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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Posts
    28

    Default Bay of Biscay south to North

    Hello all I'm after a bit of advice please we are cruising the north of Spain we are just wondering what is the easiest way of getting back up north the options we have come up with is sail to the northwest coast of Spain then wait for a weather window to cross the Bay of Biscay or sail to the northeast of Spain and then follow the coast up, we have looked at the predominant wind for the Bay of Biscay and it seems to be Northerly, any advice will be appreciated thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Corfu - mostly
    Posts
    5,391

    Default Re: Bay of Biscay south to North

    Done this a number of times, nearly always direct from Corunna to Brest or southern Brittany. It takes three days.

    Once I went round the coast - wouldn't try this again, even though there are some interesting places to visit particularly along the north coast of Spain. The trouble is both wind and current seem to conspire to push you into the SE corner of the bay - once there, it is a flog either way to get out.

    In summer months the prevailing wind in north-west Spain is NW, but becoming more SW by the time you reach France. Not too much of a problem from Corunna or further west. As you suggest, it's always a good idea to watch the advance forecast as a gale in Biscay can be uncomfortable, specially close to the edge of the continental shelf.

    P.S. A question like this would be better posted on the Liveaboard forum.
    Last edited by AndrewB; 09-07-19 at 19:34.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Manchester
    Posts
    17,355

    Default Re: Bay of Biscay south to North

    I’ve done it once from Finisterre to Scilly. IIRC. We found a weather window, and motored a lot of the way.
    Narrowboating From Stretford!!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Me - Zumerzet Boat - Wareham
    Posts
    12,359

    Default Re: Bay of Biscay south to North

    I did Santander – Audierne 331 nM 82 hrs (28 hrs on engine)
    Full trip Here
    MontyMariner.co.uk
    Facilitated by AWESEM WP Agency

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Boulogne sur mer & Marbella Spain
    Posts
    3,397

    Default Re: Bay of Biscay south to North

    Quote Originally Posted by luke1000123 View Post
    Hello all I'm after a bit of advice please we are cruising the north of Spain we are just wondering what is the easiest way of getting back up north the options we have come up with is sail to the northwest coast of Spain then wait for a weather window to cross the Bay of Biscay or sail to the northeast of Spain and then follow the coast up, we have looked at the predominant wind for the Bay of Biscay and it seems to be Northerly, any advice will be appreciated thanks
    I think it really depends on the weather pattern when you get to Coruna - did it once that way and went non stop to Plymouth light winds but OK

    if you haven´t done it on the way down then its a real pity to miss the west coast of France. Absolutely lovely with first rate facilities and lots of historic stopping places... Here is a list to the Chanel du Four http://www.michaelbriant.com/west_coast_france.htm - From Spain you need to read up from the bottom...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Posts
    28

    Default Re: Bay of Biscay south to North

    Thanks for all the replies it was greatly appreciated we have now decided to sail to the Northwest tip of Spain and then cross the Bay of Biscay in a good weather window, we have been sailing along the coast all the way from Cardiff so it will be good to do a long passage across

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Eastern Atlantic seaboard
    Posts
    3,247

    Default Re: Bay of Biscay south to North

    Done it a few times and luckily never had wind on the nose. Crossed at the end of May, Coruña to Benodet, 60 hours with first 35 close reaching in ESE 5 then the rest motoring in millpond conditions. Great for spotting whales and a lot of Tope swimming at the surface; not something I've seen before. Maybe a breeding thing? Another first was being buzzed by a French Coastguard jet 150 miles out and asked for crew details and destination.
    Last edited by Quiddle; 10-07-19 at 15:25.
    I'd rather be tethered to a pad eye than tethered to an iPad.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    West London
    Posts
    3,166

    Default Re: Bay of Biscay south to North

    Quote Originally Posted by luke1000123 View Post
    Thanks for all the replies it was greatly appreciated we have now decided to sail to the Northwest tip of Spain and then cross the Bay of Biscay in a good weather window, we have been sailing along the coast all the way from Cardiff so it will be good to do a long passage across
    "all the way from Cardiff"?
    How does that figure with S to N across Biscay?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Gone Sailing -on the move exploring SE Asia
    Posts
    1,829

    Default Re: Bay of Biscay south to North

    Deliveries and crusing have let me do this route many times in most months.

    Go from Bayona or La Coruna straight across to brest camaret or Falmouth.

    The inside route is challenging but interesting.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Emsworth Hants
    Posts
    12,634

    Default Re: Bay of Biscay south to North

    Crossing Biscay going north is upwind and up current boats often aim towards the Azores and turn when the wind goes west.

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