Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Muxia and Muros

The 48 miles from Coruna to Muxia were relatively calm, close-hauled with lightish winds, then a beam reach and motor sailing until the afternoon thermic breeze kicked in and we could cut off the motor for the last leg into the Ria de Camarinas.  This ria marks our most southerly descent on our last trip down to Spain.  Muxia is also the end-of-the-line for pilgrims following the trail of St James of Compostelle.  We only stayed 1 day, revisiting some of the local sites before heading off down the coast to Terra Incognita; more specifically, Muros, 38 miles south. 

The Coruna Waterfront with its traditional bay windows.
The Tower of Hercules guarding the bay of La Coruna, the oldest functioning lighthouse in the world and UNESCO World Heritage Site.


Monolith at Muxia

Muxia coast, Cape Vilano and St Maria of the Sea in the background.
The weather has turned progressively summer-like, and the maritime weather is settling into a “Mediterranean” pattern of light winds in the mornings followed by force 5-6 in the afternoons.  We had 23-knot winds from astern in the early afternoon and put 2 reefs in the main to make the lurching swell more comfortable.  Despite what some would call drastic measures, the 2 reefs didn’t slow our speed down at all: 7-8 knots surfing.  While there was no drama involved, I would prefer to follow the advice of Med sailors and leave earlier in the day to arrive at the destination before the middle of the afternoon when the worst of the winds kick in.  Patrick’s not much of an early-departure kind of guy, so some negotiations will be in order for future sails.

Finisterre, Spain: End of the Earth.
Muros oozes with small fishing village charm with an active waterfront area and a labyrinth of old stone passages behind it.  As if on schedule, the first day of summer brought us 29 °C (84 °F) temps and ushered us to the little near-by beach for our first swim of the year.  It was a bit like diving into a gin-and-tonic (or Brittany-like), but I appreciated the growing potential of being able to swim in the sea once again without a wetsuit.  We even broke down and bought a beach umbrella.

Muros Waterfront from Fishing Port.






Muros also has a wonderful modern port with the best internet we’ve had anywhere in Spain.  We decided to stay an extra day to enjoy the weather, the town, the food (octopus, razor clams, tuna steaks, cod steaks, jumbo shrimp, mussels), the internet, and the arrival of new friends from the last port.  Tonight is the Festival of St John, which, we’re told, will end with a massive bonfire on the beach and “lots of drinking” (…always a great combination, eh?)  We checked with the port office to make sure there were no fireworks planned.  Fireworks are the bane of boaters everywhere, since fireworks are almost always fired towards the sea.  Depending on the wind direction, much of the cinders and ash fall back on the port area and boats can get turned black overnight or even have canvas and sails singed.  We were assured there were no fireworks and the wind direction for tonight should keep us out of harm’s way.

Mareda nestled down in Muros Marina

Muros Razor Clams.  Yum !

Ahhh.... summer !  Shady cockpit, local shellfish, local wine, great weather.

Tomorrow will be a carefully negotiated semi-early departure with calm winds foreseen throughout the day (15 kts max).  We’ll either head down to the Arousa Ria to an anchorage south of O Grove (home of Julio Iglesias), or we’ll continue on down to Pontevedra Ria and its 2 major ports where we can sit out the next 4 days of bad weather blowing in off the Atlantic.