Oct 12, 2013

Bay of Biscay


I've heard so many stories about the Bay of Biscay. Usually they consist of strong winds and monster waves. We didn't meet either of these.

We believe that the main reason was our lack of schedule. We can wait for the good weather prognosis (and then hope for it to be accurate).

We were not alone with our plans, since quite a few other boats left Brest the same day. 

Swedish "Rose" leaving Brest

All the boats that we new that headed for the Biscay left during the day. We waited for the evening and high water so we had the advantage of the tidal current to begin with.

The first night and day we saw some fishing boats and other sailing boats. We also saw some dolphins, I just love to watch those creatures to swim around us.

The second night was pitch black and all we saw was stars. There weren't even any AIS targets on the chart plotter. Just for the reference, when we passed Rotterdam there were 421 AIS targets on our system.

On the North Sea and English Channel we also got quite use to the constant voices on VHF. Now there was no sounds for over 24 hours. It's easier to sleep when it's quite, but there's also sometimes funny things on the air. Like in the English channel when there were "securite" messages warning the traffic about cross channel swimmers. There were three swimmers at the time we were there.

On the Third night we got some AIS targets again, Spanish fishing boats, passenger ship and some cargo ships.

Most of the way we were only using our main sail. For the first day it was hoisted all the way, the second day we had one reef and the third day we had it down to two reefs. In the end we opened our head sail a bit (while the main was still reefed).

Crossing the Bay of Biscay took us 69 hours for the 357 NM.