Vigo Slowly – 2




Approaching Viveiro top picture (the higher resolution pictures allow you to zoom in).  Viveiro from Pippin

Viveiro, in the province of Lugo in Galicia, is a very nice spot and others understably think so too.   On the first day, joggers ran along the beach and horsewomen galloped their steeds across the sand as a dogged swimmer crossed the bay, towing an inflatable orange carrot – at least that’s what it looked like.  Just in case I hadn’t got the message that this was quite a place, a red  striped helicopter flew in and out, as fishermen did their stuff  and people perambulated along the pier at their leisure.

Around 16,000 people live here, though this number probably triples in summer when holidaymakers come down to rent a flat of which there are many.  It is reckoned to have some of Spain’s best beaches and stands at the estuary into which the Landro river flows.  Its medieval walls, of which bits remain, apparently saw much action, including assault by pirates.

Along the fish quay is a line of fresh, modern lockups, which I imagine were built with EU money for the fishing and general cargo (aggregate?)  industries, though the small number of trawlers here suggests times have changed.  Some of the lockups seemed unused, as had been the case at Ribadeo.  Up in Lochinvar, Scotland, huge Spanish trucks had sat parked outside the quayside lockups in 2015, serviced by the few remaining Scottish trawlers – so quite possibly the prawns I buy here might be Scottish.

Its so nice, that Pippin and I are in no hurry to rush onwards to our July family rendezvous in Vigo.


Looking down stream from Viveiro

Anyway, my ball was out and up the mast sharpish after anchoring, for a good skipper should always raise his ball skywards, to signify his vessel is at anchor.  The mast head  anchor light was on at dusk too, but in truth I was trying to outdo my rufty tufty Belgian neighbour (I always mix up German & Belgian flags) in his Banjer 36, for that is what his vessel is, but he had beaten me to it on both counts.  Ketch rigged, the Banjer is a heavy weight long keel motorsailer, whose canoe sterned hull is loosely based on the North Sea fishing boat.  Not a lot of people would know all that, but I have already confessed that my Mastermind specialist subject would probably be something like, ”fibreglass yachts 1973 to 1980″, and this Banjer was of that era.

If you really really want to know, the boat moored to seaward of Pippin is a swanky new 54 foot Amel Maru, a ketch rigged French Rolls Royce of a yacht, that would probably have a bath, a maid, carpet and a washing machine on board.


A Banjer in Ria Viveiro

Back aboard Pippin with no bath, maid or washing machine,  I found I still had a pack of Army spiced sausage with potato slices left from my Biscay crossing, which went down a treat, as the sun sank below the yardarm on my first day in a Spanish Ria.  Thankfully the bay remained at peace, so very different from my experience of the north British Isles.


Organised chaos aboard Pippin

I rejoined the world as rain squalls came through on Day 2, as indeed they did almost every morning here and got the  dinghy inflated and the little Suzuki outboard going at the second pull, after 12 months idleness, though not before a Willis bodge job with a plastic clothes peg, necessary to get the engine to start.  I can now tell my dinghy from afar, as it is the only one with a yellow clothes peg sticking out of the engine.

It was grey and overcast, but warm as was my reception at Gado, the little supermarket, where I practiced a little of my excrutiating Spanish.  Still, at least I now know not to use the word Excusado for excuse me, as I have discovered it is a euphemism for toilet.

I also wish to apologise for an earlier rant about the lack of sliced white bread for toast; Gado does have it but Spanish bread makes even more brilliant toast, though it doesn’t last as long because a. it is so nice and b. its actually bread, not air and chemicals.


The Tourist Information office was closed on my first 3 visits, and I was beginning to wonder if  I needed to check out the Spanish for “Open when we feel like it”, but then I saw the opening times.  So  I’ll try manana whenever that comes, as there is a bus station here, which might just be the means for a mini adventure though there doesn’t seem to be much around these parts.  Meanwhile I had an appointment with Mr D and the preparation of supper to get back to, but not before a good scrub up al fresco in the cockpit.  I won’t elaborate.


Discipline, each day.  That’s what was needed I reckoned, and that had to begin with a list, so that I could work out what to be disciplined about.  Big list done, for it needs to last awhile, a postponement of outdoor tasks was agreed, as rain had inconveniently stopped play; which was fine as I still had 350 tea bags to get through, but eventually most of the initial jobs got done in my usual forgetful, disorganised way.

My reward was a trip ashore next morning, one which began differently for I could see blue through the roof hatch when I awoke, at the same time my  German neighbour was enjoying a strip wash, he a real Viking lookalike, his boat Noa, a no nonsense workhorse designed for playing with albatross in the Southern Oceans.  We would meet later and become friends.

Breakfast and shore going preparation at saga pace meant the rain was back by departure time, but hey! it’s only water and I don’t mind being the only shopper in full, dripping oilies and squelchy shoes.  Back at Pippin, my neighbour came for tea.

The plan, as it currently stands, is to remain here until the sun arrives sometime next week, as there might be a blow over the weekend and I am not in ocean bashing mood.  Then perhaps I’ll head for Ria Cedeira, 25 or so nautical miles west and set up camp there – or maybe not, for like all plans, mine especially, they are but the intentions of the moment.



By ajay290

8 comments on “Vigo Slowly – 2

  1. Hi, John.

    Good story so far, no problems, keep it that way!

    Is the clothes peg on the outboard motor used to manage the kill switch? The gadget on Tahitienne is called “Miss Piggy”, as she has a curly tail. They can be freely bought, which is handy, if you ever wish/need to steal an outboard. There again, they are not sold as an anti-theft device, but as an anti-escape one.

    Enjoy the rias


  2. Enjoying reading your adventures after I have tackled chores about the place. Aide Memoire for German/Belgium flags: Germans don’t have black bottoms!

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