Legs 9-14 Galicia, Spain

The day after our arrival in Aldan the rain began and was forecasted to continue for the next three days so we decided to move further up the Ria Pontevedra to Combarro marina a short trip of 12.8nm. It was an opportunity to give the boat a clean up both inside and outside and re-provision our food and beverage stores as the local supermarket deliver to the marina. On our last visit to Combarro in 2018 there were twelve Irish boats in port but on this trip there was just one. From speaking with Maria, the lovely marina manager they have had a very quiet summer season this year.

The weather improved again so on Friday 21st August we moved back to our favourite anchorage in Galicia at Aldan. There are a number of reasons why we really like this anchorage, it is a lovely bay, it has two quays to land and safely leave the dinghy for shore trips which is important for us with a dog onboard, there is a bakery with lots of delicious treats, cafes, butchers and green grocers and lovely walks around the beaches and in the woods nearby. Over that weekend it was busy with mostly local boats and some foreign boats who were heading south to the Mediterranean or to cross the Atlantic later in the year.

Liam took the opportunity of the nice warm weather to dive under the boat and inspect the propellor and shaft after our altercation with the fishing pot. He discovered that the cutless rubber bearing on the propellor shaft was gone. This was something that would need to be repaired before we set off for the long trip across the Bay of Biscay to Cork. The boat would need to be lifted out of the water.

The next day it was Liam’s birthday so we stayed in Aldan, the sun was shining, baking was done onboard and a lovely alfresco dinner was had in the cockpit.

Birthday Boy

On Tuesday 25th August at 09:50hrs we raised anchor took advantage of the southerly winds and sailed north to Muros. We needed to minimise the use of the engine until we could do a temporary repair to the shaft which we thought would be enough to get us home. At 17:05hrs we docked at the marina in Muros, a total trip of 37.4nm. We were greeted by the charming Pedro who manages the marina and whom we had met on two previous visits. We explained our issue to him and a after quick phone call to the boatyard manager a lift out was arranged at 15:30hrs the following day.

After three hours of Maggie hanging on slings of the Travel Lift the temporary repair was complete. Liam inserted a PVC bushing into the shaft tube to fill the gap of the missing cutless bearing. This would keep the shaft secure in the tube when the engine is in use.

Of course this was always only a temporary repair just to get Maggie and her crew back to our home port of Crosshaven. Then over the winter a proper repair could be done as the rudder and propellor would need to be removed, the shaft checked to ensure it was not bent, and also the gearbox needs an overhaul so all of this work would take some time to complete.

On Sunday 30th August at 07:30hrs we departed Muros to move north past Cabo Finisterre to the port of Muxia, a trip of 36.4nm. It was not a pleasant trip with Northerly winds forcasted for the day but it would give us a better departure location to begin our journey home. It was also a good test of the temporary repair on the shaft and it all felt good when moving from forward gear to reverse there was no vibration. When in port in Muxia Liam dived in for a quick look at the repair to ensure it was still in tact and all looked good.

There was a favourable weather system of South Westerly winds building in the atlantic which we would pick up after one day of motor sailing in light winds and then it would be a three day sail direct to Cork. We were ready and a excited to be on the last leg home.

On Monday 31st August at 07:30hrs we departed Muxia marina with our next intended destination of Crosshaven. It was a lovely sunny day and we motored along at 5/6 knots in calm seas towards the shipping lanes which are located about 25nm from the mainland. Around mid-day the engine started to sound a bit laboured and when Liam went down to the engine bay to investigate further he noticed that the propellor shaft tube was warm. We had to shut down the engine. At this point we were 20nm offshore, in very light winds. We made a very disappointing decision to turn back. There was no way we could attempt to cross the busy shipping lanes with no engine and the SW winds were not due to kick in for at least another twenty hours. At that time we had very little wind and at times no wind so had we continued under sail we might not be far enough off shore to pick up the SW winds. It took us nine long hours to sail back to the port of Camarianas. At times Liam was in the dinghy pushing us along as we had no wind.

We could not get assistance to get to the marina so we started the engine on very low revs just to get us berthed. Unfortunately the travel lift at that port was not suitable to lift Maggie so we stayed one night and left the following morning as there was strong northerly winds so we could sail back down the coast to Muros. We contacted the marina at Muros in advance to let them know we would be returning later that day. Despite the disappointment of the crew we had a lovely sail back to Muros. The marina manager on duty telephoned us as we entered the Ria to ask if we needed any assistance and to let us know that he had been keeping watch of our progress down the coast. He had a berth organised which would be easy for us to manoeuvre into and a big welcome back on our arrival at the marina.

A new Cutless Bearing was sourced and on the way. The sun was shining so we had plenty of walks with Schooner and he also had a few swims so he was a very happy doggy. I had a trip to the hair salon and we also celebrated our wedding anniversary.

On Tuesday 15th September the boatyard had a space to shore up Maggie so we packed our bags and moved to a lovely apartment in a great location just off the town square and close to the boatyard.

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