Crossing Biscay Seminar

For many mariners, crossing the Bay of Biscay requires a longer passage than they have previously taken and although conditions in the Biscay are kinder during summer than other seasons, careful planning will increase the chances of a successful and more comfortable passage. The seminar will cover the resources available to help you plan your Biscay crossing together with presentations from fellow CA Members on their experiences from undertaking their own Biscay crossings.

The presenters and our Section Secretaries will be available to answer any questions you may have throughout the seminar.

The cost of the seminar includes a buffet lunch and coffee, tea & biscuits

Publishers Imray will also be attending the Seminar, along with a selection of their latest publications with special discounts for attendees. A reminder that year round, members can benefit from discounts on Imray products - see the members' discounts page for details.

The galley bar will be open after the close of the seminar. Why not stay on for a drink and a chat?


Date: Saturday 16 March 2024

Time: Registration and coffee from 10.30 programme begins at 11.00

Place: CA House, Limehouse, London

Cost:Early Bird discount (up to 1 March): CA members £31.50, CA couples £54.00, non-members £45.00. After 1 March: CA members £35.00, CA couples £60.00; non-members £50.00 per person.

Booking: Book online here


10:30 - 11:00 Registration, coffee, tea & biscuits

11:00 Welcome and Introduction followed by:

Dr. Andrew Eccleston - Sourcing and Using Weather Information

Andrew Eccleston is a Chartered Meteorologist and RYA Yachtmaster Offshore, sailing a Dufour 36 out of Plymouth. Crossing Biscay is a serious endeavour and getting a detailed picture of the weather to be expected on passage is essential. Andrew will explain the modern approach to weather forecasting and show how to make the best use of the data that is freely available to help you plan a safe voyage.

Jim Everson - Crossing Biscay - The good, the bad and the lumpy

Jim and his wife Angela cruise around NW Europe on their Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 439. In 2023 they headed down to Northern Spain again from their winter base in Chatham Kent. The presentation covers their planning and decision making process for crossing Biscay, some observations not found in the pilot guide, a few highlights of their trip, and one or two lowlights!'

13.00- 14.00 Buffet lunch

John Burbeck Orca Interactions. Will it work if I....... ?” .The presentation will provide the latest knowledge and tips.

ohn sold his Moody 43 Eclipse early in 2022 having spent the past 6 years almost full time cruising. He sailed back from the Med through Orca Alley in 2021 without incident, although a yacht a few hours behind was not so lucky. Since the beginning of 2022 he has led a RATS based CA team trying to help develop advice to help yacht crews avoid interactions with the orca, and to reduce the damage if one occurs. The presentation will provide the latest knowledge and tips.

Paul Bragg - Crossing Biscay - Proper Preparation Prevents…..

Paul and his wife Elaine sail an Island Packet 380 called Jennie B. Their boat is currently based on the River Vilaine in Brittany. They have sailed her on the west coast of Ireland, the west coast of Scotland, the East and South Coast of England and also sailed through the Baltic to St Petersburg and back. After attending last year's Crossing Biscay seminar Paul will explain the preparations they made for crossing Biscay to Spain last summer and the hazards they tried to avoid. Paul will also cover lessons learned from a less well prepared crossing he made as crew from Baiona to Plymouth.

1630 / 1700 - Review and Any questions