Biscay the well rounded view!
Well we had to motor the last twenty miles to La Coruna, the passage from Camaret was lively, to say the least, on Monday night we were caught in a full Biscay gale, force 8 winds and 5 metre waves. It was all a bit hairy, Howard and Paul were on deck all night helming the boat and keeping watch for other shipping. The waves threw the 16 tons of Jigsaw around like a table tennis ball, the boat stood up well to the treatment and the crew were in fine form, if a trifle suprised by the force of the winds, and the sheer size of the waves. The term breathtaking is, for once, appropriate. The sight of many tons of water rolling, inexorably, towards the boat time after time was awesome. Each wave that was succesfully negotiated was immediately replaced by another equally enourmous! (A bit like CSCI inspections for those of you who work in Local Authorities)
Prior to the gale the passage had been wonderfully relaxed, we set up the rig with the Hydrovane steering and the Aquagen towing behind producing electricity to keep the ships services running, then did not touch the sails for around 30 hours. We sailed on and on with the boat taking care of itself whilst we read, played slept etc. a first real taste of ocean voyaging. Open sea passage making is much different to mooching around the Channel or Thames Estuary, we did not see another boat for a day and a half, more dolphins than ship or yachts.
When you went to sleep you'd fall out of the bed, at least a dozen times. But there was compensations the day before,namely the numerous dolphins and whales. Molly
Wow and glad it's over at the same time. Filled with a great sense of achievement at having crossed Biscay (I think). The gale which built up from about 8 o'clock in the evening, was a sight to behold, the waves took on the appearance of mountains hurtling towards you at terrific speed. Paul and Howard did a great job in keeping the boat upright and moving despite my request for 'hove to' and let it pass!!! Kate, Molly and I were located below decks and it felt like we were in a washing machine. I am delighted at how well Kate and Molly coped, they were calm and demonstrated a level of resilience beyond their years, fantastic!!!
The passage was not all rough I am pleased to say, we were treated to numerous displays of dolphins dancing in the bow waves, sighted whales and saw for the first time a submarine sailing above water.
Looking forward to the ongoing journey and feel more confident about our ability to cross the Atlantic.
Now that we have finished our first long crossing, I think that the good side was seeing the dolphins (loads of them!) and the spouting of whales (a few). Molly and me are also learing how to jump of and tie the boat onto the pontoon. Kate