We sailed from Sanxenxo in the beautiful sunshine 16 nautical miles north to the ría de Arousa. Suwena had a booking for a winter berth at the boatyard of Xufre on the island of Illa de Arousa. We had one more week of our summer cruise left and decided to check out Xufre first for finalizing the details of Suwena’s haul out on the following week.
We made Suwena fast at the raft of two other boats and climbed from the pontoon of Xufre to boatyard for checking out her upcoming winter home. The owner of boatyard Nito and his son Alex welcomed us, and we had a friendly tour around the facilities. After agreeing the time for lifting Suwena we departed from Xufre satisfied with what we saw and continued to the north shore of the bay of Arousa for spending the last days of our summer holiday there.
There are only three short nautical miles from Xufre to Caramiñal. The wind was light, and we were not in a hurry. While trying to maximize our time on water we slowly sailed to the other side of the bay.
The marina of Pobra do Caramiñal is decent size and quite lively. It is also one of the most sheltered in the bay of Arousa and there were quite a few long-distance cruiser yachts waiting for their crew returning onboard. We should also not forget about the decent size fishing fleet located there. The bay of Arousa is the biggest from the five bays forming Rías Baixas and it has most of the mussel growing platforms called viveros. These thousands unlit viveros are definitely a challenge for navigation in dark on the bay of Arousa but even in daytime one must be careful when passing between them while looking for anchorage.
And if you are thinking, can you sail between these platforms, the answer is definite yes. The maintenance work for these platforms are performed by rather big ships and there are usually about 20 metres of water as well. Viveros also function as excellent wave dampeners. Some of the best anchorages are on the shore side of viveros and the waves made by passing ships dampen considerably. Of course one must mind the direction of the wind as otherwise there might be some fishing aromas onboard 🙂
The pontoons of Caramiñal are big and sturdy. There are no pontoons in Xufre at all and thus we decided at once that this will be the location for making a spring maintenance to Suwena next year. Now however we wanted to enjoy a couple of more summer days although the end of this season and even the next summer was already in our minds.
The bay of Arousa is really beautiful and inviting sailing area. There are several marinas and numerous anchorages. Green hills rise above the bay and the coastline is decorated with many sandy beaches that are typical of Galicia. The nature over here is like made for trekkers and for people loving other outdoor activities.
Caramiñal is a small charming village in the middle of nature. The atmosphere is at the same time serene and happy. It felt like local people were enjoying their lifestyle by their full heart. The feeling of satisfaction to their idyllic town was touchable in the air at the waterfront, in the marina and in the central park. The tension of metropoles and hastiness ware very distant from this Atlantic coast.
Long palm tree lined waterfront promenade is a cozy place for having a relaxing walk. Two hypermarkets are located about 1.5 kilometres from the marina. Both Gadis and Eroski supermarkets have huge selection and best of all they offer home deliveries free of charge if the purchases are over 50 €. We also took advantage of this service. It will help considerably when filling the ship’s stores next spring. On a return from the shops we stopped to enjoy the refreshing ice cream. Sitting in the park we were looking at the lives of passing people and just enjoying the lovely summer day.
On Thursday evening we were on a way to order pizza and heard live music from the terrace of a waterfront restaurant. When we were passing the restaurant door, we were invited to join the restaurant Sisal opening celebration. Our pizza was replaced by delicious tapas washed down with the best Galician beer Mil Nueve or 1906. Unbelievable hospitality; just like this we were pulled in and offered a great variety of delicacies to passers-by.
The evening turned to the summer night and the band was entertaining guests to early wee hours. Could it be any better ending for the summer cruise?