New windlass and across Biscay

My windlass finally arrived in Brest, and with advice and reassurance from Darren who repairs boats for a living it was installed and is working great. I have anchored twice with it so far with no issues.

New windlass

I decided against crossing Biscay direct from Brest to A Caruna. The frequent storms and being single handed made me nervous. If there is on thing I have learnt in my travels, that is to trust your gut instinct. Instead I have travelled down the French coast and crossing to Santander where I will pick up my new crewmember Nelly.

The storms still effect me, it’s just that they lose some of their power as they travel East. I have been outrunning one coming in tonight, its forecast near gale just North of Brest, it should be a brief storm for me in the morning.

Crossing Biscay Day 1

I have been sailing for 12 hours now, progress has been slow due to low winds so I have motor sailed a lot. The wind has picked up now but not from the forecast South West, it is Southerly, the direction I need to go so I am having to tack through it. After the storm the winds come from the opposite direction so I should make good progress then.

I have been accompanied by dolphins all day. Mostly common Dolphins but I have seen a few Bottlenose Dolphins too. They have been leaping clear of the water, tail slapping alongside me and bow riding.

Day 2

The brief storm actually lasted 24 hours, first with South Westerly winds then halfway through they Switched to North Westerly. Wind speeds were 15-20 knots so as I had hoped, it blew out most of its fury before it reached me. It was near gale closer to Brest. The wind was no issue, it was the confused seas due to the changing winds. After the first 12 hours, the short choppy waves that picked the boat up and promptly dropped all 8 tons on the other side gave way to big rolling waves that were better but occasionally I could feel the boat sliding down the other side. I am sure Lady Cindy said weeeeee…, I said wow!, Dotty said howl! When the winds changed direction, the whole process restarted with short waves but with the added bonus of the long ones still coming in from the other direction.

Winds have died now and switched direction again to North Easterly. The seas are still a little confused about which way the waves should travel but Lady Cindy is happy cruising under mainsail only at 6-7 knots. I should still arrive in Santander tomorrow (Thursday) but only just.

Day 3 Arrived in Santander

The final days sailing was.. well.. plain. The wind was following me all day at a steady 10-14 knots, perfect. I arrived in Santander after dark so I have anchored for the night and will go to the marina in the morning to pick up a new crewmember Nelly. I may stay a couple of nights to fix a few things. The main one being the masthead lights. But now I sleep 😴

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