Reluctantly we realised making the Spanish Rias full justice meant us making this fantastic sailing area our winter base. Checking stats for winter storms (like last winter) made the decision easy – continue south. From Ria Pontevedro our big impression came from the tiny fishing village of Combarro. From the anchorage it would be easy to miss out the features of this medieval fishing village. Luckily we got the tip from a dutch sailor who made a very successful “sales pitch” about Combarro. From Cambarro we headed out for Islas Cies, a marine nature reserve that requires a permit to be able to anchor and visit this very remote set of atlantic islands. Fantastic clear water, allowing inspection of anchor and chain in 8 m water. After a calm night we experienced the vulnerable position of these islands, having 1.5m swell coming in to our anchorage – meaning a quick departure. Last place to visit on the Spanish Atlantic west coast was Bayona. Surprisingly we met more swedish sailors here than anywhere before on our cruise. Highlights from Bayona was the impressing fortress with 2.5 km walls and of course Columbus “Pinta”, a replica of his ship returning to Bayona, from his America discoveries. We are now in Cascais, a kind of suburb to Lisbon. More on Portugal will follow.
Gijon, Spain. As we entered early in the morning, it was still dark. First sight of the new country was when we woke up after some hours sleep. The town looks nice. Rather big, but with a distinct old town close to the harbor. We started with a stroll in the neighborhood and found lovely streets, up and downhill, small restaurants and a huge beach. The water temperature is still around 16 C, so no swim today. Instead we did some laundry and experienced the first tapas and “raciones” (typically a dish for one for lunch). Nice wine and also cider, that this region is famous for. Day 2 we shopped for groceries, also including fish, at a good price. In the marina we also met the first Swedish boat on its way back to Sweden so we exchanged some experiences of good and not so good places to go in Galicia.
Starting off our journey in Galicia, which we hope will take 1-2 months, we had a long day of motor sailing towards the west to reach Ribadejo. It’s a small village specializing in export of timber. Small harbor. The village is made up of old parts, worn down, and a more 1990 city center. We saw our first trees with lemon. Just imaging the pleasure to be able to pick your own when needed J .
Next day, heading towards Viveiro, was also had to use “the underwater spinnaker”. It seems like it is no wind or a lot of wind. However, with no wind you can explore the sea much better. Suddenly we saw a lot of crabs, small ones (4 cm), swimming close to the surface. We talk about thousands!! As I had seen one in Swedish waters before, I knew they were swim crabs. Last pair of legs changed in to swimming-equipment. None of us had seen them in real life before, but looking through our books, Sweden has 4 different variants and they are apparently common. What we wonder is why they all were at the same place at the same time. Could it be that they “mate” and swim in vast schools at specific times? Anybody knows? Wonders of nature.
Viveiro turns out to be a small village with a sheltered harbor. However you start to think of the October storms when you see the huge piers at the opening. We go a friendly welcome, with a Marinero helping us with the lines at the jetty. 2 well equipped super markets within sight from the harbor was a plus when doing the shopping. The village consists of many small roads parallel with the hills, so a lot of up- and downhill walking.
Since we had family visits coming via Coruña, left the harbor after 2 days, but we had to turn back due to swell. It turns out that you don’t only have to take care of the wind strength, waves and tides, but also the swell, when moving along the coast line. It is specifically the “capes” that makes the sea interesting! Family had to take taxi (1 hour) to Viveiro (train takes 6 hours due to mountains). Next day we set of again to go for Coruña. After 15 nm we lost steering so it was hand held emergency tiller that had to be used for the next 30 miles. Fortunately with 4 persons onboard we could take turns, but it was a bit interesting to go in to the marina in Coruña with one person at the engine, one at the steering and two with fenders and lines. We had called up the marina on VHF and got a lot of help from the marineros. Positive during this trip were the dolphins coming to meet us at various occasions. Some even got stuck on film. Peter spent some time fixing the steering (loose bolts) and we also did some other things on the maintenance list, but we also managed to explore the city. Coruña has a specific way of building their windows. Many small glass squares with white wooden frames in white, gives a spectacular water front in the old harbor. The walk by the waterfront looks brand new and then city as a whole gives an impression of “on my way up”.
Two days later we pass the Cape Finisterre and anchor at Corme, a small fishing village with mussel farming in the bay. It is windy so only our visitors get ashore. Report back is that the village is of the “sleepy” sort. Next morning we get the sight or Bottle nosed Dolphins in the bay. Fantastic.
It is still windy (12-15 m/s) the next day, so with only genoa we set of to the next bay, Camariñas. Good holding ground for the anchor, but a bit too windy for our small dingy. We have to buy a bigger soon…. Anyway, spending the afternoon onboard, we go for a short /very short) swim in the sea. Water temperature now only +15 degrees C. HU!
Quickly we set of to the rias on the west coast. First one is Ria del Muros. On our way we passed the Costa Muerte = coast of death. Having been on anchor for some days, we went in to a marina in Portosin. In the Pilot is says that the marina is known for its friendliness but that the village is dull. We found the marina as friendly as written but also that the village was quite nice! The atmosphere in the village is very friendly, supermarket is close to the marina, the beach is huge with crystal clear but still cold water, and wine and tapas are to our liking. An interesting thing happened one evening when we were eating at the restaurang in the marina. A lot of noice from the small kids fishing on the pontoon…..we thought something had happened. And it had. One of the kids got a sea eel on the hook. 1,3m and maybe 10 kg. It did not look too friendly but was apparently eatable. At least the kid’s mother said so (I think J).
After 2 days our friends left us for Göteborg, via Santiago Compostela, and Peter and myself staid another couple of days waiting for spare parts to the wind generator and also to take care of Peter’s cold.
Since we had heard that it is worth to spend time in the Galicia area, we planned for more time in this Ria and also more Rias on our way south. We therefore went from Portosin across the Ria to Muros. A journey of approximately 5 nM J. We anchored close to the village center, for easy access with our dingy. The holding ground was very good and we stayed a couple of days, walking in the small narrow streets and checking out on local food. For instance; we had our first experience of Razor Clams ( sw. knivmusslor). They exist in Sweden but we have never seen them in any shop, Just the empty shells on the beaches. The Razor Clams are dug out from the sand underwater, by divers. Looked like a heavy work. We also started to notice that all villages looks different. Muros had more old houses, well taken care of, when Portosin had newer ( 1950) buildings. In Muros we also saw some strange small “houses” on high legs. After some research we think they are for storing/drying grain and other crops. We found Muros very charming.
Next stop further to the east was Riveira. Also here by anchor. A bit lager and modern village, with a large fish fleet and a very nice fish market. We did not try to buy there, but the assortment of fish and mussels, crabs etc. was extreme. Lot of things we had not seen before. Now the water temperature had reached+18 degrees so quick dips in the sea was possible, necessary now when the weather started to be warm again. Good weather was mixed with fog, so we took the opportunity for a reading day. (Since we are supposed to be sailing for some time, not all days can be touristic and the brain cannot sort new intake every day) Next day, being warm and sunny, we took a walk along the coast line to the next village. Very nice walk. Checking out the village we ate the best mussels we have ever gotten. Huge, and just cooked with some salt and the taste of the mussels. However, taking off the next day we decided not to stop by with the boat and went to Escarabote instead.
On anchor in 4-6 meters we could listen to the celebrations of “Galicia Day” from the shore. In Galicia it seems that they use “canon shots” at daytime to celebrate, not fire crackers at night as we are used to. Here we also saw typical examples for the whole families celebrating together at the local restaurant. Heartwarming to see the small kids and grandparents at the same tables. Not so common at home.
After many days at anchor it was now time for us to find a marina for some shopping, jogging (Peter) and long strolls. We went to Vilagarcia, a city with 38.000 inhabitants. We got a good place in the marina and went directly to the market place. Peter had read in the Pilot that Saturdays were market days. And so it was! It was huge, and included both vegetables, meat and fish. We ended up with 2 lobsters (220 sek per kg) and some clams for the next two days dinner. Both dinners were perfect. The weather during our stay in Vilagarcia was fantastic, with sunshine and 27-33 degrees. Shadow was necessary so we used our canvas to be able to sit outside admiring the view. One morning, we managed to catch a glimpse of a bottle nosed Dolphin coming in to the harbor, close to our boat. As always, we didn’t have the possibility to get a good photo, so it is only stored in our memories.
July has been a slow move to the south. Weeks of good weather, especially turning south of Finisterre. A few days of heavy rain in Muros. Many days have been spent at anchor and the few stops in marinas have been 3-6 days. Finally we are slowing down and starting to understand that we have TIME.
People in Spain have been very friendly, more English speaking in the marinas than expected and when they only speak Spanish, they have been positive to our attempts to make ourselves understood. We have had visitors from the customs two times: once in Gijon entering Spain and then at anchor outside Riveira. Very friendly and positive
At most of the anchorages, we are competing for space with the fish farms. In Spain most of the world’s clams and mussels are harvested ( 60%) and the northern Rias accounts for 95% of Spain’s production.
Last weeks in July, Peter also have had contact with 2 marinas in the Mediterranean about harbor winter contracts (Oct-March) : Almerimar and Cartagena. Offers seems good and we will decide when we come closer to Gibraltar, in September.
With some spare parts Peter now have both energy systems up and running: wind and solar panels give us the electricity we need at anchor and we have not needed any charging by main or aux engine.
- Water temperature: +16-20 ( +20 degrees at some spots in the Ria Aroso)
- Eucalyptus trees common. We did not know that they were to be found here in Europe.
- Flowers: some rain now and then secures the multitude of flowers. We have seen beautiful Bougainvillea in red and purple, our swedish Honeysuckle (sw. Kaprifol) and of course the Hydrangea ( sw. Hortensia) that have been following us from France to Spain. Exists everywhere.
- Common dolphins have been visiting us when we sailed outside Finisterre. We got some nice photos ( see earlier blog)
- Bottle nosed dolphins ( sw. flasknosdelfin) have been seen close to/in the harbors strangely enough. Not so social but more into hunting fish.
- Millions of Mullets ( sw. Multe) in all marinas. If there had been seals here, they would have been enormous! Somebody wants to give them a hint?
- Swimcrabs in millions surfacing between Coruña and Finisterre.
- Pimento Padrones: a major discovery! Small peppers (sw. paprika) which you get fried in oil with salt. We have tried to cook them ourselves and it works fine.
- Mussels ( sw. Blåmusslor, sp. Meijones): grand size in Riveira
- Razor Mussels (sw. Knivmusslor, sp. Navajas): content looks different than blue shells, since they are dug down in the sand and therefore contains a siphon for catching water and food.
- Scallops: Spanish Zamburiñas we tried fried yesterday. Tasted fantastic. Looks like small Scallops ( sw. Pilgrimsmusslor). We also got Vieiras ( eng. Scallops) cooked with sautéed onions and served in their shells.
- Almejas ( eng. Clams, sw. Sandmusslor?): cocked as we do mussels at home.
- Boquerones ( eng./sw. Ansjovis). We got them served marinated which tastes perfect a hot day.
- The local white wine Alberiño, goes very well with the seafood.
Until next time / hasta luego
BR Eva, Peter
Hola, blog fellows!
As planned we are still “Ria hopping”. Now we are in Ria Arousa, after 10 days of anchoring we felt we had to feel the luxury of being moored in a Marina. Large scale shopping with a 2.3 m dingy isn’t very practical! We are in Vilagarcia Marina, a friendly, less costly marina (100 € for 3 days). Included in the deal is a bottle of really nice Albarino wine. On our way we where greeted by a couple of Bottle Nosed Dolphins that can weigh as much as 600 kg. This morning Eva shouted – bring the camera. One dolphin was in the marina, very close from our boat!
A couple of days ago we had a Swedish couple and their friends on board for a drink.
The boat owners, Lars and Kerstin from Örnsköldsvik, have had their boat Naranja3, 2 years at La Coruna Marina and where very pleased with the service and location with airports nearby etc. Their friends Christer and Eivor are from Orust. Amazingly both Lars and Christer have worked many years at Hallberg-Rassy boatyard at Ellös, Orust, Sweden. Christer more than 40 years, and guess what, part of his responsibility was to lead the assembly of ALL HR 49’s! What a small world!
We have now been on our own for a week spent at different sheltered anchorages in Ria Muros and Ria Aurosa. These places have very few, non Spanish, tourists, except for a handful sailors. Alas, everything feels very genuine, a bit challenging though when it comes to language, but we have never experienced any negative feelings towards us. At Muros, we probably anchored in the middle of the retired fishermens habitat, no worries, friendly smiling faces everywhere. Weather is slowly becoming what is to be expected in Spain, 25-30 C in air. Sea temp still below 20C.
We are not more than 35nm (5h sail) from the Portuguese border but we will try to spend at least one month more in these fantastic waters. We also want to fix some electrical stuff in Vigo which seems to be well equipped for yacht services and spare parts.
After Gijon we have checked out a number of Rias mixing marinas with lovely anchorages.
First stop after Gijon (or Xixon in Galician spelling) was Ribadeo, a small town, with zero touristic features – which we enjoy. After a night sleep we went a further day sail to Ria Viveiro. Larger town with perfect opportunities for bunkering essentials; food, wine, diesel. We knew wine was extremely affordable (cf Swedish prices about 50 % less costly) but even more nice was the low cost for fish, seafood and meat. As an example, blue finned, fresh Tuna 7 € / kg. Enough about prices, we truly enjoyed Viveira. Here we also where joined by family members for a weeks sail further west and south. Next stop was La Coruna, a common harbour for north european sailors coming from Ireland, England and France. This 55m trip became rather interesting. After about 3 hours motoring against wind and swell we lost steering. After some dramatic minutes I found out that the rudder tiller extension had loosened so no connection to either autopilot or steering wheel. Impossible to fix in about 2.5m swell, about 10 m/s following winds unless someone wanted to risk getting their arms broken. Emergency tiller mounted – voila we can steer the boat. Bad news: we had 35nm to La Coruna and to steer was extremely hard, i.e. 1.2 m tiller with a 24 tons boat and the swell. After 5 hours and taking turns with some creative way to use the winches to offload most of the force we were able to moor at the Coruna Marina. We have lost steering, propeller etc before but this time it felt a bit more serious – so we were very please having managed this incident without any damage to crew or boat.
On our ever growing to do list is to have on more tiller extension made, increasing redundancy by separating autopilot from ordinary steering.
After a couple of days in La Coruna, where we met surprisingly many Swedish sailors, we are now in lovely Portosin, a marina in Ria Muros. Before Portosin we stayed in Ria Corme and Ria Camarinas after rather windy day sailing trips. Here we will wait for some wind generator spare parts.
To explain the headline – The coast between La Coruna and Cap Finisterre is called costa muertas (Coast of Death), I guess due to the very exposed atlantic coast. Finisterre means (I think!) end of the world – a name, given way before GPS and some brave guys claiming the earth was a sphere.
For our dolphin lovers – yet another National Geographics quality clip is available here.
Yet another month has gone. We have taken it slow, but still we are now in Spain. How did we get here….
From the Kiel Canal we managed, via Cuxhafen, to go to Helgoland. This island has been on our list in order to see all Gannets ( sw. Sula). It is one of the major bird cliffs south of Scotland / Norway. The island is divided into two parts. A “lower” and an “upper” part. The down part is occupied by all hotels and condominiums. The ferries from Hamburg comes every day for shopping and leaves in the evening. This gives the island s strange feeling of party at daytime and slow almost autumn like in the evening when the ferries have departured. On the “upper part” you have a nice footpath to the bird cliffs. You get as close as 2-5 meters from the big birds. Peter made a nice video clip that is linked to our main blog. Rather cold weather, windy.
As always we were not in the mood for bunkering stuff even if we have the possibility, so some beer and lot of pictures in our heads and we were off again.
185 nM to Texel in Holland. An uncomplicated night sail. We are still in well-known waters, so we spent less time sightseeing than last time. Instead we took some easy strolls in the village. Texel has a very nice sailor’s shop, where Peter managed to get some good boots/wellies for a decent price. Last time we were here we bought the biggest electricity contact (red 3 Phase 400 Volts) that you could buy. (Good to have). We also bought some nice spits with shrimps to grill and first test with Endives (see gastronomy).
From Texel we went further south to Ijmuiden (close to Amsterdam). Half motor half sailing as normal this summer. Good harbor with a very nice yacht club: old leather chairs (worn out) and cozy atmosphere. We took the bus in to Amsterdam, a rainy day, and strolled around the flower market etc. A beer here and there and then home again.
Next stop Oostende. We managed to arrange a visit from Eva’s colleagues from Ghent. So nice to have an opportunity to say goodbye also to Belgian friends. A pleasant afternoon with a lot of talk. Mercator Marina in Oostende is a favorite of ours. You have to use a lock, but then you end up in the middle of the town with supermarkets, restaurants etc. on elbow distance. We got our first “mole e frit” (and the second…). Weather here was warm but with thunder and plenty of rain in the evenings. Ghent had a hail storm with hail as big as Ping-Pong balls.
Next stop was Boulogne Sur Mer. First French harbor (Now Eva has archived the flags for Germany, Holland and Belgium). We have been here before and was pleasantly surprised with a harbour master catching our lines. We got a nice berth in the small marina. Here we have 9 meter tidal water, which means that entering from the marina sometimes is like climbing a ladder. Met a small dog that used all his claws to get to the shore J. Don´t try to get down with full wagons of food at low tide J.
Sunny and warm weather. Did some sightseeing to the castle (old city). One day spent looking for a 220V fuse – which we did not find.
Wednesday in Boulogne was market day so we bought some nice scallops for dinner. We also managed to get a new type of beer in the marina pub (that was officially closed). A Grimberger red which we never tried before. Turend out to be a nice choice in this warm weather.
Next stop Dieppe. Mix of sail and motor again. Saw some Porpoises ( sw. Tumlare). We now understand that if you use VHF to call the harbor and they don’t answer, it might have to do with language problems. We were met by a “harbour master”, that showed us to our place and helped with lines. So don’t mistrust if you don’t get answers. They will be there.
We have been in Dieppe before so we found our way back to the fish shop/market and bought a Sea Bass for dinner. The next day we tested mussels for dinner. This time Roquefort and curry. Very nice indeed!
Peter took the opportunity to install our last solar cells so as from now we have plenty of power.
After2 days we took a night sailing to Alderney. We managed to see an Ocean Sun Fish / Mola Mola ( sw. Klumpfisk). We have seen them in the aquarium in Hirtshals so we were able to confirm what we saw. It is round as a disc and swims on the side, so what you see is one fin and one big eye. Lovely to see one of those!!
Entering Alderney at 5 o`clock in the morning we saw the difference to Swedish summer mornings and light. Here it is dark until 5- 5.30. 8 meter tidal water made some calculations necessary before catching a mooring, in order not to stand “dried” when the water disappears. Small village uphill from the harbour. It felt rather remote. Was supposed to be a ferry terminal but we did not see one during our 24 hour stay. Maybe not in use every day. Northerly wind is not very comfortable the anchorage, so we departed the next day, via the Swing, to Guernsey. The Swing is one of those scary areas where you have to calculate the time for safe passage.
We passed one of the biggest colonies of Gannets (sw. Havssula) that we have seen. 2% of all Gannets are supposed to be here. And 1 Puffin (sw. Lunnefågel). A couple of hours later we ended up in south Guernsey ( Petite Port), in an anchorage which was beautiful. Different sceneries at high and low tide. We stayed there for 2 nights and did some walks. Also a short dip in the sea. + 17 degrees. HUH!!
From Guernsay we did a night sailing/engine to France, Bretagne. The cost was very different from expected. Very white and shiny. Chalk cliffs? We passed the Chenal du Four early in the morning with 4 knots against at some point, otherwise OK and entered Camaret Sur Mer, a beautiful harbour in the village center, in the morning. Weather was still warm and sunny. Water crystal clear but still a bit cold for swimming. We did some nice walks on the fantastic cliffs instead. A new Mussels dish was tried. This time Breton style ( cidre, mushrooms, cream). Tasted very nice indeed. We also tried to follow the Football championship on TV but difficult to get good signals.
Day two, while having a nice beer in the shadows, we ended up in the middle of a wedding. First we saw the bride and groom at the Mayor’s office for registration and later at the harbour going for the church ceremony. You can clearly see the connection to all Celtic. Bagpipes for instance.
Further to the east of Bretagne. We aimed for Benodet river, but first we had to pass the Raz de Sein ( 5-6 knot). +/- 15 minutes passage slot at high tide. Interesting. As Peter had done the calculation correct we passed on almost slack water. 1 knot against. In Benodet river we took the advice to stay at Sainte-Marine on the left side. A very picturesque place! As suggested in Reeds, we took a mooring for the night. Next day we were advised to move to the pontoon. We are a bit too big for the mooring. People are helpful and we are positively surprised by the way we are received even though we don’t know any French. Benodet is a river with 2 villages one on each side. The one to the right is more touristic than Saint-Marine. We checked out both and also had time for a dip in the sea. Now the temperature was close to 21 degrees. Crystal clear water.
Dinner the first day: oysters and fish in a fantastic environment close to the harbour, overlooking our boat.
We also had a nice evening with 4 English gentlemen ( see Peter’s blog and link). Singing and bagpiping….the day after…..
After the bagpipe night went further up the river to try to anchor. First time for us to anchor in a river with 4 knots of tide every 6-th hour, but the anchor held OK. Nice sceneries with a Little Egret Heron ( sw. Silkeshäger) strolling around at low tide. Perfect having food 2 times per day at low tide. We also had a nice wiew of a small castle from 1800 (?). Looked like something from the fairytales. Also a remaining thermal bath from the Roman era(?).
Further to the east we tied up at Port Tudy on Ile de Groix. Ypu are supposed to catch a mooring stern and aft. Interesting to try to catch a mooring from Tina’s bow. Pretty high!! After two tries we backed up to the one against the wind and took the dingy for the next. In the evening we were 3 boats side by side on the same two mooring. Now the weather was a bit more rainy so we did less touristing and more in-house reading etc. We had a nice dinner at a small pub in the harbour. Oysters and fish.
After two days we got fair winds and let go for crossing the Biscay. We got a fairly good crossing. Nice winds 7-12 m/s, NW, but the swell was disturbing. We used some seasickness–plasters which was fortunate. But still it was difficult to move around in the boat, mot to mention to try to sleep. However, after 40 hours and 245 nM we entered Gijon in Spain. We had made it!.
All in all this has been a nice month. Not too difficult with customs in France. They came onboard in Camaret checking all our papers and pass ports. Most likely we are lacking some papers (boat passport) which we have ordered from the Swedish authority.
- A lot of Gannets: we did not think that they would be more than the seagulls, but they were everywhere.
- The Ocean Sunfish of course!
- Some common dolphins in Bay of Biscay. Not very social. They did not stay and play.
- The small Egret heron in the Odet river.
- Everything is so green: Ivy ( sw. Murgröna) and Holly ( sw. Järnek) everywhere. Looks like somebody have polished them. Honeysuckle ( sw. Kaprifol) is also seen here and there in Bretagne. The most important garden flower seems to be the Hydrangea(?) (sw. Hortencia) which is a mix of pink and blue at the same time. Thought the color had to do with the chalk in the soil, but apparently not.
- Water temperature: except for the river Odet has been between 17-19 degrees.
- Mussels and mussels and oysters: the Breton style mussels with cider and mushrooms was a new experience and very tasty.
- We tried Endives on the grill and cooked. Not the last time. They taste like asparagus!
- Breton crepe: a dark dough not common to us with all sorts of filling. Also a nice experience.
Next letter will be for July. Have a nice summer.
BR Eva, Peter
We have now successfully completed our first Bay of Biscay crossing. As we have not sailed in these waters before, we learnt that swell (sw Dyning) affects the wellbeing of sailors more than wind speed. Luckily, we had 48 hours of ideal wind direction WNW F4-6 and max swell at 1.9m. Still it took some time to adapt. We are now at the center of the Galician town Gijón, arrived 4.30 this morning. As we are a bit tired, we devoted today to rest, laundry, wash the boat of lot of salt, and have a quick stroll through town. And try some cured Serrano ham!
Before this Spanish town, after Camaret s.m. we enjoyed the holiday resort town of Benodet, thanks to Francois! A really nice place with romantic restaurants alongside river Odet. Highlights from an eating point of view are the Bretagne Crêpes.. Oyster fanatics have a good time here as well, Belon river (giving name to the Belon oyster) is right around corner. At Benodet, we also had a wonderful evening with four English gents, covering the essential skills needed in a sail boat; Bagpipe,Guitar, Story telling and a nose for fine Wine (owner having a Wine trading company in UK). Hope you read this you brave sailors on Griffin! For bagpipe connoisseurs we suggest this link.
After Benodet, we followed another of Francois advises, Port Tudy, Isle Groix. A lovely, a bit more rustic experience, introducing us to buoy moorings fore and aft, with 3 boats sharing the mooring. We plan to spend next 4-5 days in different Spanish Rias, after that we will be joined by family members somewhere in the Á Coruna region, at the nw tip of Spain.
Peter & Eva
We have now arrived, as it feels, in more “summer like” latitudes. We are in Camaret Sur Mer – a beautiful Breton town close to the most westerly point of France. Before that we stayed at Alderney (Braye Harbour) and Guernsey (Petit Port anchorage). Weather now really nice, 25C air but still 15C in water. Being brave scandinavians, we had to make a few, short dips in the sea, to show off.
Biggest challenge at the moment is to make ourselves understood. Bonjour is a phrase covering 99% of the needs, even when running you feel obliged to make some noise and smile to all those polite and friendly french people you meet everywhere.
Taking this picture, we spent 10 minutes exploring the self timer of our camera to make a nice selfie. When a couple of French guys came to our rescue I tried to stretch my french beyond any limits. Amazing what sign language and a smile can do. Vive la France – 2100 CET we will be watching the World Cup game against Switzerland.
We are now safely moored in Dieppe Marina, a nice place we visited 2005 on our way back home from an A
round Britain sail. Even though we have experienced larger tidal range, Dieppe harbour, with 24h access and no locks or sills is impressing. At spring tide, as today, the range is 9.8 meters and it is easy to feel a bit scared looking down from above the streets. We are continuing eating mussels and enjoying ourselves. Today we also completed the installation of Solar panels, in all we now have 500W fixed and 100W flexible power. And yes,it is enough for “standard consumption” i.e. fridge, freezer, lights, radio! Tomorrow we take off to get some british feeling by visiting Alderney, one of the Channel Islands we have not sailed to before. Still light winds and amazingly favourable for us, i.e. NE.
At last, we have enjoyed our Moule Frites. A serious dish in Belgium (more generally in Normandy). In some diners you have 20+ variants, eg Pernod, coco, orange etc. But, as we are old-fashioned we prefer wine / cream stock. Newly married couples in Scandinavia usually end up with 2-3 ice-cream machines. In Belgium, your primary household gadget is a Friteuse. Anyway – we love Oostende and Mercator Marina.