Beam me up

Getting naked to go up the Ria

27th July 2012
Vigo Marina


Getting naked to go up the Ria


My bodies a temple

Looking back over the last few blogs it may appear that we are on an extended pub crawl of the Spanish Ria’s. Well, let me tell you that my body is a temple and I intend to keep it that way. The temple may be in ruins and run by disciples of the amber nectar who demand that I make ritual sacrifices each day but that’s life.

So, now that little matter is cleared up let’s get back to our travels around the Ria’s as we have been moving on albeit pretty slowly but then again, what’s new.


Kicked out of Muros

Muros Festival

Muros Festival

Muros is a vibrant Spanish town nestled in a well sheltered bay in the Ria de Muros.

Whilst we were there and the festival of boats was celebrated by the locals who put on traditional dress. Everywhere there was music, the playing of bygone games and the whole town was decorated with fishing nets and all manner of unusual objects. We had a wonderful day joining in. Muros marina had never been completed and was free for years. Unfortunately on the day we were there they decided after all that time they were going to start charging. Every boat in the marina left and anchored in the bay for the night and the town lost out on a lot of tourists.

It was one of the first times we had been able to anchor since leaving the UK and it gave me two surprises. The first was that I actually slept and the second was that we were still anchored in the morning and not washed up on the beach.


Portosin, beam me up Scottie

Our next port of call was Portosin just across the Ria where we stayed for a few days. We had only intended to be there to get a few provisions and fill up with water but unfortunately we met a couple called John and Bronwin on their boat “Starfish Enterprise”. They decreed it was a holy day and that many, many, sacrifices should be made to the gods of alcohol so rendering us all unfit for duties the next day. Aiden decided that he would make an in-depth study of the religion but left before the end of the night to make a toilet confessional. (As responsible parents we take his education seriously and introducing him to these new religions is just expanding his horizons).

Eventually we escaped Portosin and went back out into the Atlantic and round to the Ria de Arousa which is the biggest of all the Ria’s. We had a very fast sail up the Ria if you will pardon the expression, in 30 knots of wind which is more than enough to give you a new hair style. It took over an hour to get somewhere near the top where we anchored for the night. We were told that this was the most beautiful of all the Ria’s but the anchorages seem to be overrun with muscle beds. They were everywhere and in all honesty the Ria de Arousa did not arouse us in any way.


Beat the retreat from Sanxenxo

Ria de Pontevedra, Sanxenxo

Angelina in Sanxenxo

The following morning we made a hasty retreat and went round to the Ria de Pontevedra. Bad weather was forecast so we decided to go into the marina at Sanxenxo which is nice if you can actually say it.

Taking Cygnus III into Sanxenxo was a mistake. It was expensive and Northern Spain’s answer to Southend only with a bit more spit and polish. (Well more polish anyway anyway). The crowded beach was beautiful but inhabited by people packed in tighter than an Italian in speedo trunks. Initially we thought that several of the marina bars were closed due to the recession. We soon learnt differently. Most of the clubs, especially around the marina did not open until midnight and played very, very loud rave music until seven in the morning. Now I am sure I used to be young once and may have thrived in the clubs but as a self-confessed grumpy old git I was like a pubic hair on a toilet seat…. Well pis*ed off. Mainly because I was too old to get in!


Naked in the Ria de Vigo

We left Sanxenxo as soon as possible, largely because we couldn’t pronounce it and went around the headland again into the next Ria, the Ria de Vigo. Here we decided to anchor just off a long beach called Barra which is also known locally as “bare ass beach”. As we approached we saw that there were people wearing …. nothing .. Zilch… bugger all. It was a nudist beach! The boys decided that the best thing to do was some bird watching with binoculars.  This also seemed a popular anchorage for boats whose owners decided, if you can’t beat them, join them and became nudists. I did consider it myself but the boys threatened to keel haul me by the men’s dangly bits. We stayed at anchor by the beach overnight and basked in the sun the following morning.


Swimming to the nudist beach

Aiden in the Bare Ass Ria

Swimming to the naked beach

Aiden’s curiosity and hormones eventually got the better of him as he decided he wanted to swim to the nudist beach. We did explain that it was further than it looked but four young girls on the next boat, swimming ashore, made his mind up. Like a good southern softie he put his wet suit on and was gone quicker than a Jews foreskin. We managed to see him reach the shore before lying down and admiring the view.  After a couple of hours and no sign of him coming back any time soon I decided it was too hot and a siesta was called for. Jordan and Angelina could tell me if the anchor was holding but after a day and a half in the same spot why should the anchor drag now?


Life can be a real drag

I awoke to find us gradually getting further and further out to sea as the anchor was indeed dragging in the strong afternoon wind. When we pulled it up we brought with it the equivalent of a Brazilian rain forest.  Eventually we cleared it and re-anchored for the same to happen again.

Poor old Aiden was now more interested in us than the naked wildlife as he watched Cygnus going out to sea and coming back several times. He did get the hint however and although the wind and swell had got up decided to swim back. It was harder and further than he thought in the conditions and just as he was starting to worry he could not make it we got the anchor up, went to him and Jordan literally hauled him aboard.

Aiden was certainly shook up and spent the next three days in agony after catching far too much sun.

That night we anchored under some nearby cliffs just as the wind really got up (Force 7). Between us we stayed up and checked the boat was still where it was supposed to be in the incessant, howling wind.


Drinking with Shaun Connery in Vigo

The following morning we went into Vigo, a large city on the opposite side of the Ria. The intended two day stop over soon turned into two weeks as we were having so much fun.  On the boat next to us was “Heff” an ex-Navy man on his Catamaran “Horizons” who became a good friend to us all.

Whilst in Vigo we also met a local Kiosk owner “Nochie”, a black, dread locked, pot-bellied Brazilian. He believes he is Shaun Connery even though he speaks no English. For some reason he called Angelina, “Angelina Jolie” and me “Monkey”. He is louder than Brian Blessed and has a personality to match. He also likes a drink and when I say likes, I mean really likes. Each time we saw him he would thrust beers, rum, whisky or air craft fuel into our hands, anything so long as it had alcoholic content.

On the boat going out into the Ria de Vigo

Day Trip on the Ria

He and several other Spanish men and woman took us out on a huge motorboat to show us the Ria in the beautiful, hot Vigo weather. They also provided all the drinks (several cases) and a feast fit for a Spanish King. Later they also took us to a bar and bought yet more food and drink and refused to let us pay. They either took us to heart or took pity on us. We are not sure which.

Beautiful women, heaps of food, unlimited drink, excellent company and a free tour of the Ria. What more can a man ask for, apart to dump the amorous Spanish gigolo who wanted to swap his wife for Angelina over the side.

There have been numerous other occasions where we have been taken out by the locals of Vigo and we thank every one of them. We know every night was wonderful and special but unfortunately some are quiet hard to remember.

The Spanish people of Galicia have been magnificent hosts to us in our time here and we won’t forget them in a hurry.

If you want to see all of our photographs of Vigo they can be found here.

So as I said at the beginning you can see that this living aboard life can be quiet hard. It is not all about drinking and socialising but then again………. Oh, and don’t forget to get up the Ria when you can!



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