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Old 14-03-2014, 08:24   #1
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Crossing Biscay vs coasthopping

Hi there,

I am planning to sail from Belgium to the Caribbean, sail a season there and then back again to Europe next year. The boat will be more then ready and well equiped, and I have some coastal sailing experience, but no offshore passages under my belt. I've learned from research that the hard bit is going to be the Biscay crossing, and that it should be smooth sailing to the Caribbean from there during the right season.

Now, one of the guys at the marina asked why I wouldn't just sail along the coastline of the bay of Biscay to La Coruna rather then crossing the bay. Obviously this would take longer, but that's not really an issue. I'm just worried about the lee-shore and the horrible reputation that rocky coastline has for sinking ships...

What's your take on this? Is it worth considering? Or is crossing the bay just as easy sailing as the rest of the trip with the right weather window?

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Old 14-03-2014, 09:01   #2
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Re: Crossing Biscay vs coasthopping

We had an absolutely superb wonderful trip along the French coast. Not to be missed. Jumped across Biscay at Royan and landed in La Coruna. Somewhat rough crossing in 2011 with a nice Lake Superior chop superimposed on 15 - 20 foot swells churned up by a hurricane traveling up the middle of the Atlantic.

I seem to remember that Santander and other harbors east of La Coruna were not so good for various reasons.

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Old 14-03-2014, 10:12   #3
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Re: Crossing Biscay vs coasthopping

Hi - we did the direct crossing from Brest, France to LaCoruna and had a wonderful beam reach the entire way. Just had some fog as we approached LaCoruna but it burned off before we reached land.

We did the crossing in August. Just watch for storms approaching from out in the Atlantic.

The crossing took 3-days - much shorter than coast hoping.
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Old 14-03-2014, 10:29   #4
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Re: Crossing Biscay vs coasthopping

during the summer the biscay can be like a mill pond a lot of the time,lots of nice places to stop.
early or late season it is probably better to wait for a window and hop strait across to la coruna or baiona
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Old 15-03-2014, 04:52   #5
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Re: Crossing Biscay vs coasthopping

Few years ago we had an exiting trip from La Rochelle upward to Northern Brittany in summer. As atoll said a mill pond. Donīt forget stanchions for some harbours.
Some masters wonīt let you in without it. fantastic seafood everywehre.
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