Fast Sailing


The beautiful anchorage at Ria de Cedeira

We left Plymouth in glorious sunshine and light breeze and enjoyed a perfect introductory day sail to Fowey.  Richard and I have been to Fowey many times before but it was a first for Velvet Lady.  . 

After a pleasant night in Fowey we set off with the tide and made a brisk 8 knots for most of the first day.  With her brand new headsail and rig tune we were excited to see what effect there would be on the sailing performance of Velvet Lady.  In only 15 knots of breeze Velvet Lady was certainly sailing faster than usual.  As the wind and swell increased slightly we reefed down but still maintained our 8 knots.  At this speed we were across the traffic lanes before dark and abeam Ushant by midnight. 

With the wind forecast to blow from the east or north east we were looking forward to a fast smooth passage across Biscay and we were not disappointed  if anything the only disappointment was that Biscay seemed a bit tame for September.  We were joined by dolphins on many occasions and even had 2 whale sightings. We made landfall in the dark on the Spanish coastline less then 72 hours after leaving England and we soon anchored for breakfast in the beautiful secluded Ria de Viviero, 50 nm east of La Coruna.  The pilot book promises stunning scenery, white sandy beaches and peaceful anchorages.  We were not disappointed. Our photographs just do not do justice to the extent of the scenery, an aerial picture works much better.

Usually the opportunity to potter around these interesting places is missed as one dashes across the Bay of Biscay, rounds Cape Finisterre and then follows the Portuguese and Spanish coastline south to the Mediterranean or the Canaries.  We were glad we had written our programme specifically to allow time to explore these Rias, and with our fast crossing we had plenty of time. 

We spent a day in the Ria Viviero and then visited Ria de Cedeira, and Ria de Betanzos before arriving in Ria de Coruna.  One of the joys of cruising is visiting new places and so we were very pleased to visit three places new to us in a row.  We also spent one day visiting the old Spanish town of Betanzos.  There are very few English Tourists in all of these places and so our Spanish was properly put to the test in everything from asking for the bus times to ordering lunch!.

Next week we again have the opportunity to visit some more of the Rias on our passage south to Vilamoura, and we are already plotting the possibility of a Spanish Rias cruise for next season.  There are still 3 places available on this trip 8th to 18th October at a reduced price of £795 per person.

It is yet again time for our quarterly newsletter which can be seen on the news page of our website.  The winner of our quarterly draw this time is   a gentleman from flintshire who wins £200 towards a sailing holiday on Velvet Lady.  He registered in February this year.  Why not sign in and join our quarterly draws, the next draw is to take place at the end of December.