Biscay 1

Lesley & Derek Mercer
Sun 24 Jul 2011 02:18
47:28.1N 005:25.2W
First day in Biscay.  It’s 3 am, and I am on watch.  Pitch black out there, can’t see anything.  Fortunately we have both radar and AIS, a sort of cross between radar and VHF (radio) which shows me all the vessels out there.  A real mixture: we have had rigs being towed, cable laying vessel and the inevitable fishermen prancing all over the place.
Well we left l’Aber Wacht this morning after a good night’s sleep, refuelling both boat and crew, and topping up on water.  We did have a problem with our watermaker, but after a couple of emails to the company who fitted the system, was able to diagnose and treat the airlock, so all back to normal.  We went through the Chenal du Four partly because I want to be able to prop up the bar and say: “Well, of course, I have done the Chenal......”, but also because it kept us out of shipping lanes.  It’s not as much fun as Portland race, or sneaking between the French coast and Sark.  As we headed out into Biscay, I was suddenly called up by a French customs boat, who checked us out by radio, and seemed happy enough once we told them where we had come from and where we were headed.
We are now motorsailing again, as the wind is too far from the SW, and not enough from the W to allow us to make headway to our destination.  The forecast looks good for the next couple of days, so fingers crossed.