|Tim and Cath Bridgen in Baiona|
It was a fine motor boat ride. We squeaked in 3 hours of sailing, but that was it. We did three hour watches, and I got the 9-12 and 3-6. I watched the moon set dramatically on the first, and first light arrive on the second. Jane Austen kept me company as I read Pride and Prejudice for sanity. It was the perfect book for company on this trip.
The entire way, we were followed by a boat called Blond Moment. She was paralleling our course between ½ and 2 miles astern the entire way from Cascais. We turned off into Baiona for two days. She is anchored off Barra as I write.
But first back to Baiona. We refuelled and took on 329 litres of fuel and were assigned an excellent berth at the end of the member’s dock. Our neighbours across from us were a Chinese flagged vessel. They had picked the boat – a massive catamaran – in France and were sailing it to China. The owners were joining them in Cascais. But the crew loved our boat. They were clamouring to have their pictures taken with us and our boat. They were fascinated that it was just the two of us on the boat. They told us that cruising by couples is unheard of in China. So I gave them some OCC brochures and told them to start a new trend.
Oscar Calero stopped by to say hello as did Alfredo Lagos Jr. It feels really nice to have friends in places like this. It felt really good to be back. As we sailed in we saw mountains that lead down to the sea and we felt instantly better. The temperature was just right and so was everything else.
A new OCC member, Liam from Maggie stopped by as we were tying up and introduced himself. We agreed to meet for drinks even though we’d been underway for 34 hours straight. He and his wife Mags are from Dublin and on their way into the Med with their furry friend. They were both in the pharma industry. We had drinks on the lovely terrace of MRCYB. The V&Ts were strong and we were tipsy. The fireworks started long before dark as it was the feast of the virgin of Carmen and there was a festival underway. We missed the procession and the blessing of the fleet. Oh well.
As we walked through town searching for a place that appealed for dinner, we ran smack into Tim and Cath Bridgen. Tim is OCC Treasurer and all around nice guy. They are anchored in the harbour aboard Marionette having all kinds of energy issues. They were planning to head out to the Cies and then back to MRCYB where new batteries were to arrive when their generator packed it in. They are stuck plugged in for days now.
Our day in Baiona, we dropped off the laundry to be done for us for €12.50 – money well spent – while we did the tourist routine. We finally visited the Pinta (well worth it) and the museum of navigation (hint – discount for doing both) also well worth it. They had plenty of interesting 15-18th C artifacts, including old charts and instruments. They also had a tiny submarine built by marine students at Rutgers that had sailed across the Atlantic and landed in Baiona. I remember reading about it. A few years ago, the Rutgers folks came over and had a joint celebration for their submarine and the Pinta’s role in Columbus’ discoveries. As it happens, the Pinta made landfall before Columbus did in Lisbon and it was from Bayona that the news spread of the new world discoveries.
We walked the docks and visited boats that were from distant ports delivering the news of how OCC could benefit and dropping off brochures. One boat was Polish flagged and I gave them a “dzin dobzhiy” which surprised them. I told them I was a Korzeniowska like Joseph Conrad but that drew a blank. They said, Korzeniowski like the runner. I must look him up.
That night we had dinner at the restaurant in the first plaza. We both needed a dose of meat and both ordered veal. It was delicious and the place was packed with Spanish on holiday, Monday having been the feast of the virgin of Carmen.
This morning we showered (excellent showers) provisioned, saw Noelia, washed the boat, topped off water and took off. The winds have started but from the west. We decided to go to Barra but to buzz by Illa Cies first to check out the scene. Anchored there was Michael Holland’s Celtic Spirit. Alex, Picked up the mic and was about to call when the VHF radio boomed, “Aleria, Aleria – Celtic Spirit.” They chatted for a bit and we decided to meet up in the autumn when we all return in September. Sounds like a plan.
We are now anchored in Barra which is a bit exposed but lovely. The anchorage is fantastic surrounded by lush hills and long sandy beaches. The day trippers have gone home and the cruisers have their space. We are happy. We are glad to have made the decision we did.
We booked flights home from Santiago de Compostela airport on the 28th July. Looking forward to being home.
Funny how that happens. When we’re home, we want to go away. When we go away, we want to be home. So does that mean Aleria is not home? Oh, but she is. More on that another time.