After an interesting channel crossing in an almost perfect northerly force 3-4 and a really great sail, we got to Biscay by dawn of day 2. We passed most of the channel shipping during daylight, and contrary to expectations, the big boys gave way to us. Here’s a photo of our closest encounter – about 0.2 miles - after he jinked around our stern. We had only 2 close encounters; both times we were about to take avoiding action but the other party went entirely the other way (so we would have been in trouble if we had changed course).
What a great run though – 154nm in 24 hrs and a full 24 hrs under sail only.
The 2nd photo is in Biscay, showing it’s not always rough or scary, although wind at the time meant we were motor-sailing for 19 of the 2nd 24 hrs.
Day 3 was a bit rougher, but another great sail. It got a bit boisterous during the night – we had to reef twice before the boat felt comfortable in the unpredictable waves. Stuart stood 1st night watch as we approached Spain – and got to see the only wildlife of the whole passage – a pod of dolphins. Timing was pretty spot on though – with the reefs in to slow us down we approached Gijon just after first light. Some confusion between us, ships entering the large commercial harbour next door or working on a huge reclamation scheme, plus a poorly marked one way system, meant we had to put the sails away early and motor in, spoiling our 2nd 24hr sails-only run.