, up the hill and past the refuge church that had guided us in, past the foaming rocks and out to the lighthouse on Cabo de Vilan. From here you could see right down the coast to the headland you need to round before getting to Finisterre. This area is called the Coast of Death due to the large numbers of wrecks strewn around this coast. There are notable ones from the 17th C right through to the 1960's from frigates to merchant ships, trawlers and square riggers; all nationalities including British. Even with modern precise navigation equipment, in stormy weather it is easy to see how you could come a cropper along here.
Sitting out a blow today, the sea has got up: if there is room, might go into the little marina yacht club tonight for water and power top-up. All being well, aiming to head off tomorrow either into Finisterre itself or past it and finally be around the corner and heading south, into the Ria de Muros. That is the start of the Rias Bajas, and where we aim to link up once more with Margaret and Roger on Magnetic Attraction. They will be heading north and homeward slowly, whilst we continue south.
ps. No room in marina, stayed out in bay, set off for Cape Finisterre in the morning. Back with next link.