Channel to the Bay of Biscay

Channel to the Bay of Biscay

The beautiful, sunny weather of the past two-weeks has disappeared and now we are travelling through a colourless seascape of grey water and greyer skys.

We spent a jolly half-hour or so on the bridge with the Captain this morning. Being Italian, he invited us inside as soon as he saw us walking the deck and immediately ordered coffee. There is no wheel and the binnacle is computerised. There are VDUs and lots of buttons to press but not a capstan or belaying pin in sight. Everything is highly organised and everyone was busy with their allotted tasks.

He told us about an accident he had suffered a few months ago when a splinter from a tree he was chopping up in his garden near Palermo damaged his left eye. Were it not for the wonders of modern medicine, he would have looked rather more piratical with a black patch where his eye should have been. As it is, we left feeling that we were in capable hands, which I suppose was the point…

By early afternoon, we had passed the top left-hand corner of France and in to the Bay of Biscay. The sea is nearly calm but the North Atlantic swell started to pick up and immediately Sandra started to feel unwell. While I swapped stories with Rudolph, a fellow passenger who had been a boat owner like me, Sandra tried to come to terms with motion sickness at first on deck then tucked up in bed.

According to the other passenger Phil, taking his BMW to his new retirement in Cyprus, he saw an Osprey catching its dinner while looking out to sea. He was convinced but do they exist so far south? I must admit that I associate them with the highlands of Scotland and lands much further north…

As we move in to deep water and swell grows ever stronger, Grande Mediterraneo gently creaks as the ship pitches and rolls. Sleep well, Sandra.


About stevehollier

Steve Hollier is the editor of AZ Magazine, an English language lifestyle magazine based in Baku, Azerbaijan. He began his career working for a firm of stockbrokers in the City of London then went on to attend the University of Essex where he was awarded an MA in Sociology in 1984. After a career in arts and cultural development work, he became a freelance arts consultant, writer and photographer.
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