After a action packed summer and the voyage down to Spain we decided to take our annual family holiday in Bayona and the Isles de Cies. Bayona is a historic little town. Fishing is still industrious here and the quay has a large fish market open in the mornings. One of the only places open in the mornings ! Spain works on a different pace and nothing really gets going till about 11 am. The shift in clock change also makes early mornings very dark and we were a little confused about it feeling warmer and more summery but at the same time darker like the winter mornings that we are so familiar with. We have had rain and thunder storms of biblical proportions after a sun drenched first week of blistering heat. Malachi’s Grandpa came to stay and we all swam off the Grayhound and enjoyed local food ashore. Galicia is so good at Seafood, it dominates the menus. Tapas is not as we know it here although the idea of sharing food is strong, but portions are main sized which we all dive into. Octopus and Potato, clams and white beans in a stew, Razor Clams so delicious like scallops in taste and texture. Deep fried squid an old favourite,beautiful mussels and prawns. Local cheese with anchovy , fresh tomatoes. Puddings good too, rice pudding with a zest and spice, crème caramel and a Granny’s recipe of chocolate mouse cake seen every where in the local bakeries. Spanish bread always is good for a few hours then turns to rock, not so good for on the boat. But I have found this delicious soda fruit bread, baked in massive loaves and cut up into chunks which are sold individually, great and filling. Gin 10 Euros a bottle. In the bars they serve it in huge wine glasses with loads of ice, lemon and tonic. The local wine is very cheap too two Euros for a really decent wine. We are loving our freezer and fridge, after cruising previously with nothing it is such a treat to have cold drinks and frozen meat. I am enjoying shopping at the butchers getting lots of different cuts and then freezing them down to meal sizes, makes my cooking so more varied and delicious. We are getting back into Spanish Ruth and I are listening to Michelle Thomas on the IPOD. My time in Menorca a few years back equipped me with the basics and I am impressed at how much I remember. Charlie who has been Mate all summer left us in Bayona to go back to the Med to work , teaching sailing. Great to have had you on board Charlie.
We have made some friends from a Aluminium ketch called ‘Cariad’ and shared many beautiful evenings eating and chatting. They have two girls who have been very patient with Malachi and have even donated some of their LEGO to him. He is totally in love with making stuff, that and the Octonauts just rule. ‘Cariad’ is just starting her Atlantic circuit like us so we should see more of them. Their owners Julia and Chris live in Calstock so really close to us in Millbrook. They sailed the Atlantic before kids and we have lots in common doing it with young families this time round. We ventured out of Bayona anchorage after the Southerly gales had ceased and enjoyed some memorable days in the Isles of Cies. They are paradise, a nature reserve, unspoilt beaches with crystal clear blue water and sand you can sink into. The most gorgeous big shells. We have been following around the Swiss sail training ship ‘Fleur de Passion’. She is a Ketch, built for the German army as a war ship then given to the French after the war. She has been lovingly restored by an association and has a a French crew. We had a tour of the ship and met all the crew, swapped notes and really enjoyed their company we hope to catch up with them later in the Caribbean. We both sailed off our anchors last weekend them bound for Azores us for Lisboa . We sailed in company out of the islands and parted about two miles off.
During our time here we have also enjoyed working on the boat in a pottering type way. Always improving systems and rig choices the more we sail the more we learn. Home is around us all the time , it is so amazing to have Grayhound here.
Written from the pilot house by Freya ( her view ….Ruth ( crew) making a rope thumper matt opposite )
Next time read about our voyage to Lisbon and Cas Cais and our new first Mate arrives….