Baiona was the last port of call in our Galician adventure, and what an amazing stop it became.
When we were arriving in the bay of Baiona there were already quite a few boats anchored. Andrus commented “there is a nice empty spot and plenty of room for Suwena to spin”. We put the anchor down and when Andrus was backing for testing, did the anchor hold, he noticed rocks behind Suwena just under the water surface. A moment ago, we could not see them, and they were not marked on a chart either. We suddenly get very busy weighing the anchor and looking for a new place. No wonder why there was plenty of space there.
A little later French boat was arriving in the bay and went directly towards the same rocks. We had just put the dinghy down and Andrus quickly speeded to warn them about the rocks laying just under the water surface. At the same time British guy arrived by rowing his dinghy and thus the Frenchman got a rock warning from two boats at once. During our stay in Baiona several boats headed for the same location, but always other boaters warned them so there were fortunately no mishaps.
Watch out for undersurface rocks in the bay of Baiona at 42N7.093 8W50.448
The bay of Baiona is well sheltered, especially from southern winds because it is surrounded by hills on three directions. Also, the bottom is having a good holding and even in 35 knot southern wind no boats dragged.
We took our dinghy and went to explore the town. Some of our trips ashore were for shopping groceries as of course we had to fill her stores with the delicacies of Galicia before continuing south. Especially we had to get some Mille Nueve beer with us.
The old town of Baiona is lovely maze of small streets and the most delicious smell that was hovering out from the multitude of restaurants made a task of choosing one very difficult. Our favourite restaurant become Olivando from where we got unbelievable portion of scallops or zampuriñas like locals call them. They were so good that we had to return on our last Baiona evening for another round. Seafood in Galicia is really good, and we will miss these culinarian experiences for sure.
As a seafarer, we had to visit the exact replica of Pinta of Columbus that was laying at the pontoon of Baiona. La Pinta Caravel is one of three that Christopher Columbus took on his first voyage to America. This 17 meter long and 5.36 meter wide ship was the fastest of them. It was unimaginable to think about the conditions at sea in 1492-1493 when 26 strong crew handled the ship in the command of their captain.
Instead of a steering wheel Pinta was steered by a huge tiller. Most unbelievable was that the helmsman could not see outside because the tiller was below decks and steering commands were shouted down from the hatch above. Exploring Pinta took quite a while, and we enjoyed a lot finding out many details about the seafaring of its time.
Also, on this bay we met fantastic couple, Clemencia and Andy from S/Y Baleana. It is amazing how new friends are easily found while boating and how quickly the time passes by exchanging experiences about boats, sailing and various destinations.
There are two marinas in Baiona: private Monte Real Club de Yates de Baiona and municipal Porto Deportivo de Baiona in addition to large anchorage. The club’s marina is really fancy but expensive. Town’s marina had a lot of space, pontoon after pontoon were just empty. Maybe the reason was that on northern winds some of the Atlantic swell can enter the pontoon area. Anyhow, the marinas in Baiona are clearly more expensive than elsewhere in Rías and most of the visiting boats were anchoring instead.
Nice daytrip is to visit the fortress of Castelo de Monterreal. There are inner and outer routes around the citadel and it’s possible to climb to the fortifications. Nowadays the fortress is a luxury hotel, and I can really imagine a wedding in this environment.