Finally! The wind picked up and we had a fantastic day sailing, the helm being shared by Conny and myself. Muros is another fishing-orientated town and hosted yet another evening of live music and fireworks, which we viewed from the yacht, having made an early retirement on Saturday evening. Yet again the Italian lakes sprang to mind whilst taking in the scenery but on Sunday morning we thought we should make the most of the winds and get sailing. Initially I wanted to stay and check out Muros a bit more but at this point I realised that this is a sailing trip first, and a sight-seeing trip second. Fine by me: as time goes on so I’m enjoying myself more at sea than anywhere else.
Sailing was quite hairy at times. Conny took us through the rocky entrance to Ria de Arosa, which is northern Spain’s equivalent to the Solent (but far, far more beautiful!), whilst I was at the helm as we tacked our way through the mussel beds (floating pontoons with rope running to the sea bed). Quite hard when the genoa is blocking 180 degrees of view and we’re on a port tack. A port tack means the wind is coming over the port side and as a rule means we have to give way to any approaching yacht who is, of course, on a starboard tack. On my first tack I successfully started turning the wheel in the wrong direction, much to Sam’s delight (can you smell the sarcasm?). A schoolboy error and one I won’t be making again! Having said all this the weather was fantastic, we all got burnt and we were sailing at around 6 knots. Not much for your average boat but lets not forget we’ve in a very heavy ferro cement yacht so this is covering very good ground.
As we anchor up we are greeted by, guess what? Very loud fireworks! I decide to spend a night on the yacht whilst the others venture onto terra firma. As the dinghy heads towards the slipway I notice the sea front is teeming with people, and the slipway is covered by more crowds. A quick scan on the bins confirms that there is a military brass band accompanying a crew of religious types who are carrying some religious thing down to the waters edge. At this point some guy wearing ear muffs at the other end of the sea wall starts letting off fireworks. Very loud fireworks. As the last one goes off, so the religious object is placed in a religious speed boat, which is also carrying two young girls in some kind of religious costume. What is this? Some kind of religious virgin sacrifice? Anyway, everyone is looking sombre, especially the two girls who are obviously extremely concerned at their very public execution. The boat, loaded up with religious gubbins and two sh!t-scared girls and now a flashing blue light head towards me, who’s standing on the deck in a pair of shorts and a glass of wine in hand, not looking very religious. Of course all the people on the sea front are following the direction of the religious transporter, which is heading directly towards me. Am I part of this weird ceremony? I dart down below to select the sharpest carving knife I can find but am disappointed to find the boat cruises past me (I give them a wave which is returned by a stern nod) and starts circling a buoy a few yards from Ramprasad. Obviously not happy with the religious object they chuck it in the sea and head back to the slipway. The brass band pipe up, the young virgins lives are spared and everyone is happy. This is punctuated by more fireworks. More very loud fireworks! More very loud fireworks that go on and on and on! I’m noticing a direct correlation between religion and fireworks in Galicia!
After our hard day’s work we take in a pathetically early night, but are kept up by the fireworks that continue way past midnight. Just as I’m about to fall asleep so they decide to crank up the karaoke machine on the loudest sound system in Spain and let the local warbler sing utter sh!te until about four in the morning. No joke. This is one reason why I disagree with organised religion 😉