The Cíes Islands are an archipelago off the coast of Pontevedra in Galicia, in the mouth of the Ria de Vigo. They were declared a Nature Reserve in 1980 and are included in the Atlantic Islands of Galicia National Park created in 2002. The Cíes comprise three islands, Monteagudo (North Island), do Faro (Lighthouse Island) and San Martiño (Saint Martin).
The North Canal separates Monteagudo from the Morrazo peninsula, while the Freu da Porta Strait separates San Martiño from the coast of Cape Santoulo. Rodas Beach links Do Faro island to the North Island. During high tide the sea flows between the islands on the western side and, blocked by the beach, fills the lagoon between the sand and the rocks. At one hundred and ninety-seven metres, Alto das Cíes on Monteagudo is the highest point.
Near vertical cliffs of over one hundred metres rise on the western side, and many caves have been formed by erosion from the sea and the wind. The eastern side is less steep, covered by woods and bushes and protected from the Atlantic winds, which allows beaches and dunes to form.
The freighter had made good progress and was in place outside Spanish territorial waters as darkness fell. Four men from the crew lowered the inflatable boat into the water and stowed two waterproof canvas bags. The two men on board thanked God for their opportunity. They opened the throttles gently and slid out into the open sea, heading for a particular cave.
Within twenty minutes they’d arrived and placed the six-foot long bags onto a ledge just above sea level. Here they would remain until collected by people who would put the contents to good use. Satisfied their work was done, the men returned to the freighter. Twenty minutes later the inflatable was at the bottom of the ocean and the freighter was heading back to the Mediterranean. This time it would take a different route and risk being stopped by the navy, as there was nothing left to hide. The freighter had delivered its cargo.