Calypso Capers

More Ria de Vigo Part 1

San Adrian de Cobres, Moaña and Limens

After leaving Baiona we headed to the marina at San Adrian de Cobres (SAdC), then went to the marina at Moaña, on to anchor at Ensenada de Limens, back to Moaña and back to SAdC. In this log we will recount both visits to SAdC and Moaña in one go rather than flitting around!

We headed to SAdC as the Shiraz crewwere there and said it was worth a visit and is inexpensive. Our research suggested there was little there, but we thought we would give it a go, especially as we needed a sheltered marina for some strong winds heading our way in a couple of days – and were glad we did.

The trip from Baiona was 19 nm, which took four hours, two and a half of which was uninterrupted sailing.


We had a good sailing wind from WNW, motoring into the wind from Baiona before setting the sails to round the Islotes Carallones and Islotes Seralleiras in a lumpy sea. We turned up into the Ria de Vigo with the wind abaft the beam and had a nice downwind sail alongside the traffic separation zone almost all the way to the marina.

One has to pass under a bridge just beyond Vigo before entering a wide and shallow lagoon area, all of which is a marine reserve. So before reaching the bridge we pulled in the fishing line (a marine reserve is our best chance of catching a fish but is illegal!) 

We also reefed the sails shortly before the bridge – after the experience recounted by John and Debbie where the wind accelerated massively when they reached the bridge. We couldn’t see any white tops but still took the precaution.

However for us the wind lost strength as we went under the bridge. It is always strange sailing under a bridge – although this one was clearly way above our mast.

And as we entered the lagoon we were escorted by half a dozen dolphins. They hadn’t come to play – they were just heading in the same direction and very slowly and gracefully overtook us from behind.

Shortly afterwards, in the marina, parked next to Shiraz, we witnessed the small pod fishing – occasionally leaping out of the water, just outside the marina and on one occasion inside, just behind us.

The marina is fairly modern and obviously sees few visitors as the is no adjacent town and no beach. Accordingly the cost is low at 15 euro per night and 190 euro a month for yachts up to 12m.

Jolanda, who runs the office is a delight – she speaks a little more English than we speak Spanish but between us we managed to converse, learning new words (“cabeza dolor” – headache (as in “resaca” – hangover!) There was a fiesta here at our second visit!)

The marina office, showers and a restaurant occupy a modern building sitting on a steel frame above the water.

The restaurant seems surprisingly upmarket, with linen and orchids on the tables, and is listed in the Michelin guide. However our intention to eat there with John and Debbie was frustrated when the only thing they could offer vegetarian Debbie was “ensalada complet”. A salad!

There is only one shower in each of the senoras’ and caballeros’ facilities, but with few visitors we have yet to find them occupied.

There is a small bar in the port, but the Shiraz crew took us to a local bar farther along the main road, where after a visit to the small supermarket (15 minute walk in a Northerly direction) they stopped in for a drink – and after 2 beers had been fed enough tapas that they didn’t need to cook dinner. We were given similar treatment.

On the way back we went above the main road and found a track that led behind houses and through allotments – an improvement from walking along the main road. To find it from the marina – head past the church, up the steps and across the main road, heading up the track between two houses, turning right.


Whilst there is no beach or town, we did later head up off the main road and enjoyed exploring the varied houses and gardens, vineyards etc and a walk through a eucalyptus wood. 

There were long range views over the lagoon. The marina is the one in the distance in the photograph.

Adam and Lynne arrived a day later, also sheltering from the incoming storm. 

The marina would have been better sheltered than some, but Adam reported reading a 57 kt gust as we spent the day below – sheltering from the wind and accompanying downpours.

It was a good day to read and catch up with the blog – the wifi in the marina is probably the best we have experienced – even allowing streaming videos at most times.

After the storm had passed through the three skippers took time off to go and explore the exposed mudflats at low tide, foraging for worms for fishing and so forth. At the first “beach” (you wouldn’t set a deckchair in the mud) we had barely landed when a marine reserve ranger appeared out of the trees!

She was very friendly and chatted with Paul, explaining that on this beach we couldn’t even take a worm for fishing! She directed us to a “beach” much farther away. Fortunately Adam had enough juice in the tank to get us there (and, more importantly, back). And on the way back we removed a piece of floating plywood from the water.

Note Mr Sensible, Paul (nicknamed Cautious Kevin by Adam some time ago) as the only one wearing a lifejacket. Our friend Anton in Scotland witnessed the death of three men, fishing only 50 metres from the shore, who were not wearing life jackets when their small boat capsized. Cautious Kevin made no apology!

We celebrated the return of the adventurers with dinner aboard Calypso – local clam linguine for all but John and Debbie who don’t like this particular delicacy and joined us after taking their own main course on Shiraz. Or maybe they just didn’t trust the Calypso kitchen not to deliver up a dose of listeria!

A good night was had by all and we had yet another walk of shame to the glass recycling container the next day.

The following day we would leave for Moaña, returning here several days later for the Festa de San Adrian de Cobres.

The festival ran over the two days of the weekend, the opening marked by the usual loud rockets. Why they had to wake us with a jump at 8.30am goodness knows – nothing happened until well into the evening, other than more rounds of rockets!

We didn’t know this and went to find out what was happening, only to find a wedding in progress and various stalls being erected. Clearly nothing was going to happen for a while. Adam and Lynne had also joined us back at SAdC and we had drinks and a game of Wizard aboard Charisma before heading out to the festival again.

There was still little activity even at 8.30. We had a look inside the church at the various effigies of various saints that would be paraded as part of the festival – the star of the show being San Adrian, who was bedecked with flowers.

We had been given duff information by John and Debbie that this was an octopus mussel festival and were expecting food. However even at 8.30pm the bars were not stocked and no food (except very sickly looking iced buns) was available, and so we walked along the main road to John and Debbie’s favourite bar. Unfortunately when we got there they said that dinner was fully booked. However we knew there would be tapas and so ordered drinks. And we were not disappointed – the lovely couple who run the bar perhaps felt sorry for us and brought firstly a very large plate of fried squid, and then four large sardines, both with bread. And when we left, the bill for 2 beers and 2 bottles of Rioja? 25 euro! We left a very good tip and returned to the festival.

John and Debbie’s name was mud a few days later. We had relied on them, as advance party, to find out all about the place and disseminate information to the two crews following behind. They had failed to find out about the restaurant on the main road opposite the main port entrance road. We didn’t find out until a few days after almost going hungry on this festival night! 

When we returned from the bar approaching midnight the festival was in full swing. one of two large stages was hosting a large dance band and a sizeable crowd of not so young party animals were dancing to the lively music, mostly doing a slow shuffle in pairs.

We did dance, but occupied our space close to the bar. Eventually we returned to Calypso – somewhat worse for wear, not too disappointed not to have found the octopus and mussels that we had headed out for!

In the early hours of the morning the second stage struck up with some form of dire techno music. We assumed that the slow shuffle dancers had retired and replaced by the younger end.

On Sunday morning we awoke to the sound of more rockets – most unwelcome as one of us was suffering from a resaca!

We had a slow start and at 1pm the Sunday mass could be heard over the speakers dotted around the village.

We arrived at the end of the service to witness the effigies being paraded back into the church on the shoulders of the congregation.

After that we listened to the local wind ensemble before returning to Calypso for a sedentary afternoon!

What came next will follow in the next log, but first we backtrack to our trip to Moaña. We left SAdC for the first time on a Saturday morning, hoping to catch the end of the Saturday market there. We didn’t manage to set off as early as we hoped for the 6 nm trip and arrived as some stall holders were starting to pack up.

The marina were listening in on channel 9 and the marinero was on the pontoon to take our lines as we arrived. This is a modern marina with good pontoons, and we were given pole position on the first pontoon in the berth nearest the office.

The marina was well lit, meaning that we had to cover the hatch well in order to sleep as we were directly below one of the lighting standards.

The facilities are pretty good and the cost was reasonable, at 20 euro per night (up to 12m).

We had read a report that the town is unattractive, but as we wandered the market, which runs along the seafront, we didn’t understand why that could be said. We found the seafront most attractive, with a large beach and interesting views across to Vigo. 

We were to stay here just one night on this first visit to buy provisions to take to anchor. We found a supermarket on the seafront road which houses most of the shops in the town, facing  a tree lined park and the excellent indoor market.

Walking a few backstreets we could see why some would say the place is not attractive. But we had a good day and watched a large athletics gathering behind the pictured beach. That night we followed a thudding base and half a mile away found a heavy metal band playing extremely loud music at 11pm to an audience sitting in a nearby bar – with the only headbangers dancing in front of the band being a small group of 8-10 year old children. Only in Spain!!

On Sunday morning Val was drinking tea on deck and called below to tell Paul that there were half a dozen or so rowing gigs just outside the marina.

And then ten, and then more! In the end we think we saw perhaps 30 or so of the 14 man (or woman) teams. This was a major regatta.

And so we wandered onto the port to watch the spectacle, along with a few hundred other spectators.

The teams raced in groups of 3 or 4 boats, and after one race got underway on the course the next one went off just a few minutes later.

It was a long course, but up to 12 boats in three different races were on the course the same time.

We were impressed by there stamina as they returned to the finishing line, but even more so when they rounded the starting marks and went off on a second lap. These were clearly very fit athletes.

Each boat had sponsors logos plastered all over it – and the team crew bus. This is clearly a major sport in this area.

In a previous log we described how we caught the bus from Cangas to Moana and walked back along the beach.

As we left Moana we passed a restaurant with a dining area overhanging the beach, with water beneath it at high tide.

So after the regatta and before going out to anchor we headed there for Sunday lunch, which was very good, although we have come to the conclusion that in keeping with the normal large Spanish portion sizes, the rice dishes for two will in fact feed four people. 

And so we headed back to the boat with heavy bellies!

As we passed restaurant Marusia (look carefully at this photo) we resolved that we would not launch the dinghy when we reached our anchorage but take the rest of the day of to digest our large lunch.

Fortunately we had a short 6 nm trip, passing Cangas to join Adam and Lynne in Ensenada de Limens. We headed directly against the wind and so left the sails where they were!

The header photograph for this log shows Charisma at anchor off a small secluded beach (hidden to the right of that photograph).

We chose not to anchor there as our chart showed the seabed to be rock, and we went a little further into the cove to anchor off the main beach, Praia de Limens, to the left of this photograph which shows Calypso at anchor.

We spent two peaceful nights at anchor here, and on the second day we took the dinghy across to join Adam and Lynne on their beach. An old house and ruined building (possibly an old monastery) sat at one end of the beach, and during the 6 hours that we were there we saw just four dog walkers.

It was a hot sunny day and the beach was sheltered from the breeze. Lynne led us all in a morning yoga session, Paul’s first ever and he was amazed by just how calm and at peace he felt from the combination of yoga and this idyllic setting – who needs drugs! 

Adam was experiencing problems with his solar panels and the chandlery have an electrician working for them who came straight over and resolved the problem.

We bought a new fender step to replace ours which was leaking.

We bought electrical connectors and made up adaptors for different connection types.

Paul climbed the mast to replace the pennant halyards and to clean the spreaders and radar.

He has a fear of heights but feels quite secure using the Topclimber which allows him to climb the mast as Val is not strong enough to winch him up (fat b…..!) with Val tailing a safety line tied to his harness. Here his head is about 10.5m above the water.

We went for the walk that Val had spotted during our previous visit.

Heading East along the water front, around 100m after the tourist office where the small Rio Fraga passes under the road and across the beach was a sign detailing the “Sendero de Rio Fraga” – the River Fraga path.

The four of us set off, but unfortunately Adam is not good on his pins, and as the path turned rough Adam had to turn back.

The path passed through allotments and headed into woodland and got steeper. We came across an old water mill, and then another…..and another.

Some were in good condition, most had the main walls intact, but this one was reduced to a pile of rubble.

We lost count, but an information point high in the woodland told us that there were 30 of these mills, built to grind maize.