2017 part 2 (as far as Ribadesella)

I write this post from Gijon, Ribasedella, Santander, Bilboa, Port Medoc in France. It’s Friday 25th August and the journey across Northern Spain has been hard work with little time spare to update the blog.

In  our need to move Eastward there have been many full days on the move with spare days consumed with maintenance, prepping for the next journey and the boring but essentials such as getting food, doing laundry etc etc.

Even salty sailors like clean clothes!

We left home on our multi stage trip back to Filibuster in Muros: car, train, train, hotel, 4am start for Easyjet to Santiago, taxi, bus to Muros and on board 1230 in the afternoozzzz….

The reverse journey was via places already visited on the way down: Muxia, A Coruna, Cedeira and back to Viverio. No need for more on those suffice it to say the pic below was taken on the way into Viveiro and marked our only sailing.

7kn boat speed in 11kn wind with sun. That’s how it should be.

In fact, many hundred miles further on (nearly 600nm from Muros) the above represents our only good sailing in 3 weeks.

From Viveiro: (all these places have some notes in the “we are in section”), and bearing in mind our need to make ground and push Eastwards at a pace.

Ribadeo (36nm)

Nice town, could have spent another day but the visitors berths are directly in the entrance to the marina and subject to a lot of  wash, from inside and out. Not pleasant.

Some stunning architecture in the town.

The old library – from days when remote parts of Spain valued such things. Awaiting restoration.

Gijon (wow! 66nm)

One of the great things about visiting places by boat is that the charts and pilot guide are functional and don’t help you gain an impression. Places are just dots on the map. Even the popular guides (such as Dorling Kindersley) cannot prepare you for the like of Gijon.

Gijon (pron Hee-Hon) is from another world. The habitation is mainly 4-5 story blocks of many ages. Most seem not to have cars: and this begets a shopping culture consisting of a myriad of small, personal shops, fresh food markets, interesting places to visit.

We loved Gijon.We stayed extra to find out more:

The view from the pontoon. Note people a quarter in on the left

Gijon is a “happening place” in the photo above you can see a miasma of people to the left of the white marina office.


More to come

The noise,even on Filibuster, just said: loads of people chatting. And drinking…and drinking what?

Cider. They come here to enjoy a sunny evening, chat and drink local cider. Of which there is plenty.

A Cider bottle tree. 3200 bottles were killed to make this…probably took the locals a night or two…


Gijon is full of it. Interesting older buidlings that survived the civil war (and Gijon has a past in that). heres’ a few we saw:

There’s many more and it all helps to create a fascinating visual environment.

Fake News

There’s a lot of it about. Take a look at these two aerial photos of the port. The visitors pontoons are on the left:





The one on the left comes from the marina’s web site and tells you as it is. The one on the right comes from the Royal Caribbean web site.and is more or less the same view but has been modified to increase the level of “activity” in the photo.

The Royal Caribbean (owners of huge cruise ships such as Navigator of the Seas)  photo has been modified thus:

  • additional vertical lines to suggest a visitor’s marina full of masts on the left
  • additional activity (very blurred) to suggest additional activity on the street to the right of the marina

Closer inspection of the Royal Caribbean image shows further modification, and if this one shot has been neavily modified then, by assocation the rest of their web site is likely to have been as well.

Such is promotional material. There’s no rule saying it has to be true and clearly Royal Caribbean know that.

One more knock on RC. On one of their cruises they’ve invented a new port called Paris- Le Havre. That’s a bit like the new port Brimingham-Southampton I’ve just invented 🙂

Healthy Walking

Guidelines issued  as we are away suggest we should all take a brisk walk regularly. Take a look at this:

Typical beach?

Taken at 1045 am. The vast, vast, majority of people on the beach were walking briskly. A healthy activity we have seen across much of Northern Spain

Gijon was a delight in every respect: go there.

Ribadesella (30nm)

Literally Sella River. Ambleside by the Sea. Mid way from Gijon and wherever next.

Start of where the Picos Europos get closer to the sea (the whole of N Spain seems to be like this: sea, a small strip of land upon which people can live, then mountains )

Ribasedella is one of those places that was previously just  port, but has a beach, and with new road access to the world is opened up.

It was dull and grey on our day, but I found these on the internet:


The first is on older shot, but shows the placement of town and mountains beyond well.

The second is more recent and shows the sheltered nature of the port, the entrance and the marina. The only info to add is that the long pontoon (running NE-SW in the second photo welcomes visitors).

The pilot guide is incorrect and probably deters many visitors: The long “transitos” pontoon has space for around 8 boats alongside with excellent shelter, water + electricity. The club that runs it are charming and friendly and lack of English, or your lack of Spanish is irrelevant. The facilities are there, are clean and in excellent order.

The normal transits otherwise are Santander and Gijon, a 65nm hop. Ribasedailla is perfectly placed half way.

I leave you with one other shot. Ribasedella has a supberb beach and along that beach live the rich and famous of Spain. Possibly including the Adams family.

I’ll publish this now – brings me closer to actuality and not such a big post next time.