Al, Judy, Holly and Tamara all left us last week in A Coruna, or more specifically in an anchorage just opposite A Coruna. We thought to ourselves, ‘this is when the cruising lifestyle truly begins; it’s just the two of us. We have to rely on ourselves for everything; entertainment, conversation, fixing things, planning our next route – everything.’ Or so we thought…
In the very short time we have been cruising Galicia we have found that you are never alone in the cruising community. This week we met some wonderful people, all with their own stories, ideas and characters but with one thing in common; cruising (and being extra friendly and amazingly helpful!).
We moved across the bay to a free anchorage in Praia de Mera, a mere 2 miles away from A Coruna. It was quiet, had plenty of space for a few boats, was sheltered and most importantly it was free! This is how we are planning on cruising for the whole of the summer as marina fees can eat up your budget very quickly. Thankfully there is no shortage of free anchorages around Galicia.
In this anchorage we met two other cruising boats, both British and both on their way back home.
The first of these two was Kathy and Paul, who were on their way home after 7 years of cruising, having sailed to Australia and back, and a few other places on their boat, Kahia, a Bowman 42.
Jake thought he recognized the boat and kayaked over to ask if they fancied coming over for a beer and a chin-wag. It turns out that it wasn’t the boat he thought, but nevertheless invited them over for a drink later that evening.
We quizzed them about their cruising experience thus far and got a wealth of useful information back. As we were chatting a second British boat with a family of four on board arrived at the anchorage. Within moments they had dropped their anchor, jumped into the dinghy and buzzed over to us to excitedly ask about what was good in town.
It seems that you cannot just have a quick 5 minute conversation with cruisers about where to go, what to do or how to get there. Simply because there is just so much to share. Cruisers cannot wait to share their stories about where they have been, their experiences both good and bad, the places that you really should not miss, all whilst waving a pilot book around!
The family of four, David, Hazel, Katie and Reuben are also on their way home after a year of cruising. Their boat, Ros Ailither stands out from the usual cruisers as it is a bright blue old Irish trawler with a bowsprit! Once used for fishing, the large decks and enormous hold meant that David and Hazel could painstakingly and lovingly turn it into a wonderful home for their family with a spacious living area and galley, three bedrooms and amazingly, a bath!
This family have been fantastically kind to us. From inviting us over for meals, kayaking with us in the pouring rain, helping Jake take a look at the engine, giving us DVDs, telling us where the best shops are in Ares and of course letting us in on their fave anchorages in this area, and so much more. Take a look at their blog, Trawler Travels for a run-down of where they’ve been over the years.
Thank you to David, Hazel, Katie and Reuben for being so kind to us. I do not doubt we will see you again very soon!
This is what cruising is all about; meeting people who are like-minded and who have the time to give to you. Everyone is in the same proverbial boat and wants to pass on knowledge and experience to make the rest of your cruising lives that much easier.
We have spent a good while in Ares, because of the wet and stormy weather but plan to move on today or tomorrow to Ferrol and then Cedeira. Ares has a good many useful shops and is a wonderful seaside town; we will definitely come back!
Sadly, the weather left a lot to be desired during our stay in Ares as it rained, poured and bucketed down, with some spectacular lightning and thunder to go with it. Today however, the weather has improved and we have finally been able to dry out the boat and get some washing done. I am sure we will experience this sort of weather again, as Galicia’s climate is fairly wet hence its wonderful natural beauty, and we will have to do this all over again. But for now, at least the boat is dry.
We’ve not had a lot of luck in terms of fishing. We have had the lobster pot out every night with some very appetising bits of fatty ham or fish guts in the zippy pocket to tempt a greedy fish inside, but the only thing we managed to catch is a spider crab and a conga eel. Not particularly appealing and I don’t think that my culinary skills will stretch as far as an eel.
But, I am trying to embrace the Spanish/Galician cuisine and have tried my hand at some tapas dishes, including Pimentos de Padron; green peppers briefly cooked in oil and sprinkled with sea salt. Very simple but crazy good!
I have also managed a simple chorizo in red wine/honey glaze as a tapas dish. I plan to turn my hand to churros with a chocolate sauce very soon. By the time my parents come to visit in September, I plan to be able to produce a Spanish culinary masterpiece from the boat galley.
We haven’t done too badly on our food budget so far, but a fish or two would certainly help us to keep things affordable. I try to use things that we have in the cupboards already like beans, rice or pulses. This week I think we have 10 meals in-hand for under 50 euros. We don’t go to eat in restaurants because that may be the whole of our weekly budget gone in an evening, which is a shame because I would love to try more of the local cuisine. But if we want to do this full-time whilst not earning money this is something we have to go without.
In all fairness, Jake does exceptionally well when he goes spear-fishing. It seems to be the rod and reel that are tricky to master. I still want a tuna. Must try harder, Jake!
That’s all from Ares, but check out our brand new video on YouTube this week!
Join me back here next week when we will (hopefully) be in Ferrol, Cedeira and make some more cruising friends!