Sailing Long Distances

Sailing nonstop – Bristol Channel, Irish Sea, Gulf of Biscay


For days we discussed the best passage to Spain. A typical route from the Irish Sea is down to the Isles of Scilly (or Falmouth in the English Channel), further on to Brest in France, across the Bay of Biscay to La Coruna in Spain. It would divide the passage into three smaller parts, only one night at sea down to The Scillies and another to Brest. Finally, a two night run to La Coruna. Summoned up, it would be five days plus the time spent in a marina. As a rule, one does not plow on the very next day. Some might do, we not. The alternative is sailing straight to La Coruna, about 90 hours and the job is done. To put the cherry on the cake, we can make the best of the developing high pressure over Ireland, moving to England later and therefore prevailing easterly winds. Mid-September the weather can turn to fall any day. Speaking out of experience, we know, make the best of the first opportunity, there might be no other for weeks.
Sailing to Falmouth and Brest, we have to consider strong currents. Too bad, if one arrives at the wrong time. A yacht with its relatively low-speed sails almost at the spot. If things go bad, we are faced with wind over tide, steep waves as a consequence. I discussed the passage with Keith.
I don’t know what he did for a living. He got out of his job at his early fifties and enjoys life with his partner Sam on a sailing boat all year long in Milford Haven. They minimized their economic needs by maximization the time of their life. Keith was interested in me like I was in his doings, came by and said, he too had checked the conditions of sailing down to Spain. ‘Take my advice, sail, looks very good,’ he said in a calm voice that would make him a good psychologist for sailors … Read More