Our first river anchorage: Villaviciosa

Cruising into the sunset

What an amazing place to stay! It was so worth to enter the narrow, difficult (definitely to us) entrance to the “ría de Villaciosa”, the estuary of Villaciosa. It is only possible to enter and leave the ría around high water, in daylight and in suitable weather conditions with possibly no waves or swell. Due to this consideration, we left Santander Sunday April 21st at 10:30am to make sure we have plenty of time for the 96nm trip to arrive in time for highwater and daylight. In the end we were a bit early which made us wait for roughly an hour to get in. The sunrise was at 7:30; twenty minutes later we anchored in the river being very proud 😉 and quite tired.

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That is the entrance, I know it doesn’t look narrow but it is! The HW covers all the stones.
our anchorage

In my night shift I choosed to be the Easter bunny. My idea was to surprise mi capitano in the morning with a nice Easter bread and some Easter eggs. I didn’t have time to color them ;-)…damn!  Anyhow the surprise worked! Yeah! After a little nap we had a nice Easter brunch with fresh bread and uncoloured Easter eggs. Yammi.

so nice

Being spoilt by the beautiful surrouding of our anchorage we couldn’t see and inhale enough of it. We felt so free and happy! Like, for the first time, real sailors 🙂
Experiencing the movement of the boat in the current of the river was also special (at least to me). Usually the boat lies always in direction of the wind (of course), but with the current it’s different as it is much stronger than the wind. It feels weird. Wind pushing the boat from the side but the boat is not moving at all, unless the current is weakening.

I like palm trees
He was joining us ashore
Altimate in the ría
Different kind of growing snales

In the afternoon, after being convinced that the anchor holds in the current, we were in the mood to take Jalu for a ride and decided to go ashore at the west side of the river. We let ourselfes drift to stretch our legs. Lots of impressions and pics later we hopped over to the other side of the river because we were hoping to find a little bar to treat us with a nice drink. Just when we approched the little beach to go ashore two policemen came towards us. You can be assure we were surprised. First we thought they didn’t like where we left our dinghy but soon it turned out that they wanted us to leave the ría (including Altimate 😉 ). We tried to understand why and were negotiating if we could stay at least the night.”No” was the sad answer. I think they said something  about nature reserve to give us a reason. Even though the official coastel guide books didn’t say anything about it… Anyhow, with our exceedingly high quality spanish 🙂 and their muy pequeño english there was no discussion possible. Well, hell ( I like this expression, thank you Laurie 😉 ) shit happens (excuse my language)! We were a little (to very) annoyed and also disappointed but there was not much time to think about it as it was 7 pm and high tide. A possible time to leave. So we jumped into Jalu and speeded back to Altimate. Got the dinghy ready, lifted the anchor and off we were.

leaving the ría

I think that is what is called “boat life”? Things can change within minutes; even though I thought this was more related to weather conditions…
We thought of having a nice, quiet evening with an easy dinner, a glas of vine and an early sleep, instead we were forced to travel on.:-( Fortunately we new immedeately our destination and didn’t have to struggle with not knowing where to go espeacially leaving into the darkness. Finally Gíjon, 15 nm further west, was our finish of the day. It was a three hour trip with an easy approach. The LR crew was already there and helped us finding a berth and with the lines at 10:30 pm.
Harbour beer and off to bed. Good night! 🙂


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