A final post from Spain as we will be sailing to Povoa de Varzim on Friday and finding out if the Portugese clearance process is as onerous as we’ve been told. In Spain we checked in at our first port of call and have then only needed to show the boat’s registration document for the marina to calculate the price as it is based on the length and breadth of the boat. A short form has also been completed at the 2 marinas we have stayed at but it only required nationality, address, passport numbers and dates of birth of the crew. When anchored in one of the bays in Arousa, the customs/police boat motored by closely enough for us to smile and say hello but we couldn’t have looked too dodgy as they didn’t stop.
Bayona is an interesting town with narrow backstreets full of cafes/bars and shops currently bathed in sunshine. There are countless restaurants which have been busy for both lunch and dinner. We had 5 tapas dishes, a basket of unordered bread which you always pay for anyway and a huge jug of sangria for 35 euros.
Although we have found 2 large supermarkets (Eroski and Carrefour) within 20 minutes walk of the marina, plus 2 smaller ones, none had any fresh milk the past 2 days. We managed to get some in Portosin’s Eroski but there was only a small section in a fridge with a couple of cartons left. It seems there isn’t a market for fresh milk here as the shelves are stacked high with UHT milk, so we will need to change over or do without milk.
We walked around the old fortifications this morning from which there are stunning views of the harbour and out to sea. There are several small sandy beaches locally, which were full of people by lunchtime all sweltering in the heat, like us.
We forgot to pull the sunscreens over our hatches when we set off, so the boat was a tad warm when we got back from the supermarket but has cooled off now. We will eventually learn! The bimini is brilliant though, as without it the seats in the cockpit get too hot to sit on. The washing dries really quickly though! We haven’t used a launderette for weeks and for the first time in my life I hand washed the duvet and sheets yesterday as we have plenty of water. I am hoping it will be too hot in the Caribbean to need a duvet.
Last night we had drinks with a couple from Northumberland who have crossed the Atlantic both ways, suffering some very strong winds on the way to the Azores on the way back to the UK and needing to depend on a small, petrol generator for power as their engine starter motor had failed. Long hours hand steering and beating into the wind did not sound like any fun at all. Their latest boat has had a name change but we saw her many times in her previous life in East Cowes marina – small world!
Our friend Peter has arrived on his catamaran ‘Salila’ and is berthed just a couple of slots up from us so we will remain in the marina tonight. We have just had a couple of drinks on Beyzano and he has kindly invited us over for paella this evening, so no doubt there will be discussions later about the boat preparations and tribulations we have all endured since we last met in February. At least we have all managed to get our tasks completed so the boats were safe enough to cross Biscay, organised UK life so we could leave and are now well on our way to the Canaries for the start of the ARC. I guess that, in itself, is an achievement, as many people’s plans go by the wayside for many reasons, or perhaps, for some the plan is really just a dream and there is nothing wrong with just having dreams.