Vigo Slowly – 4

DCIM100GOPROFishing Boat in Viveiro and below, Raz stands Guard at the Viveiro old Town WallDCIM100GOPRO




Pictures above are of the Little Fishing Port, Celeiro, next to Viveiro.   The Church is in Viveiro

In my last 2 days at Viveiro, Spanish weather seemed finally to replace my personal weather system dragged south with me, but now hopefully off pestering yachties somewhere else.  Sunshine with  wind gradually rising during the day predominantly from the north, before reducing around bedtime with delicious warmth seemed the order of the day.  A touch of sun burn added to that holiday aura.


Viveiro anchorage.   Pippin is the yacht to the right nearest the breakwater.  Credit for the picture goes to Raz, who is prepared to walk miles for a good picture!

As well as deciding to depart just after an unsociably early high tide, the weather Gods threw in their Joker too, in the form of a front resulting in a soggy and breezy early start, with visibility of barely a mile.  But hey!!  Pippin’s batteries were flushed with excess and every tank and locker was crammed full because – well, you never know.  I might be imprisoned aboard for a month, shipwrecked on a desert island, or need to barter with natives.

I bade farewell with a touch of sadness to Viveiro – after all, I had almost become a permanent fixture, and I left new friends behind – Raz heading east and Renee staying put, as he has done for more than 3 years.  My visit had passed quietly, my presence barely felt by the locals except perhaps by the check out ladies at Gadis, on whom I inflicted my excruciating Spanish.   Up ahead, well more new friends and adventures, but nothing too exciting I hoped, for Raz had filled my head with scary sea faring stories from his earlier times on this coast.

I should never have mentioned excitement, for it arrived as Pippin was rolling around off Ria Viveiro and I was busy – too busy to notice the intimate embrace going on between main sail halyard and radar reflector, at the top of the mast.  Both are essential members of the team,  but they are not meant for each other.  This, I shall admit, was caused by skipper error, but it was not the time to sort it, so we motorsailed ‘downhill’ with the Yankee jib pulling whenever the wind wasn’t turning in circles, going at a good lick, for I assume we had inadvertantly chimed just right with whatever tide was out there.

This is not a friendly coastline; its all ominous cliffs falling straight into the sea with few bolt holes and and it did not look its friendliest, in the mizzle and big confused seas.  Fortunately pretty little Cedeira looked much more welcoming, a tree lined little cove tucked behind a little fishing harbour, where I joined 6 other yachtsIMG_20180616_143105rolling gently at anchor, after 6 hours at sea.


Raising the ball must be a Willis thing, as once again no one else bothered and frankly, I can see why.   If you spot a yacht static in a bay with anchor chain down, what is it doing?  Its either tied to a buoy, or its at anchor and you don’t need a black ball to tell you that.  Like the official description of the sea state, it is a custom probably designed for ships but I’ll stick with it.  I used to take down and raise my ensign each day too, but gave that up as it seemed pretentious and anyway, now I would just plain forget.  Mind you someone did say that your ensign would last 3 times as long – perhaps if I set that rumour going in this anchorage, it might be fun to sit back and watch the results.

“Time offers its fruits to those who know how to take their time” – I don’t believe every homily I read, but this one must be true as it is written on my Rioja (half!) bottle label.  And I was taking my time – to retrieve that halyard, as 2 different methods failed on the first day in Cedeira, before I paused to research that Rioja and sleep on it.

Next day it had to be operation mast climb, something I viewed with considerable trepidation – I don’t like heights at the best of times, but needs must.  I used to be pretty hot at pull ups and push ups but now I am much better at sit downs.  I had of course long forgotten how to use the climbing equipment and there were several false starts and much cussing before I managed to fit me into my Top Climber.  It took even longer to climb up,  so I was eventually feeling pretty chuffed swinging around 35 feet up, as Pippin rolled gently – until I realised I hadn’t slackened off the main halyard.  Well you can imagine the cussing as down I went!

Second time up went much more smoothly, though the increasing wind meant I swung around and bruised more.  Pippin didn’t even notice around 80kgs hanging from near the top of  her mast, which speaks volumes for her stability, though she might have wondered what on earth I was doing.   Job done, I paused on the way down for pictures and to polish out the scuff marks I had made – Heaven knows what my German neighbour thought, for one always seems to attract an audience.  Anyway, the important lesson learned is the I have the kit and ability to get up the mast solo.   A cockpit strip wash was refreshing though I suspect l looked like a maggot with a hairy gooseberry for a head – anyway,  just the job before lunch.

You can take your dinghy up to the little village here if the tide is up, otherwise it’s a brisk walk but well worth it for its both a peaceful and pretty place and deserves my attention.  Tomorrow I shall explore properly, until then “Adiós”.


By ajay290

One comment on “Vigo Slowly – 4

  1. Hi John,

    Good read as ever and I have so many choice words that I projected into your realisation that the halyard wasn’t let off – classic.

    All well here with pretty good weather and lots of people caught up with.

    Also been terribly busy with work but am winning.

    So good to be in Cornwall.

    Luv to Pippin.

    Cheers Pete

    Pete Goss MBE Email – Phone – +44 (0)7740 825289 Skype – pete.goss2


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