Six people were killed during that storm and huge waves were generated in places like Nazare in Spain, a big wave surfer named Maya nearly drowned after being overcome by a huge wave. News indicates she is fine at the time of this writing. A small sloop, almost the length of the Cape Dory makes its way to Cherbourg harbor ahead of the storm, as winds began to whip the channel at nearly 20 kts:
The water lures us. Several photographs of the ocean on our trip struck me as both alluring and pensive. How better to get closer to the sea than in a vessel which can transport us from land to sea, into the magic of that environment where we can for a while, at least, be somewhat free of the constraints of duties ashore, and to dream a bit while under sail, and listen to the pulse of the water, the waves, and the sounds of our imagination.
Here looking west toward Cap de l'Hague the sun disappears. Scanning the horizon I spotted a monohull cruiser making its way towards Cherbourg at dusk. Looking at the vastness of the channel, we sometimes think of as small, the cruiser is overwhelmed by the mass of water and the distance it must travel before the sea and sky become black. Hardly visible, the vessel is framed by evening clouds and an easy sea. Look closely to see it.
Further west, here at Cap de l'Hague, the small fishing harbor awaits the ferocious storm behind the jetty wall, with winds already blowing 25kts against this rugged outpost settled in the 1800s. Winds eventually got to Gale force and raged against the coastline across the English Channel.
And today, the Transat Jaques-Vabre ocean race has just rounded Cap L'Hague headed for warmer waters. An interesting race to follow for sailors: http://www.transat-jacques-vabre.com/fr You may select English if the French link is not friendly enough. Like most races followed online, you may select a button on the map to view the recap of the rhum lines used by the teams.