Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Veering from rough to vomity

Jo and Range Rover Classic Nellie
Jo revving up Nellie for the ramp
Leaving Portsmouth on the hottest September day on record was a promising start to our 2016 south/eastbound odyssey. 

Unfortunately a cursory check on the Met Office shipping forecast predicted Force 9 veering to Storm Force 10 seas in the Bay of Biscay. Uh oh.

Our ship is the Britanny Ferries' Pont Aven with 9 decks, 3 bars, 2 cinemas, restaurant, self-service cafeteria, beauty parlour and a swimming pool (hah!). It takes 24 hours to reach Santander. 

Naturally my thoughts turned to food and what on earth we would eat that could be relied upon not to make a return appearance. I've been caught on out this front before.

The food on the Pont Aven is French with a British twist (chips always available and a fry-up in the morning). Here's what is great: the bread, the Brittany butter, the range of salads, the wine. Here's what is not: the tea.

Bay of Biscay waves
Force 8+ from the starboard side
We sensibly opted for the easily digestible, and had salads with smoked salmon and cream cheese (plus a drop or two of wine to lubricate). Happy to report it was a once-only affair.

Having said that, Dave was up and about at 4am pacing the ship wondering why all went quiet on the engine front and the seas had suddenly calmed. Did the engines fail? Were we floating helplessly towards the Brittany rocks?
Dog cages on Brittany Ferries' Pont Aven
The poor howling pooches at 4am

Having established that neither was the case Dave made a mercy mission to the dog pound where the poor souls are incarcerated for 24 hours in little cages. He reported back that most of them were comforted by his calming presence, a couple of notable exceptions for which he was relieved that there were bars in the way.

As we near our destination the seas are easing, the sky is clearing and Dave no longer has to sip Coke and eat dry bread. Happy days.
Arriving in Santander. Phew.

Because I am in charge of the first night's stay in Santander I have unilaterally decided that we will be staying at the Hotel Real as this may be our last accommodation splurge for some time.

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  1. Wow I'm as exited as you are. Great start Jo on the hotel. Even better is the blue house.
    Oh and I want Nellie if she gets home!��

    1. Thanks Jiten. Not sure you'll want Nellie by the time she finishes this trip! :)