Siminoe : the voyage starts with the Bay of Biscay

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“The north wind was quite chilly, we got out the boots and hats, which beat everything for us, as we were leaving for a year without winter. The first dinner at sea was rather scanty, a bowl of instant mashed potato, all we were able to cook and swallow! At the end of the day, the sun set and this spectacle put everyone in a festive mood. For the night, the children moved into the salon, where there was less movement and they could get some air if they needed to. I took the first watch, accompanied by an almost-full moon, and with a boat which was speeding along at 12 knots – it was rather exhilarating. Then the swell calmed down a bit, it was peaceful for the children, a bit less so for the parents, as we realized that we were sailing so fast (11 knots average) that we were going to arrive earlier than planned, and were heading straight into a gale off the Spanish headland. We tried to slow down, took a reef, two reefs, but the boat was still sailing at between 10 and 12 knots (with a surf at 18.7 for the captain, and 17.5 for me!). We finished by taking in the third reef and rolling up the jib, which dropped our speed down to 8 knots, and we deviated a little from our route to avoid the bad weather. We finally had a real family meal, with the pork in caramel we had cooked before leaving, whilst some dolphins paid us a fleeting visit. The wind was blowing at ...

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