Boat chores in Muros

Tuesday 27th May

Whinchat - one of only a few visiting boats in Muros
Whinchat – one of only a few visiting boats in Muros

It felt a really good decision to have moved to Muros, even though the gusty wind from the south never really appeared, but the rain did! And, rather more troublesome for sailing, very low cloud, like swathes of fog covering the hillside. By late afternoon in Rias Muros, you’d be hard pushed to believe that the rias is surrounded by high, sloping hills.

We’d missed our slot in the laundry queue, as our Swedish neighbours had the same idea, but it didn’t matter because we had all day. In fact, so did they. When I was chatting to Mrs Atlantis ab Gothenberg, she said that they were in port waiting for a new battery, as theirs sort of melted yesterday. It was a very bad smell, she told me! They’re heading to the Greek Islands, having started in Gothenberg a couple of months back. They came through the Caledonian Canal (it was really freezing, she told me), and then crossed from Ireland to Coruna, hitting a big storm with 15m waves. She sounded too cheerful about that, and talked about refusing to night sail around here because of the ‘viveros’, the mussel/clam farms. I’m with her on the latter, but will never get the apparent thrill of man/boat and storm.

This morning, before the serious rain arrived, we provisioned for the next few days. We really enjoyed our little exploration of Muros, discovering to our delight that it was market day! You could buy anything from salt cod (one stallholder selling only this – and what do you do with it? – it smelt disgusting), to fake Gucci handbags, via second hand shoes to fruit and veg. We gathered some massive peppers, apples and peas in their pods. We also found an artesan bread stall, and I was able to ask for ‘pan de la centeno’, again, and be understood. I’d actually pointed at ‘pan de la maize’, so next time I shall have to try that. It is the most delicious bread – highly baked with a thick, crunchy crust and the softest, doughy, slightly dense inside. It is wonderful, and will be perfect in the morning to have with an egg (or apricot jam if time is of the essence in the morning).

We stopped for coffee in a lovely cafe, in the old theatre. We were sitting at a table near the bar, with Pete looking at one TV, and me another. Pete’s was playing MTV, and mine was a daytime TV programme (no idea what channel), about prostitution, and busting brothels across Spain, with lots of half-blurred images of ladies touting for business. Pete’s MTV was playing a video where the lead singer was cavorting with a scantily clad lady. There was something quite wrong, and a diversion that I’m not going to allow myself to go with. I will report on my new use of Spanish for the day, when I asked the waitress where the ‘sevicos’ were (complete with run up in Spanish). She had such a pained look on her face, it was comical. However, I was not put off, and continued mashing her language, but, once again, I was understood. It amused me for a goodly while, thinking that I must have sounded like the “Poloceman” in ‘Allo ‘Allo, in a kind of reverse. Google it if it draws a blank; it was a BBC TV series in the 1980s.

So, Whinchat is now swept, well, Dysoned (a mini one, of course, a big one would be silly on a boat). The laundry has been washed, dried and put away. The fridge is full of fresh food, including a whole chicken to roast a la Remoska, and then make a Paella with the remainder.

Pete has again enjoyed the iPad edition of The Times (we love the subscription service, and our vouchers are being well used in St Ives!), and has applied for a permit to visit the (take a deep breath) “Parque Nacional Maritimo Terrestre de las Islas Atlanticas de Galicia.” No wonder the Spanish speak so quickly, they will run out of breath if not! These islands lie off the coast of Galicia a little way south of us now, and we hope to be granted a permit so that we can anchor there. Fingers crossed that we will have calm conditions to allow us – the permit should come without issue, just bureaucracy… although Ana from the Marina Office has been brilliant in helping him out. Pete has also planned where we are going to tomorrow, although I watched him enter it onto the chart plotter, I’m not actually sure!

Despite having a fully stocked fridge, we’ve decided to eat out tonight. This is an area famed for its Octopus, and also something called ‘Raxo’, which we couldn’t work out what it was, but good old google came up trumps. Pete says it sounds amazing – something to do with pork loin, and that I’d approve of the way of cooking, but other than that, he didn’t say… and I didn’t ask! Probably too busy doing laundry.

So, as the rain has stopped, it’s time to find an aperitif – as at 20:30 it’s far too early to eat!

Today’s haiku (with a bonus syllable, as it works better):

thick mist hugs the hills
clouds suck the Atlantic dry
oh heavy sky be strong

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