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18th January, 2018


After leaving Tenerife on Monday and having 2 days at sea with some fairly lumpy seas we made our way towards Vigo. This was not on the original itinerary, however with the long Atlantic NW’ly swells this port offers some excellent protection from the weather with its sheltered natural harbour.

There are two entrances into Vigo and we took the Canal Del Sur or Southern entrance. The swell was running at 3-4 meters but with this great sea ship and our stabilizer fins we made a comfortable approach through the 1M wide southern entrance. It appeared as though the entire Vigo fishing fleet had come out to meet us. Once inside the bay the seas eased very quickly and just before the pilot embarked we were able to bring our stabilizer fins in. With the pilot on board at 0745 we then proceeded at slow speed towards our berth, passing the berth ½ m off and then conducted a large swing to stb’d before docking alongside at 0830. It was lovely to be alongside, and we were going to have an overnight in port.

Vigo is a city and municipality in the province of Pontevedra, in Galicia on the NW coast of Spain. Vigo is actually one of the largest and most important fishing ports in all of Europe, and is also a regular stop for cruise ships with tours to Santiago de Compostela, and Bayona. Vigo also has some interesting history as it was attacked by the English Admiral Sir Francis Drake in 1585 and 1589. In 1702 a British-Dutch fleet under Sir George Rooke and James Butler, Duke of Ormonde, destroyed a Franco-Spanish Fleet in the bay.

I had not been to Vigo for about 3 years so was delighted to catch up with a very good friend who is in charge of the port agency for Vigo, and the rest of Spain. When asked out for lunch I could not resist as I love Spanish food. With Empanadas, grilled Pulpo (Octopus), Pimientos de Padron (local small peppers shallow fried in oil and rock salt) and some beautiful monkfish I was totally spoilt. Of course we had a small glass of Spanish wine to wash it all down which was excellent as well.

With an overnight stay in port we had a special dinner with our “Diamond” club members who have sailed with us for more than a 1,000 nights – yes more than 1,000 nights. There were 14 on board so the restaurant team created a special table to accommodate a total of 18 of us. After the 3rd course of a 7 course menu I was beginning to regret having eaten so much for lunch!!! Fortunately the first 2 courses were more like tasters. A fantastic evening was had by all.

The following morning we slipped our lines quietly and gently manoeuvred off the dock to retrace part of our tracks out of Vigo harbour, and then exited via the North Channel en route for Southampton.

Captain Julian Burgess

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