The 24 hours entering the Bay of Biscay were the roughest we had seen. Even some seasoned members of the crew didn’t survive unscathed. The winds were as high as Force 10 on the Beaufort scale, which of course is not a measurement scale but ordered categories. But with that amount of Rasch nitpicking, Force 10 means 60 mph winds and typical wave height of 30 to 40 feet (typical, not maximum.) We didn’t go outside. Doré retreated to a wheelchair for the first time since last June (and occasional long museum visits.) I found it useful to hang on to. We survived without missing any meals.
After 108 nights, it will seem very odd not to have 180 sq. ft. of cabin space and five meal opportunities to go home to. Our basic plan is to hire a car (we’ve been surrounded by Brits for four months), drive and ferry to the Netherlands (Harwich to The Hook of Holland, basically The Hague), spend a week plus there, ferry back to England (Bruges to Hull), drive around for a week, ferry to Ireland (Liverpool to Dublin,) drive around for a week, ferry back to England, drive around a couple days, spend a few days with friends from the cruise near Oxford, fly to Iceland, look around for three days, and fly to Minneapolis. For those 32 days, we actually have rooms reserved for 14 of them. That includes two overnight ferries but there will probably be a third and maybe a fourth.
A month isn’t long enough. We want to do Amsterdam, Brussels, Bruges, Normandy Beaches, Wales, Ireland, Oxford, York, Liverpool, the Isle of Wight; the list keeps growing whenever we talk to any UK resident. We’ll have to start paring down before the calendar does it for us. With some much of Europe left for us, we won’t do another world cruise. Unless it’s a very different route; say, around the horns of Africa and South America. And we have yet to get to the east end of Asia.
April 19 was Doré’s one year anniversary.