Thursday 19th June 2014
(exactly one month until I fly home!)
No winds initially, smooth seas to Pobra
Southerly F3 and small seas rolling up the Ria
There was not a breath of wind when we woke this morning. The sea was glassy, and with cloud still hanging about, the sun was trying to poke through. It was enough to catch the Australian boat beautifully. I wish I knew what the boat name was, as I’d try and track it down to send them this photo.
We were on a mission today – mission re-provision. We decided that we’ve enough water in the tanks for a few more days so we didn’t need to go into the Marina. As we’d been to Pobra before, we knew the form. Where to go for bread, the supermarket opening times, what the market had… and importantly, where the WiFi was! Pete had tentatively made plans to FaceTime Mary and George, so we had a busy day! I even hoped that we could squeeze a visit to the museum that we missed, about Valle Inclan (it was shut when we walked by).
Pete hauled all the stuff out of the engine room (it’s a very useful storage for our very beautiful, if slightly impractical cockpit table, and Whinchat’s cockpit tent) in order to check the generator. All seemed OK, so we ran it again for half an hour, with tested the generator. No wobbles! Pete thinks that it reality, we’d asked too much of it last night, and it crashed, and because it had crashed, it didn’t settle.
After breakfast we motored across to Pobra, dropped the hook, checked that we were all secure and then set about on missions. Pete decided that we would row ashore, but we seemed to be a long way out! I don’t think he really likes rowing with me (even though I love it), because my style/technique is a bit unique, so quickly claimed the oar seat. We tied up the dinghy to the public quay, and first task was coffee! We nurtured a coffee and caught up with the rest of the world, with me putting up a couple of blog entries. It’s Coronation Day in Spain, but no visible change of working patterns. There were blokes re-painting white lines in the roads. No sign of bunting (perhaps that’s just a British thing?), or of anyone doing anything different. The TV in the cafe was playing the TV coverage, but no one was watching it. The images and sounds carried over the heads of the good folk of Pobra. I thought how different it would be in the UK. How crazy ‘we’ (as a Nation) for the wedding of William and Kate; goodness knows what a Coronation might bring. Anyway, we walked along to the market, but it was disappointing. Less on offer than we remembered, but the same butcher was there, so I deployed my Spanish on her, and came away with two fat steaks and a chicken breast. The fish looked all a bit alien! We visited big Gadis, along the seafront, and what an amazing supermarket! The best wine selection of the trip (so much so we went back for a second selection, so Whinchat has a very respectable cellar at the moment). We lugged the shopping back to the dinghy and Pete went to small Gadis for a water run. As we loaded the dinghy, I took my place on the lefthand side of the seat, and we both rowed back. Pete tried to give me some coaching tips for more efficient rowing (something about power), and I tried my best to apply them, but the short, “yes darling” to my questions (like, am I doing OK? Is this better?) didn’t really convey much confidence. I really should have go for a gig try-out session, and perhaps I might do better.
We had lunch on board, a fat sandwich with the fresh bread. Awesome! It’s a bit like the experience we had in France. Today we had ‘centeno’, but we buy ‘rustico’ or ‘artesan’ and they use such unrefined ingredients that even a little of the non-centeno seems OK. We sat in the cockpit, for the few hours until we went back to shore to FaceTime. We’ve had cloud cover today, but it’s still warm – pretty sticky really – or so it feels, after days of 30% humidity, 60% felt a bit ‘thick’. The vantage point is super from the anchorage over the bay. The tide was on the ebb, and with a growing amount of sand, I wondered when the shell-fish pickers would appear… They didn’t! That set up a whole series of questions. Where were they? Perhaps they could only ‘forage’ on certain days. Was it linked to phases of the moon? Were they a collection of Royalists? I was rewarded with an answer, when Whinchat swung more north. They were on another beach, north of Pobra! Of course, they probably had to spread their foraging out. Another day, then might be along Espenada de Banana, even further north.
I was greatly amused by kids having a sailing lesson. There were two little sailing boats, each with an instructor, and six kids in. The kids must’ve been about six-seven, and were full of noise! I watched one boat particularly, with three boys on one side, and three girls on the other. I fancied that they hadn’t been before, as when the boat heeled the first time, the girls screamed and the boys cheered! None of them seemed to be paying the slightest attention to the lady instructor, who tried to give the kids the tiller, but they were intent on having their own fun. The boys were leaning out on one side, splashing each other, and the girls were now sitting with their legs dangling in the water. As they disappeared across the bay, you could discern the distinct chimes of taunts in their cheer, sort of ‘liar, liar, pants on fire..’ although it wasn’t clear who the three boys were goading. As they turned around at the far end of the bay, I think they were supposed to be racing, as the support boat had lined them up, but all I could make out was that the boys on both boats were splashing to get each other wet. No evidence of trying to apply tactics to race. They came quite close by us as they headed for home, and by now, the boys were intent on making the boat as tippy as possible – by diving from one side of the boat to the other. The poor instructor had no influence on them, but the safety boat was tailing them closely, in the event that one of them achieved the mission of falling in.
Pete had a little siesta, and I had to wake him to go back ashore. We put the outboard on the dinghy, for the first time this trip, and made shorter weather of the journey. We had a heavy load in prospect (more wine, more water and beer) after the FaceTime. The cafe was really busy, and it was hard to hear Mary and George, but it was a delight all the same. There was a guy working in their house, so George was a bit ‘clingy’ for his mum, which meant he was lying across her, snuggling, and not dashing about for a change. They both looked so well, and we love the FaceTime, even if the actual conversation was tricky. It’s fun just pulling faces, and trying to tickle George via the screen. As the barista was working harder, it became more tricky to hear, so we finished the call, and headed for the shops.
Back on Whinchat, Pete suggested that we go back to the anchorage that we’d started the day in, so that we might walk on the island (as I’d hoped to, but never had time to yesterday). We basically prepared for launch, and then were off! There was a load of stuff to put away, but I did that underway. The anchor took some while to recover, because there was so much weed to pick off along the 30m of length. Very tedious! As I went down below to stow the provisions, Pete had unfurled the Yankee and switched off the engine, a pleasant breeze had appeared, sort of south-westish. This didn’t make for an ideal choice for the planned anchorage, but at least we had a good discussion about it! We decided to go and take a look, thinking if we could tuck in where the Australian boat had been, we should get decent cover. The forecast winds were to go all over the place, but be very light, in the order of barely a breath, so it didn’t really matter – if the forecast held. The sea was as lively as we’d seen in days (and that’s not really much of a statement), but the rocky headland gave some protection from the ‘running’ sea. We anchored, it set. All good. Pete took a bearing ‘in case’ we had to make a rapid exit through the viveros, but it never came to that. The wind behaved impeccably and died down.
Supper was squid. We’d bought half a kilo, and I’d prepared them earlier (so that we could take their stinking carcasses to the bin and not have them on the boat), so all that was left was to cook them. I made a casserole – the squid, a chopped beef tomato, onion, mushroom, garlic and a generous slug or three of red wine. The Remoska softened it all for about an hour, and we had it with chunks of bread. It was AWESOME. There’s nothing like good quality ingredients, simply cooked.
No one else came to join us on the anchor, so it was just us. Just lovely, and the wind had died right off by the time that bed time came around, so we were set for another perfect night at anchor.
New King to unite.
Madrid – pomp and air kisses
Pobra – paints the roads.