The Bay of Biscay ….. is it as rough as they say?

The answer is simply ….. yes!

We’ve just rounded the northwestern tip of France and are about to start our transit across the Bay of Biscay. The forecast wasn’t too far from the reality that we have experienced so far.


The seas are pretty rough at force 9 and so we have had to slow down from the normal transit speed of 10 kn to around 5 kn and ……


we are being overtaken by other vessels who are just smashing through the waves.


We are trying to get across the Bay before the deep Atlantic low arrives, although the forecast for tomorrow evening is worse still than today, but hopefully by then we’ll have found our sea legs.

Currently just standing up is a challenge, many have retreated to their cabins for a lie down, and some of us hardier souls who have been out taking pictures have got a bit wet with waves breaking on the starboard deck.

Not much else is happening right now as  you can imagine, but we should be past the worst in a few days and we’ll head down to the west of the Canaries, in international waters, where the weather will be much better and we can start our equipment tests in about 4 days time.

And finally …… if you have been following these blogs you will know we have a gravimeter onboard and that the sensor in these instruments must remain vertical at all times – how does that work in weather like this? This is how …… see how the gimbled and shock-mounted cradle sways with the motion – the sensor in the middle is upright, just everything else isn’t!


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