Biscay. / (ˈbɪskeɪ, -kɪ) / noun. Bay of Biscay a large bay of the Atlantic Ocean between W France and N Spain: notorious for storms. Slang. The Bay of Biscay, which is bounded by the west coast of France and the north coast of Spain, covers an area of 86,000 sq miles. It’s known for its rough seas and violent storms and much of this is thanks to its exposure to the Atlantic ocean. It is along the western coast of France from Brest south to the Spanish border, and the northern coast of Spain west to Cape Ortegal. It is named in English after the province of Biscay, in the Spanish Basque Country.
It lies along the western coast of France from Point Penmarc’h to the Spanish border, and the northern coast of Spain west to Cape Ortegal. The south area of the Bay of Biscay that washes over the northern coast of Spain is known locally as the Cantabrian Sea. Located in the Celtic Sea, a gulf of the northeast Atlantic Ocean is called the Bay of Biscay. It is located in the northern coast of Spain and the western coast of France and is named after the Spanish province of Biscay.
The Bay of Biscay (/ˈbɪskeɪ, -ki/), known in Spain as the Gulf of Biscay (Spanish: Golfo de Vizcaya, Basque: Bizkaiko Golkoa), and in France and some border regions as the Gulf of Gascony (French: Golfe de Gascogne, Occitan: Golf de Gasconha, Breton: Pleg-mor Gwaskogn), is a gulf of the northeast Atlantic Ocean located south of the Celtic Sea. It lies along the western coast of France from Point Penmarc’h to the Spanish border, and the northern coast of Spain west to Cape Ortegal. The south area of the Bay of Biscay that washes over the northern coast of Spain is known locally as the Cantabrian Sea.
The average depth is 1,744 m (5,722 ft) and the greatest depth is 4,735 m (15,535 ft).
The International Hydrographic Organization defines the limits of the Bay of Biscay as “a line joining Cap Ortegal (43°46′N 7°52′W) to Penmarch Point (47°48′N 4°22′W)”.
The southernmost portion is the Cantabrian Sea.
In late spring and early summer a large fog triangle fills the southwestern half of the bay, covering just a few kilometres inland.
As winter begins, weather becomes severe. Depressions enter from the west very frequently and they either bounce north to the British Isles or they enter the Ebro Valley, dry out, and are finally reborn in the form of powerful thunderstorms as they reach the Mediterranean Sea. These depressions cause severe weather at sea and bring light though very constant rain to its shores (known as orballo, sirimiri, morrina, orbayu, orpin or calabobos). Sometimes powerful windstorms form if the pressure falls rapidly (Galernas), traveling along the Gulf Stream at great speed, resembling a hurricane and finally crashing in this bay with their maximum power, such as the Klaus storm.
The Gulf Stream enters the bay following the continental shelf’s border anti-clockwise (the Rennell Current), keeping temperatures moderate all year long.
The Bay of Biscay is named (for English speakers) after Biscay on the northern Spanish coast, probably standing for the western Basque districts (Biscay up to the early 19th century). Its name in other languages is:
Asturian: Mar Cantábricu
Basque: Bizkaiko golkoa
Breton: pleg-mor Gwaskogn
French: golfe de Gascogne (named after Gascony, France)
Galician: golfo de Biscaia
Occitan: golf de Gasconha
Latin: Sinus Biscaiensis (Classical: Cantabricus, Cantabrorum, Gallaecum)
Spanish: Golfo de Vizcaya (mar Cantábrico for the ocean area closer to the Spanish coast, the Cantabrian Sea)
Irish: Bá na Bioscáine
Dutch: Golf van Biskaje
What do the French call the Bay of Biscay?
Golfe De Gascogne
Bay of Biscay, Spanish Golfo De Vizcaya, French Golfe De Gascogne, wide inlet of the North Atlantic Ocean indenting the coast of western Europe.
Can you swim in the Bay of Biscay?
Boasting a large shell shaped bay, Plentzia Beach is a popular location due to its calm waters and clean sands, making it the ideal place either to swim or while away the hours basking in the Spanish sun.
Why is the Bay of Biscay so rough?
The Bay of Biscay is greatly influenced by the presence of the Atlantic Ocean. The clockwise circulation in the North Atlantic produces a similar circular motion in the surface currents of the bay. This fierce circulation causes abnormally high waves in the bay, thus making it more violent.
Which city is the largest city in the province of Biscay?
Bilbao is a city in northern Spain, the largest city in the province of Biscay and in the Basque Country as a whole. It is also the largest city proper in northern Spain. Bilbao is the tenth largest city in Spain, with a population of 345,141 as of 2015.
Do cruise ships go through the Bay of Biscay?
Many transatlantic cruises from the UK will go through the Bay of Biscay. Transatlantic cruises often move downwards before going across the Atlantic, they may even stop in the Canary Islands, Portugal and the Azores before making the crossing. A number of ‘northern Europe’ cruises will also go through the bay.
Is there sharks in Bay of Biscay?
There are multiple accounts of white sharks throughout this ocean, the most northernly account was from the Bay of Biscay (just over 30 miles away). This distance is nothing when compared to the distance great white sharks can migrate.
What lives in the Bay of Biscay?
The most abundant species are: northern gannet, great skua (Stercorarius skua), Balearic shearwater, Manx shearwater (Puffinus puffinus), sooty shearwater (Puffinus griseus), great shearwater (Puffinus gravis), razorbill (Alca torda), common guillemot, Atlantic puffin (Fratercula arctica), and seven species of gull.
What time of year is best to cross the Bay of Biscay?
All the books say it is important to get across the Bay of Biscay before the middle of August, in order to avoid the risk of the first storms of the autumn, with June and July being the best months to cross. This is perfect timing for Rally Portugal, which departs from Plymouth, UK at the beginning of June.
Is it rough in the Bay of Biscay?
There are also many dangerous shallow areas. Some of the fiercest weather conditions of the Atlantic Ocean happen in the Bay of Biscay. It is home to large storms during the winter months, and there have been countless shipwrecks that have resulted from the gruesome weather. Depressions enter the Bay from the West.