I stayed a second night at Isla Toxa and on Monday walked across the small island and causeway and onto the big island to the fishing village of ‘O Grove’ to stretch my legs. I had decided to head to Combarro in the Ria de Pontevedra that afternoon but while checking my emails just before leaving saw the permit had come through allowing me to visit the national park island of Isla Ons. That island was enroute to the next ria and the weather was still good so decision was made. The pilot book suggested two possible anchorages the first off the main mole midway down the east coast and the second just off the beach ‘Playa de Melide’ about a mile to the north. I decided on the beach which the pilot book also described as ‘being favoured by nudists’…
The nudists must have seen me coming or perhaps it was too early in the season. Either way the beach was deserted and I anchored close in. The dinghy was inflated and I rowed to the shore with a wine glass and half bottle of Rioja that needed finishing. I underestimated the amount of swell and nearly flipped the dinghy as I landed but despite half filling the dinghy with water and sand no harm done. Really amazing location as the sun set and I had my own private sandy beach with Fathom swinging at anchor in front of me. Definitely the highlight of the trip so far.
The next morning I went ashore and walked round the island which took the best part of three hours. Incredible scenery, flowers and wildlife. I didn’t see another person until I got to the only village where I stopped for some lunch. The only trouble was I had left my phrase book on the boat and no one spoke two words of english. That was until a man came out from the kitchen and introduced himself as Winston from Ghana! Apparently he used to work on cargo ships and after arriving in Vigo eleven years ago jumped ship and has been working in the cafe on Isla Ons ever since. Winston had immaculate English so I had no problem ordering fresh crab which he told me had been caught that morning.
The anchorage had been a little rolly due to the swell so I headed off to Ria Pontevedra on Wednesday afternoon. The wind was again very light only blowing 6 to 7 knots from the west but it was enough to sail so I unwound the yankee (foresail) and Fathom made her way into the Ria at a sedate 3.5 knots. Too lazy to take the sailcover off and hoist the main but what’s the rush?! I made the decision to anchor off the beach ‘Playa de Silgar’ which is between the village of Porto Novo and Sanxenxo on the north shore of Ria de Pontevedra. This area of Galicia is a major tourist attraction for the Spanish and the beach was rammed.
Thursday I made my way to Combarro at the end of the Ria and anchored off the small marina. The old fishing village is very picturesque especially the old quarter with its narrow alleyways and sea houses. There are about thirty Horreos (raised granaries) still existing from the 18th and 19th centuries which were used to store food. Certainly interesting place to visit.
After best part of a week at sedate anchorages and quiet villages I was in need of some civilisation so have spent the last couple of days at Sanxenxo where there are many bars and quite a bit going on. It also gives me a chance to catch the England football game this evening and do some laundry and fill up the water tanks. The marina is ridiculously expensive so I will leave tomorrow. Current plan is to spend about a month in Ria de Vigo and Baiona and visit the national park Island of Islas Cies when there is some settled weather. The forecast is a bit more unsettled for this coming week.