A taste of Biscay weather.

fun-in-the-sun-spanish-riasOur milebuilding trip from La Coruna to Vigo may be along the coast but La Coruna is on the north coast of Spain – and the north coast of Spain is the southern edge of the bay of Biscay.  We could expect to get Biscay style weather.

Our first two days were in the flat waters of Ria Ares, Ria Betanzos and Ria Coruna.  Light breezes and sunshine gave us perfect introductory weather – with a few comments of when will the wind get stronger.  Be careful what you wish for.  Although we were not setting off to sail across the bay,  we still had to round Finisterre.

No one was disappointed.  As we set off north from Coruna for the Spanish Ria of Cedeira we experienced our first Biscay style wind (Force 6) and waves which grew as we became further offshore.  From Cedeira the wind  continued to rise until we were bowling along downwind in a full on Force 8 gale and building seas – We made it around Cap Villano and into the relatively flat waters of the Ria Camarinas.  Here we sheletered for an extra day as the wind continued to build.

ghosting-along-spanish-rias

It seemed to be a trip of all or nothing.  This first gale was followed by a day of flat calm where we motored close to Finisterre for photos and another 60 miles south to the sleepy town of Sanxenxo.  After huge G and T’s in the bar of the Real Club Nautico it was time to go further south to Bayona, arriving in port just before the Southerly gales started and kept us there for a further 24 hours.  Bayona is a lovely old historic town so there was plenty to keep the crew busy shoreside.

Our last day the wind died again and we had a great day sailing in blue skies and sunshine to guide us up to Vigo.

The blue sky is still with us and hopefully we will keep it for a few days next week before the southerly wind starts again.  Where are we headed. South of course so a bit more tacking ahead!

enjooying-the-sunshine

Gracias Lin and Richard for your hospitality and endless good cheer, tea and friendly advice.  Long may you continue

A blast across Biscay

camaret

The sample itineraries on all of our trips are written well in advance, and the actual trip is similar but subject to weather.  That can be staying in port longer at the beginning because of gales, arriving in the end port earlier because of gales or altering the route to suit future predicted wind directions.

This trip – instead of spending 2 days sailing first to Fowey and then to Falmouth, the weather forecast ‘spoke to us’ and said – sail across the Channel now before the southerlies arrive and then you will have time for a nice day exploring in Camaret!

We left Plymouth on a lively beam reach with a forecast of NW5-6 decreasing 2 or 3. No-one mentioned 7’s and little gusts of 8, but they were there along with the rain squalls.

Velvet Lady got the bit firmly between her teeth and led our new crew along at an impressive 8 or 9 knots.  It didn’t seem long before the coast of France was in view.

sailing in sunshine

As morning came and we crossed into the inshore traffic zone off Ushant, the wind died, the sea calmed and we were forced to motor.  We eventually tied up in the pretty little harbour of Camaret late evening.

After the blast across the channel, we were not sure what Biscay would bring –  fabulous sunrises and sunsets, dolphins everyday, beautiful starry nights and a beam wind – it too 60 hours to cross the bay to the sleepy Ria de Cedeira – and left us plenty of time to explore here and a few other places.  We should have done one more tack though – our end log reads 596.4, not quite the magic 600.sunrise

Lets hope we can repeat this next year!