Thursday, 9 May 2013

Wendy’s Diary 9 May 2013 – The start of the journey eastwards

Before I start a reminder that my diary is my perspective of our travels, it includes very little techy talk (John does enough of that for the both of us J) but aims to tell the story of our travels onboard Freya Frey, our 26ft Heavenly Twins catamaran.

Last time I wrote up my diary I was in France with 22 staples holding together my scar from having the plate removed from my ankle. The nurse removed them with only one not wanting to part company with my leg and took more time to remove than all the others put together. With the exception of that one it was not as painful as I had thought. I was pleasantly surprised at how soon I was able to walk again, but decided that a couple of weeks in Cyprus staying with my brother and family would be the perfect recuperation before heading back to the boat. I was right, it was lovely and my scar healed nicely whilst I was there.

Towards the end of April I returned to Spain, where John had finished most of the jobs on the list that were marked as “to do before we sail”. He had of course saved the scrubbing the bottom task for my return and we ran Freya Frey up the beach in Ortigueira (with permission) and pressure washed down her hulls. The benefit of the type of antifouling we have (something called Coppercoat) means a pressure was all that was needed and it doesn’t cause pollution like normal antifouling. Neither does it need replying annually, although after 9 years John thinks it has finally reached the stage of needing replacing so we have already put that on the list of tasks for next winter.

The beach BBQ
John had made many friends during his winter in the town and they were all keen to meet up and share some time with us before we left. This meant that our social life for the last week we were there was pretty hectic, with plenty of visitors to the boat, a final saunter up the ria with some of them, with excellent pasties for lunch provided by local Cornishman Tony. Another day Tony and his wife organised a BBQ for us by the beach at Espasante, where about 10 of us gathered and John entertained all with a borrowed guitar. 

The pipers came out on our last day in town
On Sunday 5th we finally said goodbye to the town and headed down the Ria to an anchorage just inside the entrance so we could get an early start the next morning on the falling tide. Unfortunately the boat swung during the night and we went aground just before we woke up so had to wait for the tide to come back in before leaving. We aborted our first attempt as the waves were too big on the sand bar (John got rather wet when one crashed in over the side) so we went back to the shelter of the anchorage before trying again when the tide was higher. A couple of hours later we had no problem leaving the ria, although this did demonstrate why the port of Carino just up the coast made a much more convenient fishing port being accessible at all states of tide.

Our anchorage at Barquiero
Our route around to the next Ria to the East (we are heading back to Audierne for La Route De L’Amitie) took us in the following directions: North West, West, South West finally South.  For almost the entire journey the wind was on the nose and we were not able to pull the sails out, very frustrating that it followed us round the headland as it did. It was only a short cruise of 4.5 hours, so not too much fuel used and we arrived safely in Barquiero. We had visited this port by car and it reminded us of a little Cornish Fishing Village, nestled in on a hillside. We were surprised to see another yacht anchored in the river and shared a couple of cups of coffee with the French owner. His ability to flip between English, French and Spanish was incredible and he would use all 3 in the same sentence. We decided a new word was called for that expands on the existing Espanglish and Franglais.

The view of Barquiero from our walk.
Some graffitti that made me smile on a shaped stone
We set off for a dinghy trip under the bridges to visit up stream as recommended by the pilot book, but the Ria was quite wide and the wind had picked up so we gave in and went ashore for a walk and a beer instead (not a bad alternative J). Early on Wednesday morning we headed out of Barquiero on the tide to our next destination of Foz. This time we had a gentle swell heading in the same direction as ourselves and a south westerly wind so we hauled the sail and enjoyed the journey. There was only a couple of hours when the wind was strong enough to sail only, with the rest of the time a bit of motor was needed to keep the speed reasonable.

Foz was somewhere we had considered visiting on our way westward last summer but could not do so as the swell was too great on the sand bar. It was a little on the shallow side half way up the tide as we entered, but we had been overtaken by a fishing boat at the entrance so we had a guide up the river to the old fishing quay. Now in summer spending mode marinas are for emergency use only, so we bypassed the tiny visitors’ basin in search of an anchorage. John dropped me and my bike on the quayside and I cycled off for fresh provisions whilst he guarded the boat from his deckchair on the foredeck. Later in the afternoon the wind picked up again and we took advantage of the high tide to head a little up the river and hide under the shelter of a hillside out of the wind, in a very peaceful anchorage. It is in this anchorage that I am writing my diary and hopefully it won’t be too long before we get to a wifi bar to put it on the blog. 

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