9th September – Ria Arousa

anchored off Playa Arena de la Secada
anchored off Playa Arena de la Secada

Leaving Muros it was  a bright and sunny morning. However I’d not gone far when I ran into one of the areas renowned mists. The sun could still be glimpsed overhead but the visibility was not good. Several times I thought of turning back but soon I was outside the ria and so I carried on. Thank goodness for GPS and AIS. Experience had shown over the past days that almost all Spanish fishing boats were fitted with and used AIS so that was some reassurance but the trouble with fog at sea sometimes is you just cannot tell how far you can see, is it 50 or 200 meters? Needless to say a nervous watch was kept. Later the visibility did improve and then it eventually cleared altogether, another hot sunny day of the Spanish coast.

As if I hadn’t enough excitement for one day I decided to take the Canal de Norte to enter Ria Arousa, it all looked straightforward enough with care and indeed it was all going well apart from no port hand red mark visible  as on the chart and pilot. The white and green tower starboard mark  on  Pedras del Sargo was clear enough though and I watched several fishing boats go through. Then the rock awash to the channel side of the tower was spotted. Dead slow, give the tower a wider berth, but how far since no other marks, watch that forward echo sounder closely, were are past . That was a nasty surprise.

Further up the ria, which really should be named Ria de Mejillon, from all the vivaros used for cultivating mussels, we anchored off Playa Arena de la Secada at the northern end of the Isla de Arousa. A very pleasant spot indeed. I should explain vivaros are big floating rafts from which they hang ropes on which the mussels grow.