Friday 4th July 2014
Winds, very light, south-westerly
Seas, benign, with a slight swell rolling in from the west
By the arrival of the morning, Pete had had another idea! He’s been thinking about the potential change of plans, and thought that we might head for another anchorage today, potentially our last rather than take the slow wind eastwards… There’s more wind forecast for Saturday (but not crazy amounts, but from behind, the strength is less of a concern) although the ocean is producing 2-3m rollers (I’m trying to be brave at the thought of it), which would make for a better sailing experience than today… so…. perhaps we might go to Laxe (this is the Galician name, Lage, is the ‘Spanish’) instead. Over breakfast we decided that this was a good plan, so were off by about 09:30 (good for us), and making for the town across the bay.
Laxe was no distance, and we didn’t even pretend to sail. I was on the helm, and about 0.7NM off the breakwater (I had happened to glance at the screen, so I know this), what did I see? Not only dorsal fins but three whole “D-D-D-D-D-oooo-llll-ppp-hhh–iiiinnnnnssss” I could barely speak, and they were moving fast. Another set behind them! Through my spluttering, Pete picked them up on the port bow, about 200m ahead. Awesome. We think it was a group of six/seven, absolutely shifting. They were in full leap out of the water, and then steaming on. We’d heard about the fishing technique when we sailed in the Pacific North West, but these were hunting. Pack-formation, a squadron (as Pete said), driving the fish into the shore. And ahead was a steep cliff. Just as soon as I’d seen them, they vanished. I’d brought Whinchat to a stop, so we were both just scanning the sea to see if they would appear, but no. Totally vanished. It was a truly spectacular sight. Still not exactly dolphins playing around in our bow wave (perhaps tomorrow), but what a sight to see. Dolphins on a mission. It quite made the *epic* journey over – and how can dolphins not make you smile? They are incredible creatures.
Anyway, when we were both concentrating on the anchorage, we saw that there were no other yachts in, but a couple of small fishing boats with divers in the water. Not that they affected where we wanted to drop anchor. I’m glad to report that this settled in its normal pattern – a good bite first off, which just meant the usual settling in period before we would go ashore. Pete made the ‘usual’ mistake of underestimating how far we were (at least half a mile) from the shore, and so had a stiff row against the wind, with me in carriage on the back of the dinghy. We landed on the beach and hauled the dinghy ashore (such sparkly sand, absolutely picturesque), and wandered around looking for WiFi. We found a tourist information that was open! The last couple of places they’ve been shut, but Laxe has done a good job on its material, so delivered good information. We wandered back through the town, not exactly classic or even remarkable, but functional – and with a stunning beach. Another arc of perfect white sand (you get the picture, even if I forgot to take one). We stumbled upon a cute cafe, Ventana, with incredible views over the beach and a good WiFi. Mission the first – Pete’s flights sorted for next week. A decent coffee, and directions for the bread shop (me asking in Spanish, he answering in English). As we stepped out, we came across the mobile bread lady, so bought a ‘centeno’ off the back of her van. Back on board, it was my turn to sort my flights (a little bit hassled, but fine in the end, no thanks to BA in the UK being very busy – something to do with baggage handling, and lots of calls…. Anyway. That amended. The car hire amended, the plans are forming for next week.
We had decided, despite buying bread, that we would have lunch ashore. We didn’t even bother to look at the guide book! How rebellious! After a short promenade, we opted for a little bar near the port, with a table outside. There we ordered jamon (see photo), chiperones (calamari) and croquettes. We were given a little beer-snack, fried sardinas (yum, yum) and then the food we shared. I really like the Spanish concept of sharing food, where plates just go on the table and you share what there is. I shall miss that when we get home. Fat from lunch, it was time for a walk… just a small one, to the faro. We took the yellow/white path that we’d followed when we were in Camarinas, and had a gorgeous walk around the headland to the lighthouse – probably 3 miles in total – although in not following the road, we were on a bit of a goat track. Through thick bracken, gorse, then soft heather, in pine trees, scrambling across curved rock boulders. It had everything – including several things to get scratched on. Probably for the first time I wished I had walking boots on!
At the lighthouse was a beautiful statue, called ‘Esperera’ (I think), or ‘Waiting’, which was of a woman cradling a baby to her, waiting for the return of a fishing boat. We’ve seen this on postcards, and it is truly beautiful. So evocative.
We opted to walk back along the road – and not the goat track – much quicker, but perhaps not so satisfying. From here, it was back to Whinchat to kick back, and gaze at the view. It’s our last anchorage, our last look at a pretty beach – this one of particularly sparkly white sand…. that seems to travel well. Whinchat needs a good clean, as there is crunchy sand everywhere. We spent some time on the phone making plans for next week, and seeing what was possible. I think we have an outline that we’re both happy with, but it has to start with a dash to Cornwall to collect a suit that Pete can attend a funeral in.
Supper tonight was a change of menu when I spied a packet of Merchant Gourmet Lentils (they are just lush, and you don’t need to ping them, just boil in a pan for about four minutes), so I roasted the chicken breasts in the Remoska – with a few rescued mushrooms – and then that was served with a crisp salad. Lovely!
One last obsessive check of the weather before heading to bed. Not much changing of their minds, although what 12 gusting 27 means (it doesn’t really stack up to me), and I’m not looking forward to 2.5m swell. Pete doesn’t much believe that either – that’s 10ft, he says – so we will see, but Coruna, here we come.
acrobatic torpedoes –
that’s fishing with flair!