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Spirit of Adventure blog

The Canaries part 1

3rd April, 2022

Spirit of Adventure left Southampton on the 29th March, 2022 on ‘The Glorious Canary Islands’ cruise. Our pilot departed at around 20:00 and we continued out of the Solent and into the English Channel where we spent the following sea day before heading out into the Atlantic Ocean heading south. To get to our first port of call we had to cross the Bay of Biscay, which many passengers, and seafarers, dread

The Bay of Biscay is an area of around 86,000 square miles, and is bounded by the west coast of France and the northern coast of Spain. It’s known for its rough seas and poor weather, due to the large fetch that the wind has over the Atlantic that generates large swells, which are then contained within the Bay and become more powerful. In the words of American professor Adrian New, ‘Winds blow from America to Europe and the waves grow all the way as they travel from west to east’. The average depth of the Bay is 1745m with the maximum depth being 2790m, relatively shallow compared to the rest of the Atlantic Ocean, which then creates the steep breaking seas.

However, for our crossing we were lucky to have calm seas and smooth sailing. With a combination of the favourable conditions and our stabilisers reducing our motion, it was hardly noticeable that we were even crossing the dreaded Bay of Biscay.

We came to our first port of call, Cadiz, on the 2nd of April. During our call we had some lovely weather with temperatures up to 20 degrees, making it a great start to our Canary Island adventure. Cadiz´s name and reputation have been forever linked with its maritime adventures. It was from this ancient port city, Cadiz is located on a spit of land, that two of Columbus´ four voyages set out for the New World. Cadiz was also a favourite victim of many of England´s famous marine adventurers. Sir Francis Drake made his mark in 1587, where he captured and destroyed so many ships that the Spanish armada was delayed by one year.

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.