18th December 2011. (43:32.7N 5:39.9W). Gijon, NE Spain.

Matt Stafford and Rohan Buckley
Sun 18 Dec 2011 08:45

Getting tired of saying we are off to the Canaries for we are not there
yet. Our run of rough weather hit us again in the Bay of Biscay on the
13th…. And we set off downwind to the city of Gijon in the south of the
Bay of Biscay. We were almost across the bay sailing strong when the wind
backed 90 degrees and blew up to 40+ knots gusting to above 50 at times.
The change in direction was expected, but the ferocity in which it hit us
was not. So with just a very reefed headsail only we had to turn with the
weather and literally surfed South-east for a day to get shelter. A tough
24 hours on the boat and bodies and not something we would like to do
again in a hurry. The Bay of Biscay lived up to its notorious reputation
as she kept blowing for another 4 days. I think we are lucky we were
almost across. Anyway, what kind of nutters sail the Biscay in December
anyway... ;)

Gijon is a very pleasant city and not a bad pace to wait for the weather
to abate. We spent a few days catching up on sleep and patching the old
girl up some more. Once again she proved to be a solid and reliable boat
to put up with that last 2 days at sea. Now the weather has eased off we
are once again off to get around the infamous Cape Finisterre and sail
south. Weather actually looks light for the next few days which could
mean some motoring, but we shall see. Wish us luck ………………….