Crossing the Bay of Biscay (day 2)

Trip Start Oct 15, 2010
Trip End Dec 15, 2010

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Flag of France  , Brittany,
Monday, November 1, 2010

The first thing I heard this morning after a poor and bouncy sleep was Libellule's voice saying something "collision course" something ... he and Pappy were in the cockpit in morning twilight and I thought I'd better see what was up. They were caught between an approaching freighter and two fishing boats with work lights flashing. But the freighter changed course and the fishing boats did not have a net deployed despite their signal. It was still a nerve wracking situation.

The sun rose behind clouds over grey heaving seas and I was feeling queasy and sodden with damp sea air and was dizzy without good sleep. I was not happy. Why the hell was I doing this dangerous uncomfortable trip? Nothing to look at here but the ever changing wavy landscape that tossed us side to side, up and down, and various objects that had fallen from the chart table or the galley counter or had slipped off a hook or slid out from under a bed were sliding and rattling around on the floor. This was some kind of cruel prison.

There was nothing to do all day but sit and watch the boring horizon to keep the tummy quiet, or try to nap and forget about it all, as the world rose and fell on slow swells five or six meters tall. Every now and then a wave would break across the bow and give those sitting in the cockpit a salty bath. I quit trying to wipe it from my glasses. Eventually I managed to eat a handful of trail mix, and then a bowl of rice and tuna that Libellule somehow managed to whip up in the heaving galley. After he handed us our bowls, we hit a wave, heard a string of French curses in the galley, and then saw his face in the hatch: "the bread has it now" is how he described the fate of his own meal, which landed on the baguettes stacked behind the swinging stove.

After the meal Pappy went to wash the dishes but got no water from the sink. We didn't worry too much, as we had several gallons of backup water in plastic jugs, but it did explain why we next discovered the bilge half full of water. Somehow our main water tank had sprung a leak. The bilge pump was switched on. Nothing was seen to come out. Pappy volunteered to stick his hand in the bilge and remove the filter that Libellule had decided to add to the pump output. It was totally clogged. With the filter gone the pump happily cleared the bilge in about two minutes. "Now I know why the salesman told me I was the only one who had ever bought that filter," Libellule mused.

By the end of the day, as a fantastic sunset began to play out ahead of us, I was feeling better. The wind and the seas were calming, a nibble of fresh ginger root had calmed my stomach most effectively, and Pappy was taking the first watch so I had several hours for trying to sleep.

Here is the first picture from today.
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