Our Bay of Biscay crossing was short, and for the most part, sweet. As I mentioned in my previous post – despite being known as one of the worst crossings for sailors – we were lucky to have good weather (although little wind) for two of our three days at sea. When we finally encountered more typical Biscay conditions (big, sharp waves and strong winds), it was enough to send water running down into the forepeak, forcing Devin and myself to evacuate our beds in search of dryer berths.
Spending several days at sea is very different to day sailing. Time takes on a whole new rhythm, as you shift into the routine of night watches, and build your day around meals. It takes a while to adapt; in fact, by then end of the three days we had just about found our feet; getting used to the motion, waking on time, and perfecting the art of eating while rolling around on the waves…
You may be surprised to hear that there is not that much to do when you are out in the ocean. If the wind in consistant (or non-existant) Haji pretty much takes care of herself. We set the sails and make the necessary adjustments, and one of the auto-helms will steer the boat. Our main role is to keep an eye out for dolphins, whales, big ships that we don’t want to hit, and fishing buoys as we get closer to shore.
We chat, read, play cards, watch TV, sleep, cook, eat, and then do it all over again. If it comes out nice, you would see bodies scattered over the deck on cushions, sunning themselves! It may sound boring, but like I said, time takes on a whole new persona, slipping away easily.
Every so often you look about, and suddenly appreciate the enormity of where you are, and what you are doing – bobbing about on a boat in the middle of the ocean. That, that is crossing.