This is it – once we head out of here there no easy way back ….. Are you sure you want to do this?! …. This was my question to Tom as we slipped our lines just before 6am on Wednesday morning. Everything up to this point had felt like a ‘normal’ summer cruise but this was different. What lay ahead was 3 days at sea – our longest passage with the boys ever. Open ocean. So much planning, preparation and thought had go into this passage on every level – weather, kit, safety, food, boy entertainment. How would the boys cope? Would we get enough sleep? Would we reach Spain in one piece?!

As soon as the blow went through we set off – sailing in company with Tobasco – our initial concerns about a bad sea state were quickly squashed and the first day saw us through the Raz du Sein and out into Biscay with a combination of motor and sail.

Ok – so 24 hour passages are quite normal for us (Lyme Bay to Salcombe or the Channel). New territory now.

Our position in the middle of Biscay compared to out normal Lyme Bay crossing.

One thing I hadn’t considered was becalmed motoring boredom (my part) which happened on day 2. I was itching to sail even if it meant in the wrong direction for a few hours. The boys were totally unphased by the whole thing.

Stan talking to Patrick on Tobasco

Ted, who has always been our most seasick prone crew member, had found his sea legs by day 2. (He was actually only sick once but was very subdued for the first day). They both loved going to the bow to watch any visiting Dolphins.

Before we left so many people had said what will you do with the boys? How will they cope? How will you cope with them?! Genuinely we didn’t really know the answer to this question other than to set sail and see.

Day 3 gave us our answer – the wind filled in from the east and we had one of the most amazing days sailing of our lives – perfect wind from the perfect direction – beautiful sunny skies, dolphins, happy happy happy day. We even managed to bake biscuits for the bay of Biscuits as Ted calls it!

approaching Caruna

As we closed the coast the wind dropped and we motored the final few hours. We had decided not to attempt an unknown marina entrance in the dark so instead we went into an unknown anchorage in the dark and dropped anchor, along with Tobasco, on the opposite side of the ria. Wow – we’d actually done it! We crashed out in our bunks exhausted but very happy.

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