Day 3 – The Bay of Biscay
Niclas and I got up in the morning and sailed away towards the Bay of Biscay. We headed for A Coruña in Spain. The Bay of Biscay can be very messy but the weather forecast looked promising and the waves were very nice and smooth. It did not take long until we were visited by dolphins again!
Just after lunch I was inside the boat when I heard Jocke talking about whales. We all got up on the deck, and there really was something big that was spraying water like a fountain not far from the boat! It came closer and showed itself to the surface several times. It was huge!! Wow, the adrenaline rush on all of us aboard was at the highest level, it felt unbelievable to see such a big animal swimming just next to us. There must have been more than one, we saw some small ones as well. We think it was a humpback whale. Whatever it was, it was so unreal and so, so cool!
A little later we saw some movement in the water and a lot of birds that tried to catch fish. Soon we realized that there were whales who hunted for fish. It was hard to see them because they were quite far away. Dolphins came and went during the day, we couldn’t even count all the times. They even came over when Jocke and I had the first night shift. You could hear blowing sounds next to the boat, and you could see black shadows of dolphins in the light of the full moon.
Day 4 – no wind, no waves
It was a restful night out at the Bay. The soft calm waves put us to sleep while one of us were out on a night shift. In the morning the wind had died, it was so quiet and barely a ripple on the water. We had to put on the engine, and at the same time we saw black fins slowly moving through the water. We were looking for them to get closer and with the help of a guidebook we found out that there was Pilot Whales, around 6 meters big. A little later we also saw a Mink whale! The night was also quiet without wind so we had to go by motor.
Day 5 – Land in sight!
Late in the morning the wind finally arrived and we could sail – at last! It was such a nice sailing! With the gennacker we surfed in the waves and we were sailing fast. A Coruña was approaching and we celebrated with cava and jamón – we were really excited to come to the port! We arrived the harbor on time for a Spanish dinner in town. Of course we tried the Spanish squid and seafood risotto. After some cold beer, I fell asleep heavily, I can promise!
One of the world’s most messy seas
It took us 61 hours to sail the crossing of 347.49 nautical miles over the Bay of Biscay. We had every reason to celebrate, sailing over the Bay is on the bucket list of many sailors. However, there are many boats wrecked on the bay. The depths of the bay range from 150 meters depth to 4000 meters. When the water mass of the Atlantic is built up and set in motion and crashes with the steep edge, the water must go somewhere, and then the sea turns really messy. Just two days before us there was a sailboat who had to call for rescue. It had been completely no wind and then it had blown up to 56 knots of wind in just three hours. The boat had been completely flat on the 6-7 meter high waves and everything broke. The crew were very grateful for the rescue, they do not think they had survived otherwise. Of I’m so happy that we got such a nice crossing, we really got to see the best side of the Bay of Biscay!