Tuesday, 25 September 2012

A Coruna

We had a lazy first day in Spain.  It was brilliant to wake up and see that we were really there.  In contrast to the murky weather of the day before, there was a blue sky and bright sun: all, in fact, that one might hope for.  The wind was still in the west, so we happily opted for a rest day rather than continuing immediately to A Coruna.  We felt less tired than we had after our cross-channel passage, pleasingly, but lazing in the cockpit reading definitely seemed like the way forward.  We thought about getting the dinghy out to explore ashore, but it all seemed like too much effort... We finished off the champagne, and watched locals coming and going in their small fishing boats, and lay in the sun.  I went for a swim.  It was freezing, but worth it.

Fishing boat, Ria de Cedeira
The wind was still in the west the following day, but had fallen light, so we got the anchor up and headed out of the Ria.  A fisherman gesticulated frantically at us as we neared the point; apparently he had nets out between the shore and the boat, so we went round in a wide circle to keep clear. Pot buoys and nets are a bit of a hazard round here.  It was interesting to see the reddish-brown, high cliffs we had glimpsed so little of on arrival.

Calm sea, big swell...
We had an easy trip  in a comfortable sea, but the wind - naturally - was in entirely the wrong direction to sail properly.  There was a long, low swell which built up as we turned in towards Coruna and the Torre del Hercules lighthouse (the oldest working lighthouse in the world, apparently - or, at least, the oldest lighthouse site).  We dodged a couple of big ships heading in to Ferrol, a large industrial port in the same ria, and were soon rounding the breakwater with its futuristic H-shaped control tower.

Dinghies racing in Coruna harbour

I had been here before, on my gap year, when it was possible to anchor.  Now there is a big new marina in the same spot, and anchoring is discouraged.  At Limbo's size, charges were around 19 Euros a night, less than we paid to raft up in Weymouth.  We found our berth and set foot on land for the first time in five days.

Another sunny day in A Coruna marina
We really liked Coruna, and the marina.  We were just a few minutes walk from the old town with its narrow roads, churches and monuments.  Not much further was the Plaza de Maria Pita, a large, well-kept square on which stood the impressive town hall.  This was surrounded by streets of cafes with pavement tables, most displaying misleadingly unappetising-looking photographs of their wares.  Octopus is big round here, and restaurant windows often displayed a couple of the creatures, alarmingly tentacled in a dining context.

Natalie, Coruna waterfront
The weather was kind to us too: nights were still damp and slightly chilly, but every day dawned bright and warm with that particular glow to the light you never see in England.  We quickly fell into a pattern of getting jobs done in the morning (laundry, or walking to the supermarket, easily takes up half a day..) followed by lunch on the boat - perhaps fresh bread and serrano ham and olives - then a walk, or a wander round town.

Laundry day!

We didn't mean to stay more than a couple of days - but the wind was blowing fairly strongly and it was very easy to put off our departure: particularly when we discovered that you got a free extra night once you'd stayed for four... The days were hot enough to need shade, and we successfully tried out the new awning I'd had made in England.  We met up again with new friends Rod and Julie on their boat Rojo, last seen in Camaret.  We ate tapas at a cafe in the park, walked to the Torre del Hercules to have a look at the waves crashing on the rocks, watched the sun set from the breakwater, and became generally quite harbour-bound.  It was time to get back into cruising mode.

Evening, near the Torre del Hercules lighthouse


  1. Ah, found your blog! Was nice meeting you at this beautiful beach! You make some wonderfull pictures! We'll have a look at the blog tomorrow. Were in Vigo right now. Have a good sail south! We'll probably meet again, would be very nice.

  2. Meanwhile.... back in the Caribbean....
    Hmmm.... Won't need all those clothes when you get here... lol