THE BAY OF BISCAY
The Bay of Biscay is an icon for sailors and seamen and I could not wait to add it to my log book. I must say that his reputation is absolutely deserved. Once crossed the Ile d'Ouseant, I had the feeling that the almost 400 miles that separated me from the Spanish coast would have been less terrible than the situation foreseen by the latest weather. But punctually on the morning of the 6 of June, the sea raise to force 8 and it would stay as such for the entire crossing. To complicate our lives our autopilot decided to stop working. My crew for this voyage was made up by Frank, the generous and tireless French I met in Le Havremy and my "old friend" Giovanni, who never fails to respond to my calls whenever I ask for help. Unfortunately the sea conditions were too demanding for the stomach of the Siciliano, which appears within a few miles after we left Le Havre forcing him to ricover in the cabin and stay there until the arrival on the Spanish coast. Within few hours the height of waves reached 8 meters and the wind in gusts, abundantly exceeded 40 knots (force 9). The behavior of Angelique II surprised me. 2 reefs on the main and Genoa to 40% allowed us to proceed a close-hauled comfortable and perfectly acceptable speeds around 10 knots. During the first 300 miles I was able to balance the sail plan. The catamaran sailed for 3 days with no one at the helm. What a boat. I am happy with this experience because it allowed me to understand immediately Angelique II in terms of safety and comfort in extreme conditions. Now I know I can deal any kind of sea. Angelique (my first boat) also gave me the same feeling, but with Angelique II on-board comfort, even in extreme conditions, is a few orders of magnitude higher. The only thing to which we must get used to is the noise generated by the waves of the sea (upwind) breaking on the "nascelle", the middle part that connects the two hulls. It seems that the boat should break in two at any moment, deafening roars. Meanwhile, life on board has tried to adapt to the conditions of the sea. Giovanni confined in his cabin, myself and Franck always in the saloon, ready to help also during rest hours. Once on the Spanish coast we decided to stop in La Caruna. Giovanni was not in the condition to continue the journey. 3 days without eating and drinking had weakened him severely. We greeted with a bit of sadness. It 's the first time in more than 30 years that I do not conclude an adventure we have began together.