Beyond the End of the Earth

On our last night in Camarinas we decided to have dinner in a cafe along the front next to the lace shop, on account of the excellent quality of the tapas we had been served there. After sitting outside for a drink we decided to go inside, where it was warmer, for our meal. The tables were formica topped old treadle sewing machines and I kept absent mindedly treadling John. He in turn pointed out a faded colour photograph on the wall and said “that’s Finisterre” and I found myself looking at a narrow necked peninsula terminated by a triangular shaped cliff, rearing from the sea like the head of a malicious serpent, foam spewing all around the base. Named by the Romans, Finis Terre, the End of the Earth, the next leg of our journey, one we needed good weather for.

We were up at dawn, the forecast was still for light winds and sure enough the windmills along the shore were barely moving.

Windmills, Camarinos We slipped the lines and motored out, saying goodbye to Mike, who was also preparing to leave, as we passed Sea Eagle. I had downed a Kwell the night before as recommended by David and Barbara, and another at breakfast, so was fine coping with the light swell as we left the shelter of the land. There was no wind to speak of, so we motored, following our passage plan to our waypoints and the swell gradually lapsed to a flat calm. The sun rose higher, kicking up a line of mist along the shore and sending a myriad heliograph signals from the rippling water. We passed the serpent fast asleep in quiet seas.


The most excitement we had all day was dodging fishing boats with their chorus of gulls and worrying about the encroachment of a large fog bank to starboard.Fishing boat, off Ria Muros

We entered Ria Muros with brilliant sunshine lighting up the gorse bathed conical hills, the weather was much warmer, as the pilot book had promised and we shed our fleeces. All along the Ria the hills were crowned with a straggling line of modern windmills. Only those nearest the sea were turning, the rest struck attitudes and posed. The radio channel to Portosin marina was busy, but finally we made contact as we reached the sea wall. The speed limit was three knots, at which speed Lyra idles to the rhythm of the William Tell Overture, though the sound was quickly swamped by jaunty music coming over the radio from the marina in embarrassingly loud bursts. The two marineras who came out to catch our lines were very helpful, as were the staff in the office, who spoke perfect English and were most welcoming.

Club Nautico Marina, Portosin

Turning right out of the marina led us to the town, turning left there was a footpath down to a lovely small beach, which we had all to ourselves on our early evening walk. Beyond the beach were houses with well tended gardens growing roses and orange trees and finally a busy road leading down to another quiet beach.

The evening was nearly ruined when John whispered to a white Persian cat, crouched in the undergrowth. This caused it to career off in alarm, straight at the road and into the path of a car, just coming round the hairpin. The cat glanced off the car and came flying back, clearing the low fence in a five foot bound as it sped across the field to the safety of a derelict beach club. Relieved, we walked home and sat on the back of Lyra in the last of the sun with a bottle of wine thinking this is the life! The fishing fleet left, three boats of identical form but quickly diminishing scale, like shells of a Russian doll, followed each other out and after a while another larger boat brought up the rear as the light faded.

Fishing boat leaving Portosin What we did not realise was that their return would be accompanied by the wail of a siren, sounded to bring fish workers to the dock and loud enough to wake the dead. This happened  for each returning vessel and was accompanied by the slap and toss of the wake from said vessel hitting our hull. After the first two we broke camp and went to sleep in the bows.

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