Sailing the Bay of Biscay: rocking and rolling from beginning to end

Today we’ve decided it’s time to leave the Bay of Biscay behind and head for the calmer rioja of Asturias. We have loved visiting this gorgeous region with its breathtaking scenery, friendly people, and amazing food and drink. But the trade-off for all those good things is navigating and mooring on an endlessly choppy sea with its incessant swell.

From our arrival in Socoa Bay (St Jean de Luz and Ciboure), all attempts to sleep moored to buoys have resulted in long, torturous bumpy nights, leaving us little choice but to find (and pay the price for) a spot on a pontoon. Every navigation has been fraught with massive swells and waves, unpredictably winds, and currents that just dont behave like the ones we’re used to.

I think this is a fairly typical experience on Biscay, and it may explain one of the reasons the Basque are so fiercely independent and their identity has remained so strong. With the mountains on the east and this crazy sea on the west, their territory is strongly delimited by fierce elements.

I feel bittersweet about leaving the region, and we will both keep fond memories of it.

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