I looked around, but couldn’t find anything interesting to take a picture of, so this little story about the first half of or Bay of Biscay crossing will be nothing but words…
We started out with a forecast of 15 knots for the first 30 hrs. The evening was very nice sailing, all along passed Ile de Sein. Then the wind picked up and we took a reef and changed to stay-sail. So we were back in the beating-upwind-in-25-knots business again! But this time on the Atlantic, which meant much more comfortable waves.
At around 2100 we saw the lights from a submarine in the distance. Later in the night, a French navy frigate approached us and told us over radio that another submarine was in front of us and requested we make a diversion. Interestingly the French navy guy must have had no clue about sailing, since he first requested a new course for us that was straight into the wind. I politely told him this was not possible in a sailboat. There was a bit of silence, and then he came back with a more doable course.
All the way out to where the water got really deep we were followed by dolphins. I am starting to wonder if the unusual hull and keel shapes of the Journeyman has some special attraction for them?!? Or maybe the dolphin population in these waters have increased significantly since I was last here.
Around noon today I was starting to wonder when we would make the transition from the low pressure dominated weather system we started in, and the high pressure system we were moving into. And how this transition would happen. It turned out to happen just like the flick of a switch. The wind speed halved and veered 90° in about 2 seconds. I almost fell over. The following 20 minutes or so were rather interesting to sail, with little wind and 3 meter chaotic waves. But now the sea has calmed itself and we are broad reaching slowly towards A Coruña. Let’s hope the wind doesn’t die completely!