Friday, September 30, 2005

Lagos, Algarve

Mmmmmmm... maybe Nick's verdict on Ginja was a tad hasty, and not a little inspired by a drop too much of the stuff. Having had copious samples ( we wanted to give it a chance) and having sought the opinion of other alcohol experts (thanks Mark and Nat) the jury has voted against having Ginja taking up space in the drinks locker. There is something distinctly medicinal about it. Hope we didn't encourage anyone to import large quantities of the stuff but if so, it'll work a treat as antifreeze!
Our passage here was mixed as usual - starting with no wind and then in the evening, when the wind picked up, having to reef the main. Once again, part of the journey was lost in a fug of seasicknes for me due to user error when taking the drugs (ie I forgot to take the second dose!) Happily though, we seem to have got the drug and dosage sorted and I'm confident of a better result on the next passage.
So, it's now October and we find ourselves in the Algarve, in the resort of Lagos. There are more Brits here than there were in Falmouth so no chance of getting homesick. We arrived on Wednesday lunchtime surprisingly punctual for our date. Before we left England, we met Mark and Nat and their boat, Free Spirit of Itchenor, and spent a couple of happy evenings swapping hopes and ideas. They left Uk shores before us and since then we have been playing catch-up. Their plans are different from ours, and there was a distinct possibility that our paths may not cross. Through brief (and sometimes frustratingly indistinct) contact over the radio we managed to co-ordinate a meeting. We have since spent a bit of time comparing experiences and quite alot of time testing Ginja and playing silly games!

Sampling the Ginja with Mark & Nat
Sampling the Ginja with Mark & Nat


Mark and Nick have also taken the opportunity to inspect each other's battery cases (!) and compare charging statistics (fascinating)!
Lagos is a smart resort with clean beaches and an interesting coastline, and despite it's dominance of tourism, much of the 'Portugueseness' seems to be intact.

Freestanding rocks just to the west of Lagos
Freestanding rocks just to the west of Lagos


I particularly like it as the marina has a large laundry with a choice of good quality washers and the option to handwash!

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Cascais

As we've now paid our light dues we're trying to make maximum use of Portuguese light-houses so we arrived in Cascais after dark; dropping anchor outside the marina at 11.45pm. We should negotiate a discount as two of the lights marking the entry to the marina were broken.

On route we saw some sunfish performing strange acrobatics out of the water - tried to catch it on film, but just ended up with facinating shots of the sea.

The dolphins seem to have taken to visiting us at night and accompanied for over an hour as we headed for shore. My confident prediction that they would steer us away from dangerous unlit pot marks was quickly disproven when we had some uncomfortably close calls.

Old and new; Canned fish for sale in Lisbon
Old and new; Canned fish for sale in Lisbon

Spent two great days exploring Cascais and Lisbon - not long enough, but we've decided to head south to Lagos to see some friends who are about to head off to the Canaries.
View of Lisbon
View of Lisbon


We're bound for Gibraltar to get a few bits and pieces sorted out before heading off-shore so this is our last chance to see them possibly before the Caribbean. Leaving Cascais we saw Gordon and Anne on Wild Irish Rose - shame we were heading off as I'm sure they would have enjoyed sampling our latest firewater aquisition - Ginja - kind of sour cherry brandy - delicious..

Friday, September 23, 2005

Nazare to Cascais

We arrived in Nazare at about 10.30pm on Wednesday 21st Sept. As night entries go, it was pretty straightforward, the only real hazard being the fishing pots with very insubstantial markers. I stood at the bow to scour the water immediately ahead of us, with Nick at the helm, watching for my signal if I spotted a pot. We were lucky not to get entangled, I think. As soon as we had moored, a policeman appeared on the pontoon and asked us to show our papers – very efficient! The next morning, the harbour master (English and eccentric!) woke us at 8.30, ticked us off about the state of our mooring lines and, once again, asked to see our papers. Portugal is notorious for its beaurocracy towards visiting yachts, mainly due to a growing drugs problem along the coast.
The marina in Nazare was quite bleak – a bit of a wasteland with rotting boats lying around and feral dogs wandering about. It’s also right next to the fishing boat pontoons so it was quite smelly and noisy. As the seasoned tourists that we now are, we decided to reserve judgment until we had visited the town (about 2k away) After all, we had been wrong about places before! Nazare has a long, wide beach with lovely sand, but it was more geared to tourism than anywhere else we have visited and as such, lacked authenticity. We decided to stay for the day, and leave on Friday. We went to a fish restaurant with a very attractive display of pensionable lobsters and crabs in a tank. I thought they were a lesser known species of furry crustacean as they were covered in weed – not very appetising! By this time, however, it was too late to leave and we had a passable meal but it was the most expensive so far outside the UK and we felt a bit fleeced. We then went on the funicular railway, up to the old town which had a pretty square and church, but otherwise, nothing of note.
Decided to leave for Cascais at noon today and in order to stock up the starboard locker (running low on wizened vegetables and rotten meats) and purchase his ration of fresh sardines, Nick took a trip to the market before we left. By all accounts, it was excellent (although that description could be open to interpretation – I’d need to see it with my own eyes as his tend not to see dirt!). I stayed on the boat to get ship-shape and sort some laundry (it never stops!).
Cascais is about 70 miles from Nazare, so we decided to sail through the night. The wind and weather looked good so after some diesel faff (speaking in ‘Spench’ through the intercom doesn’t work!) we sailed happily into a north-westerly of about 10 knots. This soon died to nothing, however, and having tried poling out the spare foresail to give us more speed to no avail, we decided to call in at a small bay, a mere 8 miles away from where we started. So here we are in Sao Martinho do Porto, anchored in the bay, and it’s beautiful! How two places in such close proximity can be so different is a mystery to me. Although the town has a little fishing industry, it thrives mainly on tourism. Despite this it is quite unspoiled. We rowed ashore as soon as we arrived, and rushed to show our papers to whichever official wanted to see them. We waited in the harbour master’s immaculate office for over an hour while he listened patiently to a loquacious woman who obviously didn’t get out much and wanted a good chat! Our turn came and all documents were checked meticulously and we were finally asked to provide proof of payment for light duties! We hadn’t heard of such a thing and managed to communicate this in the usual ‘Spench’. The HM looked shocked and we realised that this omission was quite serious. It seems that on entry to Portugal, every yacht must pay a fee for upkeep of the buoyage and light system. Not unreasonable, but how come this was news to us? Was he trying to fiddle us? He pulled out an official form and pointed gravely at the text – all in Portuguese of course. ‘Why hadn’t we paid it on entry?’ ‘We didn’t know, we’re really sorry, don’t take our boat!’ He turned to his keyboard for a while and then reached for his calculator. Finally, he announced the full amount – in Portuguese! Aaaargh! Our faces said enough and he wrote the amount down……….. 2 euros and 25 cents! Bargain!

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Viana do Castelo to Nazare

It wasn't difficult to hang around Viana do Castelo for four days. We had the company of Gordan and Anne on Wild Irish Rose, Port wine to sample, Porto to visit, a beautiful town to wander around, a new phrase book to experiment with and free mooring in the smelly fish dock. We left on Tuesday afternoon in the company of Wild Irish Rose. Their boat is slightly larger than Kika, with a significantly larger sail area and they quickly pulled away from us. This gave us the impetus we needed to try out various sail configurations to regain some ground (sea?). We initially experimented with the cruising chute. It worked, but didn't appear to make any difference to our speed. Wild Irish Rose had almost disappeared over the horizon, when Gordon called up on the VHF. He suggested I tried to pole out a Genoa on the windward side, keeping the standard Genoa up. After much rope, pole and sail faff we had the two Geneoas rigged. Quickly our miserable 2.5knots of speed increased to 4.5knots. Apparently the poled-out sail scoops the wind into the leeward sail increasing efficency. We sailed along all day very happily under this rig until 12.30 at night when the wind died and we had fun dismantling the rig in the dark.
Naughty fishing pots
We've found the sea off the coast of Portugal to be littered with fishing pot markers. Ed and Genie had warned me to "watch out for the naughty fishing pots", but I wasn't prepared for their frequency or naughtiness. The pilot guide warns:
A few years ago a yacht had to be freed by the authorities at Viana do Castelo having become entangled, at night with a pot float marked by a black flag. Beware!
The worst pots are marked with nothing more than a plastic two pint milk bottle, difficult to spot in the day and impossible to see at night. We headed off-shore over night to try to avoid the majority, but still had a close shave with a number. It's hard to differeniate between small marks and sleeping birds until you hear the latter's disgruntled squawks.
During the night we had numerious dolphin visits. It's disconcerting when you're sailing along in a soundless night and a dolphin suddenly surfaces right beside you. No matter how many times its happened dolphin visits never fail to surprise then delight us. The phosphorescence trail they leave at night is magical.

Kika´s galley

I hope that we haven't given the impression that our culinary ambitions are satisfied with rissoto of the starboard locker and tuna pasta. We've been sampling the local delicacies ashore then trying to recreate them in our galley. The greatest success to date is Pimentos de Padron. Small green peppers, fried until they're soft then sprickled with salt - delicious. We've also made great improvements with our tortilla and chorizo dishes- still not up to Tapas standards, but definately improving. Ellen has only been moderately impressed with my sea-food experiments, with the exception of prawn based dishes; baby squid was rejected [Ellen's note: because they'd been in the fridge for five days], fresh sardines initial rejected, but won over by the irresistible smell.
We've been hunting out bars which offer pinchos, small tapas free with a drink. In Sta Eugina - the pilot book said:

The town claims to be the centre of the sardine trade and it is still sometimes possible to buy freshly cooked fish by the harbourside, grilled in the open over a bed of charcoal, a culinary experience not to be passed by

As you might imagine, this entry significantly influenced our choice of harbour in Ria de Arosa. However, our search of the docks for barbequed sardines only unearthed the usual fishing harbour smells. But... on our last night we found a guy barbequing sardines outside a bar. I started one of my over-ambitious conversations in Spanish [Ellen's note: Spench; mixture of Spanish, and bad French] which started off with a confident sentence from me in full Spench, followed by a look of puzzlement from the listener, ending in smiles and head nodding, with no useful information gleaned and Ellen disowning me. One day we'll find the region where fluent Spench is spoken. We decided to chance our luck in the bar and hoped for sardines on the menu. Our drinks arrived and we'd started translating the menu, when the sardine BBQ man came round to each table offering a pincho of three three beautifully cooked sardines. It was almost worth being laundry bound!

Feel free to post any recipe ideas. The more ridiculously ambitious the better. We'll let you know how we get on.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Viana do Castelo

Monday here in Viana do Castelo. We have reached Portugal and spent a few days waiting for a weather window, but it’s no hardship as there’s plenty to do. We arrived on Friday afternoon in a 25 knot wind and were glad to reach the harbour. Once again we were faced with the strange phenomenon of fore and aft mooring (where the boat is secured bow-on to the pontoon as opposed to side-on) but we managed more smoothly than last time despite conflicting instructions from Nick and the marina man! In the end I did as the skipper wanted (not convinced it was the correct line of action to take but what’s a first mate to do?) I always seem to end up running round our deck and next-door’s boat deck in a blind panic of fending during these moorings! Watching others do it with casual confidence is very irritating! We moored next to a 70 ft motor boat which was being delivered to it’s new owner in the UK and, hallelujah, we were invited over for a beer and a big snoop. Don’t want to diss it too much as it was very luxurious but it was a bit like a brothel inside (so Nick assumes!), and to half fill the fuel tank cost 3,000 euros! That put me right off despite the presence of a real washer on board!
We had to move the boat on Saturday as they had a fishing competition close by and needed all the space in the marina. We moved to the fish docks which are very central and quite attractive, if a little smelly. The best thing about being here is the ladder! It’s a mixture of fraying ropes, rusty rivets and rotten wood, and as an added danger, it’s covered in slime. At low tide we can’t even reach the bottom rung. It’s the kind of thing I have nightmares about being stuck on! Made us laugh to think about how it would almost certainly be cordoned off in the UK for Health and Safety reasons.
Yesterday was spent in Porto which was an unexpected delight. Neither of us predicted that it would be so picturesque, if a little sad in all its decaying grandeur. We spent time wandering and getting a feel for the place, and then headed of to the port wine cellars to do some sampling. As true tourists, we bought a bottle back to Kika and shared it with our neighbours – would have been rude not to really.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Bayona

Well, the days are just flying by. It’s fantastic being in a new place and having all the excitement and anticipation of the unfamiliar, yet knowing that your home is a familiar space, ie Kika. We have had a beautiful 3 days here in Bayona weather-wise, making us appreciate why siestas are strongly recommended in this part of the world. We’ve been parcel bound this time, waiting for a dispatchment of washing powder to come through for the next load of laundry – only joking, though I have spent some time hand washing! We’ve really been waiting for a small package of spares and sea-sickness drugs to come from the UK, now received with thanks to Jenny and Brian. So we’ve had some time to explore Bayona’s sites, the most impressive probably being its position on the coast. Walking along the medieval castellated walls on the headland provides a fantastic view of the bay and the beautiful Islas Cies, our last landfall.
The coastline is treacherous and the waves break with a ferocity and power that’s quite humbling. The town is historic and pretty. It’s where Columbus made his first mainland landfall on his return from the New World, and there’s a life-size replica of his ship The Pinta, moored on a pontoon near us. As there was no wind yesterday, and in preparation for winds to come, we took some time to try out our sails; a new storm jib for strong winds which has a much smaller area than our current genoa (front sail), and our spare genoa. We also discovered an extension to our spray hood which provides fantastic shade when we are not underway. Life has become full of little challenges and triumphs for me, as I work my way slowly up the ladder to seamanship (It’s a long way up!) A minor emergency occurred yesterday when a stern mooring line on the boat next to us broke! Thinking quickly, I deftly tied a double sheet bend in order to secure it. It’s still holding! Small but significant
So tomorrow it’s Portugal for us. Good job as our Spanish courtesy flag is now more of a rag than a flag due to a serious lack of hemming! We pushed the boat out and bought one for Portugal - very smart! I tried to download some basic Portuguese from the net today during my stint in the cyber café, but Nick assured me it wasn’t necessary as our pilot guide has a small dictionary in it. Indeed it does, and I can now say ‘harbourmaster’ and ‘light breeze’, I just can’t say ‘hello’ or ‘goodbye’ – excellent!

Envy

Just as you think you´re not doing too badly, this super yacht decides to drop anchor in the same bay:

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Islas Cies

The Spanish weather is giving us a break from the low-pressure and associated fronts which have been dogging us since our arrival in La Coruna; we're currently enjoying clear blue skies and moderate winds. That said a couple of days ago when we left Sta Eugenia de Riveira the weather outlook didn't look as favourable:

FINISTERRE:
WESTERLY 3 TO 5 LOCALLY 6 TO 8 IN NORTH, VEERING NORTHWEST
4 TO 6 LATER.
SEVERE GUSTS. ROUGH OR VERY ROUGH. SQUALLS LOCALLY THUNDERY.

We decided to leave anyway as it was only a short hop (30 miles) to the Isla Cies and most of the bad weather appeared to be in the north. As we cleared the river, rain passed over the mainland obscuring the port we'd left and another squall blocked out the islands we were aiming for. We donned full wet weather gear and prepared for the inevitable drenching, but were spared; rain only hit us after we'd dropped anchor and were safely below decks.
Exploring the Island
Exploring the Island


The following day was sunny and spent exploring the island and swimming.

We planned to spend sometime diving under Kika and cleaning any growth that had attached itself to the hull, but only managed a couple of dives before the cold overcame us - felt colder than the propeller cleaning dives in Dartmouth or perhaps we're loosing our north European acclimatisation to the cold.

We're progressing slowly in the galley with our first loaves of bread baked and consumed - the lack of any shops on the island and our inability to simultaneously buy food AND organise the laundry led to our supplies of fresh food being low and we had to raid our bread mix and canned foods.
We're now in Bayona which presented us with our first stern-to mooring challenge. We'd planned to pick up a mooring buoy, but were directed to a narrow gap between two yachts both moored stern-to on the pontoon. So far we’d managed to avoid this kind of mooring as I'm still becoming accustomed to manoeuvering Kika in confined spaces. Going astern doesn't appear to be her strongest ability - certainly with me at the helm. Still we managed to reverse in and stop before we bent the self-steering gear, despite conflicting instructions from Spanish on-lookers.
Bayona looks like a great place to explore so we’re planning to stay here a couple of days before heading to Portugal.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Santiago de Compostela and Laundry

The alarm went of at 7am yesterday and it honestly seemed like the middle of the night to me! It was still not light, there was an autumnal chill to the air, and surely I hadn't had 8 hours sleep? How on earth did I ever get up at 6 every morning? Seems like a lifetime away. Anyway, we dragged ourselves out of bed for a quick shower and then hot-footed it to the bus station. Sta Eugenia de Riviera, which is where we are staying, is in a bay on the west bank of the Ria Arosa. Santiago is about an hour and a half away on the bus and it is over on the east side of the Ria. I shan't bore you with the history of the place suffice to say that it is the capital of Galicia and is a place of pilgrimage for Catholics all over the world. Santiago means St James in Spanish and (am I boring you?) many, many years ago, St James' remains were said to have been found nearby under a patch of sky with many bright stars, hence 'Compostela' meaning field of stars (that's just one of the explanations). Anyway, shameful to say that we were ignorant of all these facts yesterday morning but the pilot guide we have been using strongly recommended we visited and showed a picture of the cathedral there! It looked interesting and as the laundry was still in the process of being cleaned (the dirt being VERY ingrained!) and we had explored all there was to see in Riviera, we decided we had nothing better to do. We caught the bus in the nick of time and had a nauseatingly twisty-turney trip there through some pretty areas. On entering the city I began to prepare myself for disappointment and regret for unnecessary sacrifice of my lie-in. It seemed very ordinary, but I always forget that on approaching a place you invariably seem to see the worst parts (I should remember that having lived on the A4!) The bus dropped us about a mile from the centre, and during our walk to the old city we quickly became enchanted with the place so that by the time we reached the cathedral we were in raptures!

Every street was more interesting or prettier than the last and we found ourselves getting excited about what might be round the next corner! Cheesy, but true! It's amazing how a place can go from appearing utterly soulless to inspirational in a matter of yards, and the fact that it confounds your expectations makes it all the more enjoyable. It reminded me of places like Siena and Bruges and York, but we all know how beautiful those places are, and I had barely heard of Santiago. Anyway, as is always the case, the photos don't do it justice and will fail to move you in any way, so if you get the chance.....

We returned in the evening to clean laundry - the perfect end to the perfect day!

Woke to heavy rain and strong winds this morning so currently weather bound but hopefully not for long. Plan to sail south to some beautiful islands called the Islas Cies, near Bayona, and then it's a short hop to Portugal (well it looks like that on the chart!).

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Sta Eugina de Riveira

Had a mixed passage from Sardineiro to Sta Eugina de Riveira. Initially we had smooth seas, a decent westerly wind and blue skies. Kika was surfing along under wind-vane and we had thoughts of making for a harbour further south. Our path crossed with the Norwegians who were heading up the Ria Atlas.Norwegian 'Vego' another Rival 38
Norwegian 'Vego' another Rival 38

Christiania
Christiania


Soon after the sky started darkening and we prepared ourselves for a shower. Five hours later we peeled off our outer 'waterproof' layers to (in my case) soaked shorts and top. I think a valid case could be bought against my waterproofs under the trades descriptions act. Ellen fared a little better and we were both happy to warm up under hot showers at the marina.

Yesterday felt very Autumnal. Had a brief dolphin visit on the way up the river. They appeared to be a different species from the ones we've seen before; larger, slower and less playful.

Currently we're 'laundry-bound' in Sta Eugina de Riveira, yes we could be weather-bound, fog-bound or waiting for repairs to sails or engine, but instead we're waiting here for our laundry - sure this never happened to McArthur or Knox-Johnson. ['no it didn't, but they were single-handed and no-one else was there to smell the stink!' - Ellen]. Never mind we're hoping to make use of the delay to visit Santiago de Compostela tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Costa Cafe del Morte

Chef's Special Tonight (5th September 2005)

Delicious twirls of fresh, 'al dente' pasta in a creamy seafood and caper sauce
ie: Tuna Pasta

Nick has come a long way since the 'Starboard Locker' fiasco (about 150 miles) and his experience is really shining through now. When faced with a queasy but undernourished crew-member who had been wrestling with a wayward mainsail for 20 minutes (at times swinging like a monkey from the halyard), was he daunted by what culinary delights to tempt her with? - was he heck!

The starboard locker was opened, it's true, but only for the carefully selected ingredient of capers to add to this inspired dish! He deftly fried the onions, then, as the pasta boiled he skillfully mixed the cornflour with UHT milk, effortlessly opening the tin of tuna and slinging in the capers as an afterthought. Needless to say, the presentation was outstanding. What did the crew have to say as she finished her last forkful - 'is there any more skipper? That was deeelicious!' (truly!)

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Costa del Morte

Quoting from the pilot guide for this area - "Cabo Toriñana and Cabo Finisterre both have charted dangers, mostly pinnable rocks lying up to 1mile offshore; hence the popular name 'Costa del Morte' [coast of death] for this wild, magnificent and sometimes forbidding coast".

The good news is that we've successfully navigated around the charted dangers and are currently anchored in a bay just south of Finisterre. We left Corme for Camariñas on Friday. Setting off in glorious sunshine and expecting an leasurely sail for the 20 miles to Camariñas. An hour out of Corme we were suddenly enveloped in thick fog. Strange thing was the temperature dropped noticably as well - so the wind had a real chill in it. I thought that fog was normally associated with warm moist air cooling over colder water or land - definately not this time - clearly its going be a while before I replace Micheal Fish at BBC Weather centre. Anyway the fog gave us a good opportunity to use the radar for real. Kika is the first boat where I've had the opportunity to learn to use a radar set. Fortunately I'd been experimenting with the set as we crossed Biscay. The couple of times I've been caught out in fog sailing in Tilly were nerve-racking; not with radar enabled Kika. We could accurately position all the boats around us and the high-cliffs of the coastline - I was almost disappointed when the fog lifted.

We arrived in Camariñas in time for a fiesta in honour of "Saint Raymond" - or so the woman in the shop told us. Sure enough music, dancing and fireworks followed and the marina supervisor couldn't understand why we were trying to get back to the boat at 2am, when the fiesta was only just "warming up".

Left Camariñas for Sardineiro this morning after some ´interesting´ early morning marina maneuvering to replenish our water tanks - we still need to get our water catching systems in place. We've been waiting for the wind to move to the north, which had been promised for the last few days. We have been spending our time productively by exploring the area, cleaning Kika's surprisingly mucky waterline, wiring the inverter and of course, sampling the local tapas. Instead this morning we decided we'd waited long enough and would move on regardless. Consequently we left in glorious sunshine into a head-wind and half-an-hour later were soaked through from a passing squall.

No sea creature vists today, but saw some large unidentified jumping fish 200m from the boat - initially we thought they were dophins, they were about the same size as dolphins, but their appearance and movement was markedly different to the species we'd been seeing - a different species or different animal?

Feels quite an achievement to have finally rounded Finisterre. The next leg has lots of interesting harbours and anchorage options as well as numerous fishing buoys to avoid.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Update from Corme

We had been in Coruna almost a week when we left yesterday. I think we needed that time to get over the trauma of our arrival! It was a lovely place to spend time though. We met a few other yachties including 2 Norwegian families - 5 on each boat and one boat was a Rival 38 like Kika; Veto. Unbelievable!

We had a great sail yesterday. doplins
10-15 dophins visiting Kika
The sun fish was quite exciting as Nick said, but then we were once again joined by the dolphins - about a dozen, but they stayed with us for over an hour and my back ached from peering over the side of the boat to watch their antics.

Dolphins off the starboard bow
Dophins off the starboard bow

They are amazing creatures who spied us from far away and then came diving at speed towards the boat to entertain us. We wondered what it is about us they bothered to go out of their way for? Maybe they thought we were a fishing boat and were hoping for a portion of the catch or maybe they just like to play.

video
Dolphin video

Another notable occurrence was the smooth operation of the wind-vane. It went like a dream for a couple of hours before some grub screws came loose, but it's nothing that can't be fixed. (Was it sabotaged by Nick as an excuse to get his hands dirty again? - I'll never know.) Anyway, we arrived in Corme late last night. Just one lit red buoy to help us. It was quite eerie as we really couldn't see what we were sailing into. It's always interesting when you wake up in the morning and realise you were much closer to the cliff than you thought or in this case, the mussel beds! We were the only yacht too, so had no-one to copy. It takes courage to say 'right lets drop the anchor here' when it's dark and you've never been there before. Nick and I have mastered sign language for anchoring (all polite - well mostly!) but it's redundant in the dark. We had to resort to stage whispers.
The day started misty and moist but soon turned into a scorcher. Most of the day was spent doing jobs - washing and the neverending wiring that needs doing. Then we got the dinghy out and went to a nearby beach for a swim and found a bar for a beer and some 'pinchos' (small plate of nibbles like chorizo and tortilla - delicious!) As we moored the dinghy, 2 more British yachts sailed into the anchorage and we had quite a nerve racking time watching them from ashore as they tried to anchor too close to Kika. They got it right on the third attempt! So now we are three!
Corme isn't pretty but the setting's quite picturesque. We may do another small hop tomorrow to Camariñas - not too far down the coast and we can tell you another story from there.