Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Respecting the Bay of Biscay

The second leg of our upcoming adventure will be the crossing from Falmouth to La Coruna, across the legendary Bay of Biscay.  I must say that of all the legs (including the massive open Atlantic), this is the one that I am most wary of.

The bay stretches from Brest on the western coast of France, south to the Spanish border.  From there it runs along the northern coast of Spain west to Punta de Estaca de Bares, forming a huge bay that is open to the weather systems moving in from the west.  The worst of the weather arrives in winter, and what makes things more interesting is the continental shelf that rises from the depths of the ocean.  This has the effect of increasing the height of the waves moving in from the open Atlantic.  The combination of weather and waves can result in the fiercest of conditions.

With modern weather prediction, things are a lot safer than they used to be, but the reputation of the bay demands respect.  And I'll certainly be acknowledging Neptune when we depart Falmouth...

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