Post Biscay

Everyone is happy to have crossed Biscay. We caught up with Sacha who single handed the Atlantic circuit and he is with Monica and his mum, Siggy. We met in Grenada and again in the Azores. As a family we are re-united again with just the UK shore team missing. Will has joined us for a week’s holiday and has settled in very well.

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Brest arrival delayed by Starfish

One lucky starfish about to get minced through the bow roller but spotted whilst checking the angle on the chain. Would it let go? Not on your life. The first attempt to remove it was to douse it with a litre of fresh water. At first nothing happened so we were pondering step 2, maybe a bit of salt and vinegar? Alas it found fresh water so disgusting that it pealed itself away and fell to the depths.

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Biscay Battered Day 2

It doesn’t matter what the wind is doing this patch of sea is totally unpredictable and quite mad. The waves have no pattern or shape to them and it can be relatively calm for 30 minutes and then turn wild again within a few hundred yards. All in 15 to 25kn of wind. It is almost spring tide so the currents are running. Now I know how it feels to be a battered cod. What am I talking about? I have no idea but after being Biscay Battered for 48 hours with almost no sleep because conditions are changing that frequently it seems like a reasonable comparison at this time. How do you otherwise explain a sea that makes no sense?

Eventually arrived and anchored off Camaret beach at midmight. We then experienced something totally alien to us; COLD! It was cold. As we dropped anchor the deck was cold, the windlass, the chain. We haven’t felt anything like it for over 12 months.

We waited until next day to switch courtesy flags.

During one of the calms we got some photo’s of yacht Early Dawn heading south

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Biscay Madness

And the rough night turned to a rougher day. How can waves that size develop on the back of 20kn wind? It was getting big in the afternoon and we were already facing being unable to make Brest simply because we were unable, and unwilling, to climb the wave faces. But at around 6pm the wind dropped to 10kn, the waves mellowed, the tide turned and life has been OK since then. The wind bounced back to 20kn, backed to WNW, and now we are on easy street fro a run to Brest with about 140nm to go. Fingers crossed the next tidal change doesn’t cause a re-think and that shallow waters across the shelf at least maintain this composure. We started eating a little for the first time after a day and a half, straight from the tin. Food from Guadalupe. Sounds exotic and it’s hard to believe we were ever there!

Biscay Badness Day 1

Nobody wanted to leave La Coruna and we had to force ourselves to let go the lines; what an amazing city in August. And I can vouch for the medical facilities and staff as well. Up until about 40nm offshore everyone wanted to U-turn but there is a point far enough from the shoreline that breaks the tie. We held onto our Caribbean experience and put a reef in the main as we left the marina. Within 500 yards the wind dropped from 15 knots to not much. As everyone else raced around under full sail we found it hard to stay as we were but we wanted to wait to see what the point would deliver. The speed crept up. the wind filled in and suddenly we were having to reef in 25kn of wind. That then became 35kn and we are now deeper reefed in the main than we have ever been. The sea was running large when out came Finisterre traffic with the news that Gale Force 8 and rough seas were expected for the next nine hours. We thought about hiding in a Ria but we have been in heavy weather before so headed for deep water. So far it’s been a rough night, we have had some lightning, and the wind has been mainly in the 18 to 28kn band. We are holding our course for Brest and expecting things to ease a bit around noon tomorrow. Sleep has not been possible due to sail changes but there’s always a chance of a nap in the morning…