Santander to Santoņa - Wednesday, 23 July 2003, 21 miles

Set out at 13:30. Raised the main, but decided against leaving under sail, as there were other yachts nearby to clout. Promptly got the mainsheet round the prop, so had to leave under sail anyway. One benefit of an outboard - clearing the prop was a question of lifting it up rather than diving overboard.

We unrolled the jib opposite the palace, and were making over 6 knots in a North West F3. Round Pta de Pescador, set Mr Lion, then had the wind veer slightly and had to drop him.

The approach to Santoņa

The approach to Santoņa is fantastic, with a lighthouse near the foot - maybe 30m up - of the Pta de Cabilla, having steep steps leading apparently half way up the cliff and then disappearing.

In the ria, we decided against the recommended anchorage as it seemed crowded and a long way from town, and anchored in 1.8m just off the old harbour in the town of Santoņa itself.

Santoņa is very much a working fishing town. In the new (fishing) harbour, women in long skirts were sitting on the ground repairing nets. In and around the old harbour was a massive construction project aimed, as far as we could tell, at building yet a third harbour. The new harbour office was a brilliant and extravagant piece of modern architecture, with a roof gradually arcing up from the ground like a piece of cloth thrown down. We wandered into the centre and sat in the square, watching the world go by over a drink. The main activity was hundreds of small children happily playing on the half-finished constructions for the fete at the weekend.