Night Approximation: Due to the difficulty of entering and the scarcity of light buoys, entering at night is not recommended if you are not perfectly familiar with this estuary or you are not sailing with the assistance of a local pilot or sailor. It is better to seek shelter in the nearby Cariño fishing port until dawn.
To reach the port at Cariño from the E, sail based on the light at Estaca de Bares (Gp Fl(2)W 7.5s 101m 25M). Once passed it, sail towards the light on Cabo Ortegal (Oc W 8s 124m 18M) until you see the green light (Fl G 2s 14m 3M) on the Cariño port breakwater off the port bow. At that point, set a course for it based on shelter. The port at Cariño is spacious, deep, well sheltered and with plenty of space for anchoring.
Coming from the W, sail based on the light from the Cabo Ortegal lighthouse (Oc W 8s 124m 18M), giving the coast a wide berth to avoid the Os Aguillóns islets. Once passed that, head to starboard based on the green light at the end of the Cariño breakwater (Fl G 2s 14m 3M)
Day aproximación: Ortigueira Marina is located on Santa Marta inlet, at the end of the Ortigueira estuary, between Cabo Ortegal and Estaca de Bares.
The sandbar between Punta Fraile and San Vicente Island has breakers whenever there are groundswells and at low tide, so you should approach with the highest tide, during the day and with favourable seas, noting from a distance where the breakers are and where you can pass so that, once past the sandbar, you can sail through the channel towards Punta Sismundi. Sail close to the W coast of the inlet until you have Punta Fornelos to true S, at which point you will sail towards it until you have got the entrance to the yacht club off the beam.
Be very aware that the channel has minimum draughts of 1.60 m, and at the time these data were collected, it was not properly marked with buoys.
The tidal currents within the channel can be very strong, reaching a maximum of 11 knots in front of Punta Sismundi. If necessary, simply move out of the channel to the E to reduce the effects of the current, although you must always watch the sounding line.
The only danger located somewhat distant from land between Cabo Ortegal and Estaca de Bares are the Pedras Meas, located 0.7 M and 330º from Punta Bandeixa. The draught between them and land is 11 m, while on the sea side it is over 15 m.