02-Aug-2008 -- This convergence point was visited during a sailing trip in August 2008. I had crossed the Bay of Biscay from Brest (France) to A Coruña (Spain) few days earlier on my father's boat and had since embarked as crew on O Wimoweh, a RM 10.50, French sailing boat owned by Claude Puig and his wife Annie. They had kindly accepted me on board and we were bound to Vannes (France) across the Bay of Biscay. We had met only few days earlier, as I was hitch-hiking in the various marinas of the Spanish town.
To be honest, as we were leaving the harbour, Claude and Annie were not aware that I was to propose a detour to the convergence location. They had never heard of the Degree Confluence Project either but, curious and adventurous, they were very easily convinced. 44N 8W was only slightly off the direct course.
Although we had been sailing since the morning, we decided to lower the sails and approach the location using the engine. The weather was fine and the visibility ok. Sea was not exactly calm and the wind and swell were perturbating factors when approaching our goal. After a first try, I must admit I was quite pessimistic. To take pictures of the surroundings was a piece of cake. Guiding the boat across the waves to an exact GPS location was the hard bit. We were lucky enough to achieve a reasonable distance to the objective during the second try. After a last one, I decided I had bothered Claude and his wife for long enough and we set the sails newly toward our primary goal. The following 3 days were delightful although we missed some wind. The moral was good on board, with no sea-sickness to be reported and good food. We did not fish but could see dolphins on several occasions. This was a very fine cruise and I thank again Claude and Annie for their hospitality on board.
As you, reader, might have remarked, the picture of the GPS display does not show an exact number with only zero digits. We travelled 5 thousands of minute to the West of the confluence. I would like to point out, however, that this is the first GPS device I see which displays so many digits for the position. I actually doubt that our (moving) coordinates were so accurately estimated. These 5 thousands of minute correspond to a distance of approximately 9 meters on the WGS84 datum which, I guess, does qualify this visit as successful. I would of course have preferred to present a "perfect" location record but the fact that we were not walking on firm ground but piloting a 30-feet sailing boat in the swell and wind should be kept in mind.
I also apologize for the bad quality of the GPS picture: the sun was shining high in the cockpit where I was piloting the boat with one hand, reading the compass and was thinking to much of pressing the camera button at the right time to make sure that the picture would be of acceptable quality.
Finally, as you may see on picture #2, the coast was quite far (30 km, 16 nautical miles). We could see it because it is rather mountainous and because the visibility was very good, but it absolutely was to the limit of our eyesight and you might need to zoom-in and modify some screen parameters to actually see the land. But, trust me, it is there, although low on the horizon!
I am glad I could visit this marine confluence point and, by this way, participate in the project!