Our sail to Baiona was really nice. We left our anchorage early morning and went through all the mussel beds in this Ria. When we sailed out of the Ria the wind picked up nicely. The wind in this area always seems to be ‘on’. We sailed along the The Cíes archipelago. These Islands are very very busy in summertime with people all over. I think it would be better to visit these beautiful Islands out of season. Probably the beauty will be seen must clearer. So we passed along on our way to Baiona. By the time we were at the bouy to go in the direction of Baiona there was about 20 knots of wind. We had full mainsail and the skreecher and doing some 10 knots! With tho 2 of us … !! Crazy flying Dutchman! Very nice when having flat seas and beautiful relax weather! When you sail into the bay the first thing you see is the Paradore of Baiona. Peacefully on the edge of town overlooking the bay. We first wanted to stay on anchor close to the Marina Deportivo. But one or another reason the anchor was not holding very well. Also there was quite some swell and wind expected so we decided to move to the marina. When entering the bay and when rounding the harbour breakwater is the Monte Real Club de Yates (MRCY) and to port is the Puerto Deportivo de Baiona. There was no space for us in the Club de Yates so we were directed to the Marina Deportivo. We had a berth along the main jetty. Perfect place and what is even more interesting: we only had to pay for the length and not for the width of the boat! That saves 50%! The Marina is right in the centre and a perfect place to do some sightseeing. In Baiona we had time enough to do our shopping, have a nice dinner in the old town, visit the Paradore and the Yachtclub. Meet some (Dutch) people. So we had a drink with some older guys who were enjoying their sailing along the Galician Coast. Great night. And good to know that even when you are around 70 years old you still can do a lot of adventuring! Just keep busy! We also met an Australian couple who just came from France where they picked up their brand new Lagoon. He had seen the film of Greatcircle and came to talk to us! Thanks Mark! That is one the things I really like about cruising is that you meet new people every where. Some stay with you along the way and others are going a different direction. Baiona is a lovely seaside town with a medieval centre situated on the Vigo Bay near to the Portugese border. We found it one of the prettiest little old towns of all the Ria’s. So do not forget to pass by when your heading south!
Mussel beds in the Spanish Ria’s
These mussels beds are called Bateas. Galician mussel farms are rafts for cultivating typical Galician bivalve molluscs. You’ll see them as soon as you look at the Vigo estuary, arranged neatly along the coast. From those big wooden platforms hang ropes where the greatest treasures of Vigo grow: oysters and mussels. The imposing “bateeiros”, mussel boats, lift the heavy ropes loaded molluscs with cranes. It’s a sight to see. The growing proces consists of several steps: collecting mussel seeds, attaching the seeds to the ropes, thinning (which has to be done to prevent the mussels from falling off in rough weather), rearing, harvesting and packing. Quite interesting proces! Specifically in this Ria the mussels breeding is huge! So watch out! They are all over the place! Have a look at https://thefishsite.com/articles/production-methods-for-the-mediterranean-mussel
Islands of the Gods
The Cíes Islands are the Vigo estuary’s greatest treasure: an amazing national marine-terrestrial park and one of the country’s most beautiful places, which is why the Romans named them the Islands of the Gods. The Cíes archipelago is made up of three islands: Monte Agudo, O Faro and San Martiño. The first two are connected by a long strip of sand: Rodas Beach, the best beach in the world, according to The Guardian. The Cíes are part of the Atlantic Islands National Park, a beach paradise with crystalline waters, in a natural environment that makes it a unique wildlife observatory. A visit to the Cíes is ideal for hiking with your family or for a getaway in search of quiet and unspoilt beaches. You can take a day boat trip to the Cíes or rent a yacht in Vigo. You even can spend a weekend camping in the Cíes Islands. It’s also a great place for diving in the Vigo estuary and, with a bit of luck, you can swim surrounded by Arroaces (native, smaller sized dolphins). We skipped these islands. Very very crowded! Everywhere. Probably better to visit these islands in spring or autumn when there are less people. In Cíes they even have a nude beach for the ones who like walking and talking naked.
In 1493 on the first of March, La Pinta, one of the ships of Christopher Columbus sailed into Baiona and told of the discovery of America. This was three days before Columbus’ own ship, La Nina, sailed into Lisbon to declare the news. A museum commemorates the event and every year. On the first of March there is a celebration in the town. There is a replica of the ship in the bay and can be visited.
The Paradores of Baiona. A Paradore is a kind of luxury hotel, usually located in a converted historic buildings such as a monastery or castle. Parar means to stop, halt or stay. On the edge of town is the Castelo de Monterreal. Medieval walls surround what was once a royal fortress but has now been converted into the lovely Parador de Baiona. If you can’t afford to spend the night it is still worth paying the small fee to walk around the parapet and enjoy the fabulous views. The cannons that used to defend the town from pirates can still be seen. Three of the original towers still exist, the Reloj tower, the Tenaza tower and the Principe tower. From the Principe tower you can get some great views over Baiona and the coast and the Cies Islands, views of which are particularly stunning at sunset.
If you want to experience something different than your boat bed check in at this paradores!
Pictures courtesy to https://www.parador.es/en/node/1222/talk