Bay of Biscay Passage

Stephen & Anne
Sat 29 Sep 2007 16:02

43:22.065N 8:23.736W


Oh my god! What an experience – we’ve now crossed the Bay of Biscay.


It took 55 hours non stop, 3 days and 2 nights. The rolling with the swells were just amazing, constant, non stop day and night.



Day 1 – Wednesday 26/9/07


We set off from Cameret Sur Mer to La Coruna along with Jen & Chris on Mistletoe. The winds had being high for the past couple of days and so the sea around was choppy (bit of an understatement). The exit from Cameret was quite bumpy – but we had been told that it would improve once we got past the land.


Yoyo meowed most of the time, saying what are you doing to me! Koshka hid under the “all protecting duvet” on our bed. We were thinking “Help. Why are we doing this? What have we done? Can we join Koshka under the quilt”


By the time we got past the land – the wind had picked up and the sea were very confused – waves from all directions, but the thought that it would improve beyond the Atlantic shelf kept us going on (and the fact that getting back to Cameret would be pretty awful as we would be battling into the wind).


As it got dark a pod of Dolphins came to play in our bow waves which somehow made us both feel a bit better.


During the night the winds increased even more. The wind were 25-30kn all the time and gusting upto 35kn (which we later calculated to be F6-7, gusting F8). We lost contact with Mistletoe during the night.


Koshka stayed asleep under the duvet all night.



Day 2 – Thursday 27/9/07


The weather and seas were more settled, especially after crossing the Atlantic shelf (where the water depth changed from 100m to 4500m). We were now able to eat a little bread and water and felt more at ease.


The day started quiet. The only real activity was Stephen being buzzed by an aircraft. However towards the end of the day the mizzen traveler failed (a rivet holding a pulley failed). It was virtually the only deck gear we hadn’t replaced as it looked ok. Guess what is #1 on our list to do!  Anyway we managed to lower the sail, strap the mizzen down (with our handy emergency rope we keep on hand just in case we need some rope!), and continued on our way.


Yoyo was getting more active and came on deck. Stephen let her on night watch and decided that having a warm cat to stroke made the watch go quicker…until a wave threw Stephen across the boat and he nearly fell on Yoyo – she jumped quickly out of the way and is now banned from being on deck unless the seas are calm.


Koshka slept on the bed above the duvet!



Day 3 – Friday 28/9/07


This was more like what we had signed up for – blue skies and sun and calmer seas. The wind picked up a bit and we did some sailing. Yoyo was more active.


Koshka slept on the nav seat.


We arrived in La Coruna about 6pm, showered, ate a meal and started to worry about our friends on Mistletoe – we had lost contact early Thursday morning, and as they are much more experienced sailors, we expected them in before us.


We were just starting to think about going to bed when they arrived. So we greeted them on the quay side and invited them over for some drinks. Despite being absolutely shattered, we somehow managed to stay awake drinking G&T’s and catching up on their adventure. By 2:30am and, we hasten to add BEFORE the second bottle of gin was finished, we called it a night.  Mistletoe renamed our boat Galloping Dragon as they saw us sail of into the distance (actually we were on divergent headings)


Anyway it’s Saturday morning Koshka now needs to catch up on some much missed sleep, Yoyo has the boat and deck to explore. We now need to start checking, repairing and giving Wanda some much deserved TLC, after she has looked after us so well over the last few days.