A little boat and a big ocean.

19 July 2020
18 September 2015 | Beaulieu River, UK 50’27.32N 2’32.09W – Hayling Yacht Company, Hayling Island, UK 50 48.27’N 0’58.24W via Wicor Marine, UK
14 September 2015 | St Anne, Alderney 49’43.47N 2’11.35W – Beaulei River, UK 50’27.32N 2’32.09W via Studland Bay, UK
12 September 2015 | Gosselin, Sark 49’25.78N 2’22.70W – St Anne, Alderney 49’43.47N 2’11.35W
07 September 2015 | St Peter Port, Guernsey 49’27.32N 2’32.09W – Harve Gosselin, Sark 49’25.78N 2’22.70W
01 September 2015 | Tregarvan, Aulne River, France 48’15.16N 4’14.00W – St Peter Port, Guernsey 49’27.32N 2’32.09W via Cameret Sur Mer, France & Herm, Guernsey
23 August 2015 | Ile de Penfret, Iles de Glenan, France 47’43.05N 3’57.04W – Tregarvan, Aulne River, France 48’15.16N 4’14.00W via Anse de Kerautret, River Odet, France, Englishmans Cove, River Odet, France & Camerat sur Mer, France
19 August 2015 | Treac’h er Gourhed, Ile Houat, France 47’22.99N 2’56.85W - Ile de Penfret, Iles de Glenan, France 47’43.05N 3’57.04W via Port Kerel, Belle Ile, France & Port Tudy, Groix, France
14 August 2015 | La Rochelle, France 46’08.60N 1’10.09W – Treac’h er Gourhed, Ile Houat, France 47’22.99N 2’56.85W via Anse des Vieilles, Ile d’Yeu, France & Trebezy, St Nazaire, France
08 August 2015 | Anse l’Oubye, Ile de Re, France 46 09.2455 N 1’15.50W – La Rochelle, France 46’08.60N 1’10.09W
04 August 2015 | Ribadesella, Spain 43’27.81N 5’03.71W – Anse l’Oubye, Ile de Re, France 46 09.2455 N 1’15.50W
01 August 2015 | Ribadesella, Spain 43’27.81N 5’03.71W
28 July 2015 | Luarco, Spain 43’32.87N 6’32.08W – Ribadesella, Spain 43’27.81N 5’03.71W via Laurno
24 July 2015 | Ria Vivero, Spain 43’40.55N 7‘36.16W – Luarco, Spain 43’32.87N 6’32.08W via Ribadeo, Spain
21 July 2015 | Ria de Cedeira, Spain 43’39.26N 8’03.74W – Ria Vivero, Spain 43’40.55N 7‘36.16W
16 July 2015 | Vila Franca do Campo, Sao Miguel, Azores 37’43.01N 25’25.75W – Ria de Cedeira, Spain 43’39.26N 8’03.74W, via Ponta Delgada, Sao Miguel, Azores
06 July 2015 | Ponta Delgada, Sao Miguel, Azores 37’44.29N 25’39.94W – Vila Franca do Campo, Sao Miguel, Azores 37’43.01N 25’25.75W
30 June 2015 | Angra do Heroismo, Terceira, Azores 38’39.15N 27’12.97W – Ponta Delgada, Sao Migual, Azores 37’44.29N 25’39.94W
25 June 2015 | Velas, Sao Jorge, Azores 38’40.82N 28’12.16W – Angra do Heroismo, Terceira, Azores 38’39.15N 27’12.97W
19 June 2015 | Horta, Faial, Azores 38’31.99N 28’37.50W – Velas, Sao Jorge, Azores 38’40.82N 28’12.16W via Cais do Pico, Pico Azores

Fables vs Reality

04 August 2015 | Ribadesella, Spain 43’27.81N 5’03.71W – Anse l’Oubye, Ile de Re, France 46 09.2455 N 1’15.50W
The Bay of Biscay is known the world over for its knarly weather systems, it’s dreadfully square waves and it’s ability to simply eat ships. This is quite different for the Bay of Biscay that Ruffian has just crossed as it served up flat seas, dolphins by the truckload and water that is so full of fish it’s a magnet for fishing boats who cant steer a straight line.

Leaving Ribadesella we sailed into the first of the non straight line fishing fleets. Everywhere we looked we could see boats dragging their nets and plucking Neptune’s gifts out of the water. Being fishing boats we had to keep out of their way and being fishing boats they did everything in their power to get in our way. Emerging from them our path looked like that of a drunken sailor.

Approaching the continental shelf where the depth changes from 3000 meters to 300 and waves typically pile up ready to eat boats we quietly slipped along in a milky smooth sea. It looked like olive oil and Neptune seemed at peace with us; then, suddenly, without warming, it was alive with noise and white water. We were surrounded by dolphins.

Without a ripple to be seen on the water the dolphins flitted around the bow for hour after hour. Mothers with tiny babies so small they didn’t yet fill there skin, were joined by powerful, battle scarred, males and they squeaked with joy as they stared up at us through the clear swimming pool like water. From deep below us we could see them let out bubbles all for the joy of the juveniles as they swam through them. Fun seemed to be no 1 on their agenda for the day.

The lack of stress the dolphins had couldn’t rub off on us. We now knew that we were in for a night entry into a harbour we’d never seen, to an anchorage that was exposed and through another fishing fleet who couldn’t steer in a straight line.

The horizon was awash with light and this did a great job at hiding the lights of the fishing boats. They twisted and turned looking for fish and seemed to be magnetically attracted to poor Ruffian. Getting through them was like Stevie Wonder driving through slalom. We had no idea where the next turn would be, no idea what we’d head for, we only wanted the boats and the fish they hunted behind us.

We now just had to find the anchorage. As we were now in France we expected that all the boats would be exhibiting usual French behaviour. They’d have no lights on, they’d be anchored on rope and when we got our hook stuck in someone (irrespective of the time) would anchor in front of us.

We were right with 2 out of our 3 assumptions. All the boats in the anchorage had employed stealth mode, with no lights on, and were near invisible. They were also all swinging around wildly like teenagers on a kiddies swing as rope and not chain extended from their bows. With that we knew we’d entered France and could cross off another successful crossing of the fabled Bay of Biscay.

Downwind, downswell, no rain. Woohoo.


Just how are you supposed to get through a fishing fleet like that?


Another day at sea, another amazing sunset.


Followed by a moonrise.


Impromptu sunshades are the order of the day.


Biscay is alive with dolphins.


And they stay with us all day.


The dreaded ‘shelf ‘ in the middle of Biscay.


More lovely sailing.


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Vessel Name: Ruffian
Vessel Make/Model: Sadler 34
Hailing Port: Newcastle
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Created 29 January 2016

Who we are.

Port: Newcastle