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  1. #61
    Join Date
    Dec 2002

    Default Re: Biscay: The inshore route - recommendations?

    Quote Originally Posted by franksingleton View Post
    Thank you for the paper, Roberto. We experienced something very similar just south of Arcachon on passage from Cap Breton. From the paper it does not seem to have been a typical Galerne. Nor was it a “frontal” galerne although there was what looked like a squall line out to sea. The roll of cloud did not move for several hours; it had no thunderstorms apparent to us and no sign of white water that would have suggested strong winds. At about 1600 it all changed.

    My log for 20 August 2011 reads -

    In the marina at Arcachon there were several small motor boats which had been caught out in the Arcachon basin

    I cannot give an exact figure for the strongest winds encountered, we were too busy dropping sails etc. It must have been around 50 kn. the synoptic chart for 00 UTC had a light gradient. There was a quasi-stationary front to the north of the Vilaine. See (put in the date.)

    From the paper, I see that Cazaux has on average 2 galernes a year, rarely in August, over a 30 year period there were 8 “galernes marquees” and only 4
    “tres marquees.” We seem to have been unlucky.

    It is difficult to know what topographical effects there could have been. From memory the only significant feature is the famous sand bank.
    I organized a weekend charter for the office. We were sitting on an oil-calm sea and under a blazing sun. The others retreated down below and I remained on watch.

    I then saw a wall of white water approaching at a rate of knots. I called on the crew to come and get the sails down. The general reaction was "What's he on about?" And they continued to play cards.

    Then the wind hit us and knocked us flat. It dismasted a couple of boats beside us and we heard various maydays over the VHF.

    A prophet is not without honour save with his own office colleagues!

    A few years later off the Cap St Vincent (Portugal) I saw a similar storm front appearing. From bitter experience I exhorted the crew to get the sails down - which they did with great reluctance. Then the storm clouds passed over us - without a breath of wind.....

    A prophet, etc etc..
    Last edited by Sybarite; 09-03-18 at 01:53.

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