Sail & Surf - Starting with the Bay of Biscay

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That’s it, the big departure. It is July 20, 2022: one year that we’ve been preparing this trip. It’s somehow both long and short at the same time. We’ve been working on the final details for weeks. The weather window is OK, and it’s the only one we have with our skipper available. When you’ve got to go, you have got to go! The kids are in the saloon, the Captain is casting off and then at the helm to leave the harbor. We cleared the towers of the old port at La Rochelle, and the grandparents came to see us off and film the occasion! The first “big sail” for us: the crossing of the Bay of Biscay. To begin with, we’re worried about getting our sealegs, and pray that it won’t last. The children are dozing outside. Christophe and Cyril are at the helm, and Audrey still feels a little seasick. We chose not to take any medication for it - until now only the children have been seasick on a hard sail between La Rochelle and Yeu, and not at all since then... In the big basin of the Bay of Biscay, we were expecting maybe 24 hours of nausea. The conditions were pretty good: a 5-foot swell (1.5 m) but for a long time it was on the beam; a regular wind out of the WNW then N to NNE between 6 and 15 knots, sometimes peaking 20 knots, and then 25 knots off Corunna. The trimaran was sailing correctly but rolling quite a bit, slamming sometimes and the nagging movement was not helping our inner ear... That’s it, the children have grabbed the buckets and are caught by seasickness. Courageously, they endure it without flinching or grumbling: we all knew that we would have to go through this. The rest of the crossing was a bit “patchy” for the whole crew, as our bodies got used to it little by little or according to the swell and the wind of the moment. So, when things were better, the order was “eat and drink”, whatever time it was! After two and a half days of sailing, we finally sighted the coast of Galicia and the smiles returned. For those interested in the figures, it took us 56 hours (including more than 15 hours under engine) to cover 377 miles between La Rochelle and Corunna, at an average speed of 6.6 knots, with our maximum being 14.9 knots! As soon as we were ashore, the nausea and fatigue were forgotten. We run to celebrate La Coruña, and our first big passage, with beers and tapas. We’re now visiting Galicia, a wonderful discovery where we’d hesitated to stop, but it’s a quiet, natural and preserved place. In July and August, temperatures are mild. After being impressed by the strength and instability of the wind off Cape Finistere, we really enjoyed visiting the Cies Islands, the castle of Baiona and the anchorages in the Ria de Muros. The next leg will be to Portugal, then Madeira, the Canaries and Cape Verde. We can’t wait!

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