Bay of Biscay crossing: Plymouth, Falmouth, Camaret, La Coruna


A place for either a male or female sailor has just become available on this trip due to cancellation. Sailing across the Bay of Biscay is on the to do list for many yachtsmen.  Why, because it has gained itself a fierce reputation for strong winds and big waves and so crossing it safely is a big achievement. 

This will be our 12th southbound crossing of the Bay of Biscay aboard Velvet Lady.  Yes the weather can be rough, we choose carefully when to leave Plymouth, but what better way to experience it than on a good solid 55 foot Oyster.

Our Voyage highlights include

  • Exhilarating sailing
  • 550 miles for your log book
  • Day sails to Fowey and Falmouth
  • Crossing shipping lanes on an overnight sail from Falmouth to Camaret (France)
  • Conquering the Bay of Biscay
  • Making landfall in new places and working out pilotage plans
  • Taking part in a watch system
  • Learning how to helm in all conditions
  • Experiencing the beauty of sunrises, sunsets and starry skies
  • Opportunity to try a sextant and navigate by the stars
  • Enjoy the sound of the waves on the boat and the feel of the wind in your hair
  • Sample some superb French cuisine in Camaret
  • Anchor in a secluded bay in the Spanish Rias
  • Finish with some Spanish Tapas ashore on the last night
New to long distance sailing - This is a great introduction trip. We progress from day sailing to night sailing to passagemaking in stages to let you get your sealegs.


Is it a course?

We do not run formal courses, we prefer to learn by being out at sea and experiencing whatever comes!  This trip is ideal for milebuilding, gaining confidence at sailing in more challenging conditions and gaining experience towards a future Yachtmaster certificate.   You will not be a passenger.  You will be expected to take a full and active part in the watch system.   You will be able to learn from us about course shaping and plotting, tides (including secondary port calculations), passage planning and passage making, how to interpret weather forecasts and collision regulations.   There are also plenty of opportunities to practice navigation and work out tides as we approach the  French and Spanish coasts.

At a Glance

Join at 1800 on 6th October,

Depart at 1000 on 16th October, 2018

£1195 fully inclusive on board. (meals taken ashore not included)For dull details  see What's Included

Plymouth,UK/La Coruna, Northern Spain

Difficulty Level AAAA - click for more info  
AAAA milebuilding passage.

This trip includes a mix of day sailing, overnight sailing and then offshore sailing with 72 hours watchkeeping. Previous sailing experience of at least 10 days required for this trip

10 nights

The Route
See Map

Travel Information Plymouth
Travel Information La Coruna

What to bring

Read Velvet Guest Book
See Velvet Photos
Read Velvet Lady Blog

See our Notes on Ocean Passages

This is a sample itinerary based on what is possible looking at the chart –on offshore passages the weather dictates the programme and the interim ports.

Day 1 – Arrive on board 1800.  Welcome, introductions and itinerary discussion. Dinner served on board at 2000

Day 2 – Breakfast followed by safety briefing.  An opportunity to learn about the boat and where things are kept – short day sail to Fowey (15 nm, 3 - 5 hours)

Day 3 – After a night spent on a mooring buoy we head south from Fowey to Falmouth and may be in time for a look around the Maritime Museum.  (25 nm, 5 hours)

Day 4  - Work out the tides and head south from Falmouth, past Lizard point and into the English Channel.  This will be our first night sail with a passage of about 24 hours.  We are likely to cross the shipping lanes in the dark so there will be plenty to look out for.

Day 5 –  Round Ouessant in the early hours of the morning and practice your navigation heading towards Camaret in the Rade de Brest.  We should arrive in Camaret around noon and have plenty of time to sample some French cuisine. (150 nm, 24 hours).  A night ashore in Camaret.

Day 6 – Now that we have our sea legs it is time to set off on the Bay of Biscay crossing – we will keep a close eye on the weather and time our departure accordingly.  We will start in with watches as soon as we depart. (First night at sea)

Day 7 – Continue with the  watchkeeping routine as we continue across the Bay of Biscay for a second night at sea.

Day 8 – Continue with the  watchkeeping routine as we  continue across the Bay of Biscay, if the weather has been kind to us we may make landfall today but more likely a third night at sea and make landfall tomorrow.

Day 9–  Make landfall and arrive in one of the pretty little Rias on the north coast of Spain to the east of Coruna. (320 nm passage,  72 hours)

Day 10– For our last day we have a day sail along the coastline to La Coruna, and a chance to admire the lush green landscape of Galicia. (30 nm, 6 hours)

Day 11– Breakfast, depart

This is an example itinerary of an ocean passage sailing holiday aboard Velvet Lady.  Our milebuilding trips are all about enjoying sailing and the beauty of being at sea without the pressure of being on a course. This year we aim to make stops in Fowey, Falmouth and then Camaret before setting off across the 'Bay'. This gives you the opportunity to gather your sea legs before the longer 350nm passage.
You will not be a passenger.  You will be expected to take a full and active part in the watch system.  If this is your first long passage – no problem, you are welcome to join us.  Our first days of day sailing will be just the thing for you to gain your sea legs.  Velvet Lady is an Oyster 55 skippered yacht.  All our sailing holidays are weather dependent and the exact itinerary will be decided by the skipper to suit the weather conditions. For other trips and sample itineraries please see our schedule.

  • Date: 6th - 16th October 2018
  • 1 Berths available

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