Cap Finisterre to Muxia, Ria Caraminas

Friday 27th June 2014

Wind, struggling to find any to speak of, maxed at 7knots approaching Ria Camarinas, but really ‘nada’
Seas, westerly swell 1-2m (very rolly)


Just as predicted, the swell triggered by the southerly wind was just about gone when we got up, leaving a glassy, near still surface to the water. It was beautiful, just beautiful. The sun was also up, casting soft light everywhere, and putting colour back into the landscape. We weighed anchor about 09:45, and set off, with the prospect of a day of little winds – but we always live in hope!

There was one other boat, in the same bay, different beach, when we left. We were musing that Cap Finisterre is a place that relatively few must stop off in. The conditions have to be ‘right’, and whilst our first night was perfect, the second wasn’t, and perhaps if we had arrived in the rolling southerly swell, we wouldn’t have stayed. But… I am so glad that we did. It really is beautiful, these great hills around the coastline, the rugged Finisterre itself, and the human interest of the Camiño. Sure, there was a bit of discomfort in the anchorage (and a bit of stress) but that passes, and on a gift of a morning like we’ve had, what’s not to like?

Cap Finisterre in the calmest of calm conditions
Cap Finisterre in the calmest of calm conditions

Out of the protection of Cap Finisterre, we were put into the Atlantic swell, from a westerly direction (perhaps just north of westerly), rolling in at 1-2m. Oh, that was hard work over a few hours. Especially, as Pete says, without the wind. If the mostly threatening wind (westerly) had blown, we could have had an amazing beam reach, which would have seen us ploughing through the waves, as it was, the swell was crossing us, making it the ‘tippy-rolly’ and you certainly needed one or two hands on the boat all the time, as every now and then a big lump of water would knock Whinchat, and if you weren’t holding on, you could have be knocked over (and no, we weren’t in any remote danger of being tipped over). The longest leg, about 90 minutes, was just after I’d emptied the holding tanks, and I could have done with less swell, but I recovered and didn’t end up going down a queasy route. In fact, I set off a cloud-spotting session, with these amazing convection clouds – we agreed on hare, and snail, but mouse and dragon took some convincing of the other. The cloud started filling from the south-west, so that rather squashed that distraction.

The route that we’d taken when we came south was off-shore, because we were heading straight for Muros, but going north, Pete had chosen an in-shore route, which was delightful, because we were able to get a better look at what is the most lovely stretch of coastline. It’s so deserted! Pricks of golden sands, and lots of rugged cliffs. It would have still been nicer to sail, but the wind just didn’t arrive. Saving itself for Saturday!

As we approached Ria Camarinas, the wind seemed to land on a direction, and was building slowly. I could see a succession of small white peaks (very small) on the waves running behind us. Not really enough to sail, and with only a couple of miles to run, it was hardly worth it. We’d decided to try out the ‘new’ marina at Muxia. EU funded, with space for 230 boats. When we approached the harbour wall, Pete could only see ONE mast, a French boat on the hammerhead. We had most of the marina to choose from – so Pete went for one in the middle, which turned out to be a shorter pontoon. No worries. We took two attempts at mooring, because the wind that had arrived was a cross-wind, blowing us off, and I couldn’t get onto the pontoon. Back out, and in again. A French bloke came and took the bow, and tied that, and wandered off. It didn’t really help very much at all, but fortunately I’d lassoed the midships, so I could haul us alongside, and then leap off and do my usual dashing about until we were all secure. Pete noticed that we’d moored with electricity supply that didn’t fit – they were super sized plugs, so we were wandering around to another pontoon to see if we needed to move… at that point a bloke on a bike came up, and jabbered at us. “Slowy!”, said Pete, waving his hands downwards, at which point he switched to English, and produced an adaptor for our electricity cable! Result!! Along with the usual requests to bring our papers, he also told us it was the inauguration of the Marina bar tonight! Party at 20:00 (early in Spanish terms, it seems to me). We will see!

Whinchat in Muxia
Whinchat in Muxia

The marina itself is shiny new, and reminded us of arriving in Portland Marina, the one we built for the Olympics. We’d arrived in Whinchat (with our friend Tim helping us) and there were miles of empty pontoons. It’s a scaled down version of that. I can’t comment on the facilities of the marina at Portland, as I never left the boat (we moved on early the next morning), but the facilities here are a green shed for the office, portacabins for the loos/showers, and the bar is another shed. The EU money can’t have extended to the facilities. Mind you, there is also a washing machine and dryer – a bit unexpected!

Muxia isn’t as charming as Camarinas (across the water) from first glance, not as busy a place with locals. There are pilgrims here, for some reason another extension from Santiago, but not sure why, and so a few cafes and a couple of hostels add to the ‘usual’ collection of shops. We had a wander when we arrived, ahead of the front that was beginning to dominate the skyline, and out to the church that I’d mentioned before. The church where the fishermen have a festival, making models of their boats to have blessed…. well, the church is covered in scaffolding! Totally prohibited from going near it. I’m quite disappointed because I really was intrigued by it. However, there are great scrambling rocks around the headland, and a spectacular display of crashing waves! Awesome. We stood and watched that for ages.

The Atlantic rolls into Ria Camarinas
The Atlantic rolls into Ria Camarinas

We climbed the hill next to the town and looked down over the marina (photo is above). It’s so deserted! So, this evening has been a portaloo shower (good, surprisingly) and the party (in the pouring rain), which involved people standing around eating bits off the BBQ (pig products, of course). We think we will be in the local paper as a photographer came to snap the grand opening (no bunting!), so we shall have to google and see what comes up. The wind and rain arrived as forecast, and it was gusting 25knots when Pete came to bed. Not the best sleep, with the wildness of the night – the wind was howling and the rain sounded like small artillery fire on the coach roof. Grounds for a Saturday siesta, methinks.

Today’s haiku:

Blue mountain rises,
metamorphic ocean.
About had enough.

One thought on “Cap Finisterre to Muxia, Ria Caraminas”

  1. its taken till today for your comments to come through but all seems to be going well! Here torrential rain – wimbledon weather! Bon voyage xxxxxxxxxxxm

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