Biscay crossing to La Coruna

Suzie Too - Western Caribbean
David & Suzanne Chappell
Sun 14 Jun 2009 16:23

Well in the end waiting for the best weather was never going to happen. In the old summers we used to get the Azores High pressure set in, the lows all tracked north over Scotland, and you had a great run across Biscay and downwind along the western coast of Portugal. Nowadays our summers seem to be in between Low pressures that track in every 3 days from the Atlantic bringing wind and rain.


So we found a gap between 2 Lows and poked our nose out Thursday morning from between Tresco and Bryher and headed south past Bishop Rock lighthouse, the Start / Finish line of all the Transatlantic runs and the race was on, making about 9.5kts we would arrive in 1day and 18hrs – well that didn’t last.




The pictures to prove we went past Bishops Rock Lighthouse the start of our 460 miles across Biscay


At least going from the Scilly Iles put us 70M west of Ushant and the TSS and meant all the larger cargo vessels were always well clear to port of us as we all headed to Cape Finistere. For 12 hours we flew down our rhumb line until the wind came right on the bow and left us with options of tacking to France or New York, but we kept sailing into the night in steady F4/5 over night on Suzanne’s watch we got a big squall go over with 27kts over the deck and Suzanne was left doing more sail changes than Dame Ellen.


We did 3 hour shifts which seemed to work out fine, but the next day the wind just gradually disappeared and we were down to 1.7 knots I could blow faster, so on went the engine and we motor sailed most of the remaining miles, that’s when you notice the swell. David was fine but I was ill, sick all the next night but as a trooper still did my watch.



Dead or alive, even after a shower I felt crap but at least I had head down for 3 hours..


The highlights of the trip across where the numerous pods of Dolphins, 2 different types, blue nosed dolphins and common dolphins, most rushed over to greet us and swim in our bow wake at least it took our minds of the boring trip as it just goes on and on you know!!!




As you can see we had no wind, calm seas, but what a swell ugh



We had a visitor come right in the saloon and even flew into our cabin – it looked like a swallow – so I named her “Spitor Swallow” (David’s sense of humour), but after a short rest she was away couldn’t stand David’s jokes.



Ended up motoring the last 1/3 of the journey arriving at the entrance in the dark about midnight so slowed right down as nervous of entering a new harbour in the pitch black even with all the gismo’s and floated on the wind for a few hours until we could see where we were I went to bed for an extra couple of hours.


Now at anchor in Green bay, sheltered and not much swell.  Going to bed to sleep for a full 8 hours luxury and will explore La Cornua tomorrow as we have to check into customs etc.


Good night from a very sleepy crew on Suzie Too xxxx