To Cudillero, Luarca and the Ria de Ribadeo – 2 to 4 August, 13, 18, 22 miles

We’d hoped to reach Luarca, but the dying F1 headwind meant that could only be done under motor.

Cudillo (30K)
We were reluctant to stop in Cudillero, because on our last visit in May 2007 there had been no room to anchor, the pontoons for local boats were broken, and the village was dead and gloomy. However, this time we found they’d laid buoys for visitors, and the village was buzzing with life in the sunshine. After we’d been for a run ashore, an enormous British Prout (a 44) came in. In my delight at seeing another British cat, I “played harbourmaster”, as Ann teased me, and ushered him into the slot near us ahead of yet another French yacht which was attempting to overtake him.

Luarca1 (28K) Luarca3 (28K)
Luarca5 (28K)
Next day, a slightly better wind allowed us to make Luarca, where we had a choice of mooring slots between the harbour wall and mooring buoy. As we later came down from the cliff-top from our run ashore, we saw a British sloop motoring round in circles wondering where to go now that all the mooring slots were taken. I hailed him in my best, inevitably rather upper-crusty hailing voice that Ann loathes, inviting him to tie alongside us. Over drinks in their cockpit later, we found they’d attempted the direct Biscay crossing, but given up after the fourth F9 gale and made for Lorient.

Another day of sunshine and light following winds took us to Tapia, a fishing village just short of Ribadeo. However, the only way anchor would have been between anchors fore and aft, with a big chance of getting one snarled on the bottom. The space on the wall where we might have tied had naked small boys diving into the sea, and we neither wanted to spoil their fun nor risk having them swarm over the boat. So, we motored in the now calm to the Ria de Ribadeo, where we anchored near the Prout from Cudillo off Castropol.

Castropol1 (33K)
We went to visit Madeline and Roy on Mithril of Newhaven, and enjoyed a gorgeous evening waching the local lateen-sailed craft swishing back and forth across the ria.