Day 3: At sea in Biscay

Soutpiel Safari
John & Jenny
Mon 8 Nov 2010 08:27
Day 3: 7 November 2010. On board Brittany Ferries "La Bretagne" headed for Santander. Position at 2015 N47 21.8  W005 02.5 Distance driven 20 km.
We left John and Christine's in sunshine and drove 20 km to Millbay Docks in Plymouth to board Brittany Ferries. On checking-in we were advised of a shipping forecast of Force 10 tonight!  In mid-channel the seas got up to about 3-4 m but have since subsided as we head down the west coast of Brittany with the lights of Raz de Sein away to port and Ushant away astern of us.  Even on the upper deck it is very difficult to judge the wind strength and wave height.  There are no significant white horses so it is probably less than force 5.
The ferry is not very crowded and we have relaxed this afternoon watching the Brazilian Grand Prix, the penultimate race of the season, with Red Bull clinching the Constructor's championship.
We took the buffet in the  "Les Abers"  restaurant; the meal was good but there were very few customers - perhaps everyone is concerned about the forecast?  At 2030 the motion is still very comfortable - the pitching experienced earlier has changed to a gentle roll.  Shortly after arrival we asked if we could visit the bridge but were told that it was no longer allowed "for security reasons" - a ridiculous excuse.  Professional mariners continue to complain (often with good cause) about the lack of understanding by small craft operators of their difficulties when manoeuvering in harbours and channels in the proximity of many small craft.  Surely letting us onto their bridges to observe such manoeuvering would lead to a better understanding?
                                                                                         Leaving Plymouth Sound