Getting ready….The 550 mile crossing from England to Spain still requires our respect.

In actual fact, the Bay of Biscay is like any stretch of open water when it starts to get windy. Conditions can change quickly and because of certain geographical features, can become rather uncomfortable. 

The Bay of Biscay is a wide concave sweep of water that stretches around the western coast of France and along the northern coast of Spain. Combine this geography with the prevailing westerly winds that sweep in from the Atlantic, and you have one long, 310-mile lee shore.

Naturally sailing ships of old had a great fear of getting embayed here after a succession of westerly gales, but the Bay is also notorious for its stormy waters, driven up as the Atlantic Ocean meets the shallower continental shelf of the Bay. 

Our Hallberg Rassy, with their much more efficient rigs and their engines, should not have the same problems – particularly if we use weather forecasts carefully.

All the books say it is important to get across the Bay of Biscay before the middle of August, in order to avoid the risk of the first storms of the autumn, with June and July being the best months to cross. This is perfect timing for us !!!! 

As ever, If you’d like to see more photos and movies from our journey, then take a look at our