Spanish Rias – an Atlantic Experience

spanish rias map plus route

Here, in the north west corner of Spain are the Rias Baixas, our cruising ground for October and November.

The word cruising can often give the wrong impression.  Whilst on the great days we have smooth sailing on sparkling blue water under clear blue skies we have to be prepared to have our share of rainy days, limited visibility and uncomfortable boat motion.  Here in the Rias – just on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean we expect to have a mixture of both and this last week was no exception. Its all part of the adventure.

We had a great first day sail from Vigo to Bayona – flat sea and enough wind for us to cream along at 8 knots.  We arrived in Bayona under a fantastic clear sky and our guests enjoyed an evening ashore.beautiful eevening in bayonaWith not enough wind to sail, the next day we motored to the Islas Cies – and despite the lack of wind the swell made the anchorage uncomfortable so we opted to keep going and anchor for the night at Bueu.  We took the dinghy ashore in the early evening and as is our practice returned to Velvet Lady before it went dark.

our anchorage at beuWe left the anchorage to head further north and as soon as we were clear of the shelter of the Ria de Pontevedra the wind increased to Force 7 with a 3 metre Atlantic swell.  Great sailing weather and Velvet Lady loved it.   The beauty of sailing in the Rias is that these inlets are protected from the Atlantic by the islands at the entrance and so once inside any swell disappears. Once we were far enough north and inside the shelter of the Ria de Arousa the sea flattened off and we had a great afternoon sailing beam reaching in sunshine.

We looked at the weather forecast and knew we would have to start heading south again with strong wind forecast for the end of the week. We headed south to Sanxenxo – another day in the sunshine.

This was to be our last day of sun – it rained as we set off from Sanxenxo – good job we provide excellent oilies – all the way to San Simon and it rained again on our last day as we made our way back to Vigo – I guess that is why Galicia is so green.

huddled against the weather

We love seeing dolphins and especially on the grey days – they seem to brighten the day!

Common Dolphin (Group of 3)

Another 146 miles for the Velvet Lady log book.  Next up 650 miles from Vigo to Madeira