A day in Pobra

Saturday 31st May 2014

I would never have expected that a day could be passed so pleasantly in Pobra! A no alarm clock day, so surfacing not particularly early, to blue skies, sunshine… and a wind shift. The pull of the showers won (not too bad, plenty of free-flowing hot water, and with only three visiting boats in, no real pressure on the one loo or two showers). By the time I’d come back to Whinchat, Pete was standing on deck, frowning. He didn’t like the combination of wind shift, and wind strength. The waves were running beyond the breakwater to the east, and we were in danger of a repeat “Sada” experience. Pete said that we should move. I thought we might get breakfast and coffee first, so dived below, but by the time I’d come back on deck to air my towel, he’d disappeared, only to be seen coming back with the Marinaros, picking out a spot in the marina. That was it – we were moving. Fifteen minutes later, we were tucked up inside the marina, well inside the protection of the outer wall, with the cargo ships providing added protection from the wind. It is certainly less bouncy, less wearing but not such a pretty view!

Breakfast was late, around 10:30, and after a bit of pfaffing, we went to the market in search of provisions. Where I’d done so well in past days, my Spanish left me. I don’t know why I end up doing the trying in such circumstances, but I resorted to pointing, and the interpretation of the numbers when it came to paying – the accent is so thick here; it became hard work today. We patrolled the fish stalls twice, trying to find something we could cook on board – without it stinking out the accommodation. Rule out mackerel, and any oily fish. Rule out anything that looks too alien and we wouldn’t know what to do with it. Rule out anything that doesn’t look like it will fit in the Remoska… what were we left with? Salmon!!! And that’s so not Galician, so we went meat instead, where my Spanish rallied, and we came away with two fat pork chops, 400g of minced beef and a massive chicken breast. That was good, and the lady was really trying to help us out. From there we went to the veg ladies, and queued up for potatoes (ordered ok, a kg), a half kilo of peas, and then I resorted to hopping-pointing to get two courgettes. We had a bonus of some coriander, which smells amazing. The amount she asked for, I had no idea, so waved a 10 euro note, which seemed to be enough, although she more slowly counted back the change… that I understood. “Practica” as the Muros pharmacist said to me. We’re trying!

We went in search of bread, and ended up at the port side of town without coming across anything. We bumped into the couple who’d helped us moor the previous day, and stood chatting to them. They have a beautiful boat, two masted, called Winter, and they over-wintered in Galicia last year, and after cruising this year, will take the boat to the Canaries. It’s always interesting hearing other people’s plans. Perhaps we will do the same one year – perhaps if we make it to the Baltic. It would make sense for that. Anyway, guided by them, we went back towards the market to buy bread, and decided it was time for refreshments. Coffee time had somehow passed (13:00 by now), so we sat in a pretty little square and had a beer. Pobra really is a little delight. Behind the main strip along the bay, with beach, marina and harbour is a line of fairly uninspiring modern buildings. As a backdrop to the beach from the boat, it’s fine, but they hide a treasure trove of narrow streets, shadowy against the warm sunshine, with few cars. You turn here and there and meet a little square, or a church… or a museum! One square is dedicated to Valle-Inclan, with a museum there. We have no idea who he was (sorry), and didn’t make it in, but I have a fancy he’s a philosopher, and Pete’s guess is a poet. His images show him with a most splendid beard. I should really google him and find out more.

Valle-Inclan, depicted on the wall of a cafe next to the museum
Valle-Inclan, depicted on the wall of a cafe next to the museum

We had lunch on board, and there slipped away the afternoon. I was writing, Pete was reading the iPad paper, and then plotting our next few days, given the weather does as predicted. Pete was too hot in the cockpit, so I rigged a screen using one of my scarves. It’s amazing how quickly a few hours slips by, without doing very much. I was blogging, lying down, watching someone work very industriously on the foredeck of their boat, watching the clouds, shifting around. And then the evening was here, and time to cook. We debated whether to go ashore, pretty half-heartedly. We have a well-stocked boat, and Pete loves what I produce from the galley. It’s something like “Ready, Steady, Cook” at times, and tonights was a complete forage. I soaked the mince in some red wine, and chopped up a load of veg (onion, garlic, mushroom, red pepper, carrot, tomato) and sautéed them, adding in some white wine. In those went to the Remoska, whilst I cooked off the mince, adding in some of the coriander. This was the inspiration to go slightly spiced, so I added some of the sweet paprika, pepper, and let it cook a while. It looked too thin, so fortunately there was some tomato puree in the cupboards – so that was a very good addition. I’d thinly sliced a rather decaying sweet potato, and lined the top with that. When they’d softened, I added a little grated cheese.. so we had a kind of spicy mince with a sweet potato gratin. Rather good, and nothing left to show for it. Of course it helps washing it down with some Rioja, but it was one to think about doing in the Aga (perhaps with some cumin…. yum….)

So another day has ebbed and flowed, and without doing very much (my mother would approve muchly), it’s been lovely. The wind is currently whipping through the marina, setting halyards jangling. About 20 knots according to the instruments. It is as forecast, which is something. We’re following our service of choice at the moment – passageweather.com. It covers wide areas, but is generally spot on. And once you have a forecast, what choice do you have but to go with it? Especially for Mr & Mrs Prudent here… and on that subject, we have a few days of potentially glorious sailing weather ahead, before it all kicks off again towards the end of the week. But until then, we’re going to make the most of it. The bay beckons tomorrow – or does it?!

Today’s haiku:

Heaven’s carnival
fluffy white clouds wave, sun smiles
warm; we are so blessed.



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