We left La Rochelle in darkness at an ungodly hour of the morning (4.30am). Money Penny was set on a westerly course with the intention of avoiding the Isle d’Oleron which someone had placed in the way of our intended route. Under full sail Money Penny was enjoying the challenge and slipping through the water with ease. Once around the Northern most tip of Oleron island we set a course direct for Santander on a heading of some 245 degrees. A good sail was enjoyed across the ‘Bay’. With a good wind we headed towards our goal with apprehension. The ‘Bay’ has a reputation of spitting out the unwary and is not the sea to be in in unfavourable weather.
We were lucky or chose the right day to cross. It wasn’t calm and it wasn’t rough. I didn’t sleep for the 33 hours the crossing took, Judith on the other hand enjoyed ‘cat naps’ whilst laid out in the cockpit. Soon with a mixture of sail and engine power we reached sight of land and entered Santander at 1pm the following day. Yipee! We had crossed the Biscay late season!
Sleep, sleep and more sleep was the order of the day after securing Money Penny in a marina well up the river in Santander.
Sunrise in the Bay of Biscay
Finally we catch sight of Santander!
The next day brought us brilliant sunshine. A bus ride into the city and we soon realised what a lovely city it is. Being the main ferry port for Northern Spain from the UK, I think ‘tourists’ tend to get off the ferry and head off before looking at what Santander has to offer. There is a big bank there of course!! Whilst strolling along the expansive promenade we saw people on hire cycles similar to the ‘Boris bikes’ of London. After some fun trying to interpret the instructions on the machine, we were allocated our bikes and set off for a grand tour of the area. It is such a lovely place with a mixture of old and new with plenty to see and do. Hiring the cycles was an asset and we toured all the beaches and tourist attractions on offer.
We enjoyed our short stay in Santander but it was soon time to ‘sail on’.