October 1992 - Bayona to Nazare

1 October 1992 Lage to Bayona (Day 3)
The fog finally cleared at four a.m. and the wind picked up so we “ripped” along at 3 knots. I decided that we should just keep going straight into Bayona while we had some wind. But at about half past five we were becalmed again in the approaches just near a South Cardinal mark by some serious looking rocks.

We were now at the mercy of the tidal current, which was of course sending us back out to sea. I inflated the dinghy, tied it up alongside and tried to tow the boat in. Very dodgy and spectacularly unsuccessful with only a 3.5hp engine – I gave up after 20 minutes. We had a light wind by this time, so we slowly tacked up the approach channel. For at least an hour we made no headway at all. Every time we tacked, we headed for the same building on the shore. Very depressing, but at least we were holding our ground.

By nine o’clock, we only had 200 metres to go and were totally becalmed again. I jumped into the dinghy and pushed us into the marina, where Glenys skilfully steered us onto a pontoon. It was a hell of a journey.

Beach Picnic, Islas Cies

Ceris had arrived half an hour earlier and, when she couldn’t find us, decided to go into town to make sure that there was somewhere that she could stay for the night if we didn’t turn up.

We eventually met up with her at midday and went out for a slap-up meal.

2 October 1992 Bayona, Spain
I dived down to the propeller and removed the sacrificial anode which was very loose – one quick tug and it came off in my hand. The propeller looked OK otherwise. I checked the stern gland which also looked OK.

Two Spanish engineers arrived, looked at the problem and then disappeared to find replacement bolts. Three of the bolts had sheared off in the gearbox flange and one bolt looked like it had pulled out and stripped the threads. We spent the rest of the day cleaning the boat and generally lurking about.

3 October 1992 Bayona, Spain
The engineers repaired the coupling. We motored over to the fuel dock and filled up. We walked into town to stock up on food. We spent about £50 in one shop and the shopkeeper graciously gave Glenys a chocolate bar and presented me with a free bottle of wine – that doesn’t happen in the UK!

4 October 1992 Bayona to Islas Cies
We left at ten o’clock and after three hours of beating upwind, we arrived at the Playa Area des Rodas on the Islas Cies. The Islas Cies are a designated national park and rightly so, being a fantastic set of islands with white sand and crystal clear water. We had a good day on the beach and stayed for the night.

5 October 1992 Islas Cies to Bayona
It’s a lovely anchorage, with no swell, but I still woke up four times during the night. The domestic batteries were totally flat this morning. I checked the current consumption and decided that there wasn’t a major problem apart from the fact that we aren’t charging the batteries enough and have been using the autopilot which uses 1.5 to 5 Amp Hours. We need to get shore power to get the batteries fully charged to test them properly.

Another joy, the toilet pump broke and I had to strip it down, muttering that it’s all John Day’s fault because he worked on it last time...

We left at three o’clock in the afternoon. When pulling up the anchor, the damn windlass jammed again and, as I was battling with it, we drifted onto the only rock near the beach. We gave it two big thumps with the keel before we backed off. I dived down again to check the keel and rudder. No major damage just a few scrapes in the antifouling on the keel. We always seem to be hitting things or going aground when Ceris is with us. The water is cold – I must buy a weight belt so that I can use my wet suit.

We motored back to Bayona marina to charge the batteries up arriving back late afternoon. We went into a berth with shore power.

6 October 1992 Bayona, Spain
I worked on the batteries in the morning and in the afternoon we went to the Parador and had a £75 meal. It’s a very nice place with suits of armour, but mediocre food. In the evening, we walked up to La Virgin de la Roca. Brett wanted to climb the rocks, but got scared part way up – so did I when I had to get him down...

7 October 1992 Bayona to Vigo
I checked the batteries after 36 hours charging and they looked OK. We left Bayona at eleven o’clock and sailed to Vigo to get Ceris to the airport tomorrow. The marina has fore and aft mooring on a pontoon, but I had no problem in mooring. It is a very expensive marina and the showers are miles away. The city of Vigo is noisy, fast and there is not a great deal to commend it.

8 October 1992 Vigo to Bayona
We waved Ceris off on a bus to the Aeropuerto in Vigo and motored back round to Bayona in the afternoon. We filled up with fuel and water.

9 October 1992 Bayona, Spain to Viana do Castello, Portugal
We motored all the way to Viana do Castello in Portugal. When we entered the river, we went towards the dock that the pilot described, but were shooed away by two blokes on the quayside. We finally deciphered that they wanted us to go back and then along the river. We were just starting to worry, when a marina appeared behind a big building. It was very new having opened only three months ago. There were no problems with documentation, everyone (customs, marina and capitania) were very helpful.

10 October 1992 Viana do Castello
The town looked so nice that we decided to stay another day. We went on a funicular railway up to the top of the hill over-looking the town. We visited the Santa Luzia church then just walked around the town. We were moored next to Tim & Viv on Jalanath. We want to spend the winter in Portugal, so I’m checking out the cost of staying in each marina - it would cost £150/month to stay here.