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Old 05-05-2014, 07:17   #16
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pirate Re: Bay of Biscay advice

N'lies are the best.. tho' a W'lies favourable as I said.. the S'ly heading would have given you a beam reach for 2 of the ports mentioned.. La Coruna would be a beat this week..
Looks like late next week before you'll be able to head on..

PS.. avoid SE'lies like the plague..
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Old 05-05-2014, 15:52   #17
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Re: Bay of Biscay advice

It's good to be cautious and have a good plan, but I also think you shouldn't be TOO scared. If you're well prepared, take a good window, surely you should be OK?

The shelf can be clearly seen on Google Earth, you can use that to draw it in on your maps (roughly - take a good margin to the west). In good weather, it should not create any confused sea states, but of course weather can change. As far as I understand it, it is typically wind against current that creates wild sea states near the continental shelf.

The Bay of Biscay can have very heavy seas and needs to be respected. But a large part of the reason it was so feared in olden days is that square riggers can't escape the leeshore, and there are few harbours that can be entered in those conditions on the French/Spanish shore. If you sail in season, and are well prepared, I believe it should not be feared more than any other ocean.

We're making the crossing the first week of June, it's our first big crossing. Very excited!

Best of luck with the crossing!


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Old 05-05-2014, 17:33   #18
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Re: Bay of Biscay advice

I did my trip to take my boat to Mallorca in 1986.(July August September) We did it in stages and flew back to work. 3 months overall about 2000 NM.

I see we did Biscay as suggested by Boatie.... I dont remember it too much so it means it was a peaceful trip on that leg. I was told to not coastal hop my way round unless I was sightseeing..... do it hard and fast and to the west. One of the crew was someone experienced in the Biscay moods and he suggested the route we took.

Believe it or the not the worst part of the trip was coming from Fleetwood down the Irish sea....... puking for a gold medal we all were. I recall coasting Gib it got a little rough, but we pulled in there and left it for 2 weeks and flew home to work.

I have NO experience of the Bay of Biscay living up to its reputation. My buddy Howard who sailed it with us can pale and feel queasy when recounting his trips there.

Guess we got lucky.

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Old 05-05-2014, 18:35   #19
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Re: Bay of Biscay advice

I did Royan around to Lisbon in january last year - We waited for a good weather window and actually had a beautiful sail. That doesnt have much to do with going now except that Passageweather was spot on for the entire trip. I would trust it again (as much as I trust any weather forecast of course)
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Old 06-05-2014, 20:36   #20
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The window on Passageweather is looking pretty good right now. Wave heights and wind reducing over the next few days.


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Old 13-05-2014, 09:06   #21
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Re: Bay of Biscay advice

Hi,

So I'm still here in Cameret, looks like Friday is a go for us though. Weather looks solid, wave height ok, etc. Maybe a bit fin motor sailing in the middle if it takes us 2.5 days.

Could anyone please check this? I'd be most grateful. Just want to make sure I've got everything right.

We are going to head pretty much straight from Cameret to La Coruna. Not sure how close that takes us to the shelf? Looking on the charts it seems like you have to cross this shelf on the way south regardless?

Any other advice for Friday would be most welcomed. Hopefully the swell stays down, etc?

Regards,
Simon
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Old 13-05-2014, 09:32   #22
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Re: Bay of Biscay advice

I realize that most folks want to get to Portugal and then to the Balearics ASAP, but has anyone harbor-hopped down the coast of Brittany and then down through Basque country? Assuming you have plenty of time, what are the drawbacks?
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Old 13-05-2014, 09:52   #23
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Re: Bay of Biscay advice

We looked into hoping, and it can be done, but the main issues are the constant lows flying into the bay from the Atlantic combined with few ports that can handle such conditions. We draw 2m as well which made this even worse.

It's a shame as we're really enjoying this area. But hopefully Friday should be good for us weather wise and we'll have to skip south.
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Old 13-05-2014, 09:55   #24
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Re: Bay of Biscay advice

Good Luck Simon.

You have a nice boat there I am sure she will look after you. Just remember that they can take much more than you can. You crossed the north sea at a time of year that most people would avoid and that is not an easy piece of water either.

Have you decided not to do this with a delivery skipper assisting you now as per your original plan?
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Old 13-05-2014, 11:03   #25
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Re: Bay of Biscay advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by simonpickard View Post
Hi,

So I'm still here in Cameret, looks like Friday is a go for us though. Weather looks solid, wave height ok, etc. Maybe a bit fin motor sailing in the middle if it takes us 2.5 days.

Could anyone please check this? I'd be most grateful. Just want to make sure I've got everything right.

We are going to head pretty much straight from Cameret to La Coruna. Not sure how close that takes us to the shelf? Looking on the charts it seems like you have to cross this shelf on the way south regardless?

Any other advice for Friday would be most welcomed. Hopefully the swell stays down, etc?

Regards,
Simon

Personally If you have the weather window , Id aim for Bayona. Often you can get stuck getting around finnisterre. And La Coruna is a bit of a way in to then come back out again.


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Old 13-05-2014, 11:05   #26
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Re: Bay of Biscay advice

Hi,

Yes we are going it alone, we crossed from gurnsey to
France on our own and have been coastal hoping since then. Just taking our time and waiting for the right weather here in Breast / Cameret.
Fingers crossed Friday is the right time to leave.

I wouldn't have wanted to do the North Sea without the skipper we had though!
At least here is warmer!
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Old 13-05-2014, 11:09   #27
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Re: Bay of Biscay advice

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Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
Personally If you have the weather window , Id aim for Bayona. Often you can get stuck getting around finnisterre. And La Coruna is a bit of a way in to then come back out again.


dave
Totally agree, we've been keeping an eye on that area and it's been a nightmare the last few weeks with rough sea state and wind hugging the corner there.
If we can we will, but I'd rather get over and then hopefully worry about a one day window than try and time 3. Hopefully we won't get stuck for long.
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Old 13-05-2014, 11:20   #28
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Re: Bay of Biscay advice

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Originally Posted by simonpickard View Post
Totally agree, we've been keeping an eye on that area and it's been a nightmare the last few weeks with rough sea state and wind hugging the corner there.
If we can we will, but I'd rather get over and then hopefully worry about a one day window than try and time 3. Hopefully we won't get stuck for long.
Yes its that " corner:" that gives a lot of issues, often with little lows appearing out of nowhere, but enough to make it a difficult rounding.

My experience, is you can get the beating going into La Coruna, and beware of the various shoals, while not an issue , cause nasties to heap up. Consider Gijon as an option if Finnisterre throws something at you unexpected. usually the lows track NE. Beware the fairway to the marina in Gijon in big swells, There are other bolt holes, like the commercial port etc.


Personally Id banana way out west and try and make south. The actual finnisterre corner can be a nightmare.

Best of luck
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Old 13-05-2014, 15:06   #29
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Re: Bay of Biscay advice

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Originally Posted by simonpickard View Post
Any other advice for Friday would be most welcomed. Hopefully the swell stays down, etc?
IME, the most accurate forecast for sea state (waves and swell) in the Bay of Biscay is to be found there: North Atlantic model - PREVIMER - Coastal observations and forecasts

Then yes, Friday seems to be OK.

Alain
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Old 13-05-2014, 15:32   #30
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Re: Bay of Biscay advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hydra View Post
IME, the most accurate forecast for sea state (waves and swell) in the Bay of Biscay is to be found there:
Nothing on that site seems to work on my iPad2. Shame.


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