The English flotilla congregates. (Ruffian, Annie and Persephone)

8th August 2020

Finisterre, Galicia, Spain – Bornalle, Muros, Spain via Muros, Spain, Abelleira, Muros, Spain & San Francisco, Muros Spain

In a normal house-based life, happiness is a complicated affair. The simple pleasures of warm rooms, a secure home and clean clothes are a hum drum daily affair. On Ruffian we’ve come to revel in these simple pleasures and appreciate that joy is bought by them, this is of course along with the constant ability to discover new places, walk deserted beaches and rekindle old friendships.

Saying goodbye temporarily to “Annie” we also said goodbye to the western most point of Europe. Heading south however was supposed to be warm but Fiona found this anything but. As Iain wore his usual attire of shorts and t-shirt, Fiona dived deep into the depths of her lockers to don jeans, thermals, boots and a jacket. The joy of being warm flowed over her even and even the slow last couple of miles couldn’t remove this snuggliness.

The call of the laundry in Muros was as strong as the smell of the clothes in our overflowing laundry bag. In a house you simply wander into your laundry room, load a machine and a couple of hours later with the waft of alpine meadows drifting in the air warm dry clean clothes are delivered. In Muros we had a similar experience but with all sorts of bonuses.

As we recovered from the pungent smell of the month-old laundry, we found the delights of this most remarkable establishment. For entertainment Fiona took to the Chinese supermarket next door which sold everything from mouse traps to movies and wellies to wool, this left Iain alone in the laundry with a black board, chalk and an unrestrained imagination.

The waters around Muros seemed to exude 2 things, amazing beaches and abundant life. We sailed from perfect beach to perfect beach where we literally had the run of the hills and the whole of the beach to recover on, while around Ruffian fishermen set their nets and pulled out the poor unsuspecting fish.

The fish not only had to be worried about the fishermen they also had to be worried about other more aquatic based dangers. Everywhere we looked in the Ria dolphins hunted the fish, herding them into the rocks and cornering them the shallows. It wasn’t just for our delight that they jumped and splashed, it was to the delight of the pods as they fed like kings, gorging themselves on the abundance of the seas.

All the perfect beaches seemed to have a backdrop of hills that touched the clouds and we’d heard that one of these hills contained an age old treasure. With the sun low in the sky Brock took us to the foot of the hill and up we climbed. Within moments we were walking paths lined with walls from another age a network of fields and old dwellings were being taken over by the dense overgrowth. Cresting the hill, now with a full view of the ria far below and with no protection from the sun above, the treasure was at our feet. In a different era, stone-age man had taken the time to map out the seasons and make his mark in the rock-hard stone. He must have toiled for years slowly making circles and indents which would tell when the seasons were changing, when to plant crops, when and when to sacrifice a goat/virgin/first born… (according to Iain anyway).

With beaches having been explored, deserted beaches walked we just had one last Ruffian joy to behold, the kindling of old friendships. After completing and epic 1500 mile upwind sail from the Canaries “Persephone” was entering the Ria with tales of daring do, peeling sails and sailing without reading books or facing backwards!.

Right on queue the sleek lines of “Persephone” slipped into the Ria, her foiled sails, bendy mast and running backstays in stark contrast to all those boats around her. It was like we’d never been apart and it showed that although we had taken joy in being warm, donning clean clothes, walking deserted beaches and discovering gems from another age, the highlight was in the people you meet and the friendships you form.

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Author: Iain & Fiona Lewis

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