Ria de Arousa
As we said farewell to Hector for a couple of weeks whilst he pursued other adventures in Ireland, Fiona and Andy prepared to welcome old friends Sebastian and Jess onboard for a brief stay. The logistics were further complicated by Fiona's need also to return to the UK for work commitments in the middle of the week. Life at sea is never easy when overlaid on the pressures of life ashore!
In the end we decided that our best option was to sail from Portosin to the next major estuary (or Ria) to the south; Ria de Arousa where, on Monday 1st July, we embarked Sebastian and Jess in the commercial fishing port of Riberia (or Riveira or Riveiria - or none of the above if you're asking for the town as your destination at the bus station in Santiago de Compostela!). The town itself is not overly charismatic but an anchorage at the eastern end of the town beach provided some peace and quiet and a pleasant beach cafe ashore at which to toast Seb and Jess' arrival with some cool beers.
Tuesday dawned blustery and almost chilly but after waiting for the worst of the wind to subside, we motor-sailed upwind to Vilagarcia at the head of the Ria from where Fiona needed to catch a train for her flight the following morning. A swim at the town beach followed by a pleasant meal ashore at a local tapas restaurant concluded the day; with a forecast of less wind and better weather to come.
At 5:30 on Wednesday morning, Fiona left us for the station. I'd like to say that having said our farewells we then span straight into action but it would be a lie. It was midday by the time we'd completed 'chores' but the bonus was an altogether more pleasant day than its predecessor. Light breezes and strong sun bode well for that night's anchorage at Islas de Ons - one of four islands managed collectively as the Galician Atlantic Islands National Park. Despite a daily influx of tourists on boat trips from the mainland, the island is unspoilt and the beaches are simply stunning. We could easily have stayed for longer but time was not on our side so, late afternoon on Thursday we weighed anchor for a 30 mile sail (motor actially as there was little wind) back into the Ria de Muros towards Portosin. With one night left before we had to be back in Portosin from where Seb and Jess had to disembark, we moored Atlantis is the picturesque fishing village of Muros. We're glad we did - the village is beautiful with real character and charm and the tapas (with Sardines) easily the best yet.
On Friday we motored (no wind again) via a stop for a swim to Portosin where we shall be leaving the yacht for a while before the next chapter of this adventure which will reconvene when Hector and Andy reunite onboard to continue our journey south later in July.