Wednesday, 27 August 2014

The waiting game begins

We’ve made it to Santander, our “hop-off” point along the Spanish coast, and are waiting for a weather window to head to Port Medoc in France, a 36-hour crossing.  The weather, however, seems intent on keeping us a while longer with a series of depressions blasting up from the Atlantic.  Here in our little corner, however, the weather is a wonderful 25 C and sunny, and it finally feels like summer.  But we’re not keen on sitting in a marina for a week or more, and we’ve already taken all the local excursions we care to (including an overnight trip into the Picos de Europa).   

Santander, Sardinero Beach

A beautiful mooring at Los Peligros beach.

The anchorage at Los Peligros
We’ve decided to keep heading east ever-so-slowly until ….Laredo?  Bilbao?  We’ve been warned that, East of Bilbao, you start getting too far towards the end of the Bay and the predominant wind and swell from the west / northwest make it difficult to head north. (We seem to be having a helluva lot of easterly winds lately, though…).  But we’ve also been told by people who routinely cross from Hendaye at the far end of the Bay to Medoc that it’s not a problem as long as you’re patient and wait for the weather.  I want to be patient but I have to admit that it doesn’t come naturally to me!

The Picos de Europa (crestline above 2500 meters)
Picos de Europa

Picos de Europa
In any case, we’re beginning to feel like migrating birds that overslept and missed the departure date.  The marinas are empty and we’re now the only visitors in the huge marina in Santander, and I anticipate we’ll also be alone in the new port of Laredo.  Patrick keeps reminding me, and he is correct, that the end of August is often quite perturbed while September settles down into some of the best sailing weather of the year.  I hope this holds true this year, too!