Calypso Capers

 The tactic for making the most of paying for a night in a marina is to arrive as early in the day as possible and to leave late in the afternoon. We left Portonovo late in the day and were heading to Combarro, which we anticipated would be a highlight this year, but decided to anchor for one night between leaving Portonovo and arriving at Combarro in accordance with the aforementioned tactic.

However we would need to anchor for the night to facilitate an early arrival at Combarro. You might say what tight people Yorkshire folk are, but we prefer to think of it as getting best value for money. “Every pound is a prisoner”!

Raxo is a recognised anchorage sitting to the East of Sanxenxo and we headed there, 5 nm from Portonovo, for one night.

There is a long beach fronting a large village with bars along the seafront. Off the beach a mooring field extends pretty much all the way along the beach and we anchored outside of that.

After we had dropped anchor and settled a French boat arrived and anchored a little bit outside of us but a bit closer to the rocky shoreline in the West of the bay.

And very shortly after that a small fishing boat arrived and asked them to move! They didn’t ask us to move but gestured that our trip line buoy had sneaked inside their acceptable area by a few inches. The French boat sat to the West beyond the mooring field, but whilst our anchor buoy was just outside it was deemed just acceptable. 

The fishermen were very friendly though and made their point with plenty of smiling and even a bit of singing – “Caleeeeeepso” one of them sang as he suggested by gestures that maybe next time we could move back just a little farther.

And then they demonstrated why they wanted the French boat to move by securing one end of a net with an anchor and laying the net out in a wide circle around the area – passing within inches of our trip line and ending up where they started.

Both ends of the net are then brought onto the boat, which is held in place by the anchor as the net is painstakingly dragged aboard by the two fishermen.

When finished here they then head off to another of their favourite spots – and half an hour later a different boat came and we watched as they netted the exact same area!

We could tell that the net has a very fine mesh, and it was disappointing to see the many small fish that were thrown back in by the fishermen, only to be snapped up by the waiting flock of seagulls.

We had a quiet night aboard, although the seafront bars might be worth a visit another time.

When we awoke the next morning another fishing boat had occupied the same spot – but this time the two occupants had an air compressor aboard and were diving. We had no idea what they were catching, but there were 3 other boats along the same short stretch of rocky shore all with divers down.

Watching the fishing industry around here is fascinating; from ocean going trawlers, to pot fishing and single or two handed inshore fishing boats and crowds of people gathering clams on beaches. Everywhere we see single handed, usually older, fishermen rowing around anchorages towing lines which we suspect are aimed at seabass and similar. The seafood available in Galicia is fantastic, but one wonders how long it can continue at the catch levels we are witnessing. Then again we see huge numbers of dolphins around here, so presumably stocks are healthy for the time being. At least the huge mussel and scallop industry in the Rias is presumably sustainable!

BUT – we have yet to catch a fish with rod and line this year, and this ramble is my justification!!

Distance travelled since leaving Xufre – 149 nm

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One night in Raxo…

Portonovo (& Sanxenxo)

Ria de Aldan