44:43.37N 5:13.12W 11:00 Thursday 29 July 2010 Biscay Day 2

We slipped from the Porte de Minimes in La Rochelle at 07:00 on Tuesday and headed out into not much wind, but at least it was from a sensible direction and the engine was quickly dispensed with.  Light wind sails allowed us to make some progress and lunch was taken at 13:00 off the north end of the Ile d’Oleron with the next waypoint our landfall in northern Spain, some 310 nm away.

 

The wind gradually filled in and for most of the night we made 8 knots plus, and all in the right direction – a first for our southerly passages of the Bay of Biscay where previously we have had head winds.

 

A good pasta meal was taken before we settled down for a quiet but fast night.  The Continental Shelf was crossed between 22:00 and 23:00 and was benign.  Every crossing of the Bay we have seen the Pride of Bilbao, Portsmouth to Bilbao ferry; this time was no exception although we only saw it on the chart plotter AIS display, it being 20 miles away.

 

Cold dawn brought a drop in wind and a change to light sails.  The wind is  now strengthening and lunch is under construction – hot sausage baguettes!

 

We settled into an informal watch structure last night and have both managed some sensible rest overnight and into Day 2.