Friends in the right places

Aleria heading out the Ria Vigo toward Baiona. Photo by Alberto Lagos. 

Nice photo of Aleria by Alberto Lagos.
After we got all the canvas in place, we took off from Vigo as the afternoon wind was filling in. We hoisted the sails and quickly realized the sheet had been incorrectly led from the staysail. First fix. We were lazy and decided to sail along slowly without the yankee as it was not very far from Vigo to Baiona. We dodged several ferries and a powerboat came straight at us. We soon realized it was Alberto coming out to take pictures of us sailing out. He took some great shots though we felt bad we hadn't raise the full complement of sails.

When we arrived in Baiona, we were assigned a berth right next to the President's yacht about as close to the clubhouse as we could be. Easy to get in, too. Someone had made a welcome sign that was secured to the dock in our slip. Oscar Calero, the manager of the club, was there in a flash with a bottle of wine and greetings. He came aboard for a bit then left us to tidying up but invited us to lunch the next day.

Lovely welcome.
We met Richard and his family aboard Grand Slam, John Bourke's boat. It turns out there are four partners all in their 80s, tho one is 78. They bought us drinks in the bar - legendary vodka and tonics at the MRCYB. Soon after they closed the clubhouse doors. It seems end of May is too early for their season to start although this year they have more yachts than in previous years -- everyone is speculating that it has something to do with all the articles I wrote about sailing in Galicia last year.

Aleria in her berth at MRCYB
We went to dinner in town and and ended up at a place we had eaten at before - Jaqueyvi - which is more of a jamoneria but we had a lovely meal of seafood - little fishes and grilled pulpo - yum. Their croquettes were not as good as the ones in Vigo. But in comes the entire crew of Grand Slam, father Richard, daughter, son-in-law Alex and son-not-in-law Dave and two young boys. Of all the gin joints...

The next morning, we started out with chores - Alex to check in and I to do a bit of shopping. I went to the ferreteria to get yacht paint for the galley, paperia to get wrapping paper for gifts, paneteria for bread, and the Froiz to top up on juices and cherries! I also bought a pair of wild cat print harem pants on sale (my favourite four letter word) but resisted a bathing suit I would be unlikely to get much use of at €78. I also resisted the ladies in the boutique who tried to sell me on all kinds of lovely clothing. Not today. Alex proceeded to install USB ports all over - they are not incongruous with a classic yacht if they make life more convenient. Good job, Alex.

Stunning sunset in Baiona
We were to meet up with Oscar and Noelia, the club secretary, for lunch. We were seated outside on what looked like a very special table all set with linens. Oscar and Neolia arrived and lunch began with a lovely white wine, a giant plate of ham, a plate of calamari, fried vegetables, pulpo, and bread. We talked of all the articles I had written and the interesting studies of the flow of cruisers around the world, which Oscar found very interesting and helpful. The we were offered steak and the red wine came out. We opted instead for monkfish and it was delicious - cut into sections and grilled.

Noelia is a marine biologist by training and we gave her a copy of Alex's book Oyster Delight and suggested she write a series of pamphlets are the fish in the area for the club. We gave Oscar a copy of Happy Hooking, not realizing that he doesn't actually sail. After dessert and coffee, we retired to the boat. They took care of everything. It seems it was the first time they were permitted to have lunch in the members' dining room. They found it a real treat. We offered to be an excuse any time.
Alberto and Alfredo Sr.
That night we were invited to a light supper at the Lagos family home. Alberto wanted us to meet his father, Alfredo Sr, legendary POR and Honorary Member of OCC. Richard and Dave from Grand Slam joined us as their family has returned home and they were also clients of Astilleros Lagos. It turned out to be a very special evening in an absolutely amazing place. Beautiful house with interesting stone outbuildings. Alfredo Jr and Alberto cooked up mussels and prawns, Jenny served up salads and vegetables, their delightful children Isabel and Pedro happily served the appetizers.

At the end of dinner, they prepared a special Galician drink called queimada, a firey drink made of Galician poitin and sugar, lit with flames, stirred until the fire subsides, with apples thrown in and lemon to quench the fire. A clap over the bowl makes the fire go out. Magic. It's intended to expel and protect against evil spirits. There certainly weren't any there that night.

Then we were invited to visit Alfredo Sr.'s office in the house. What an amazing place, full of history with half hulls of yachts they'd built and restored, memorabilia and historical documents, all in their place where Alfredo knew they were. Extraordinary. We watched the bats flying out of the attic space and the night sky pull the blanket over the land. It was a very special evening the memory of which we will cherish for a lifetime. Many thanks to the Lagos family for their kindness, welcome and generosity. We hope they come to visit us in Ireland very soon.

OCC POR flag

OCC plaque with no date or specifics

Burgees, including OCC and ICC

Historical documents

Everything in its place

Stories and more stories

OCC glasses

Camino scallop

Night descends

We have now checked out of MRCYB and they were very generous once again. We've a very special experience, recommend it highly, and will back ourselves once again. When is yet to be determined.

Tomorrow we set sail for Leixoes near Porto, 57 nm. Not too bad. See you there.


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