06/14/2012, Camaret France
We woke up on Tuesday morning at 5.30am to the familiar sound of rain beating down on the boat. Quick discussion followed - do we go or not? The northerly and then westerly winds promised by the weather forecast would get us down to France in one hop without the usual stops in Cherbourg and Guernsey so we both agreed that we should go despite the rain.
What followed was a 40 hour sail down the English Channel past Portland, Plymouth and then across to Northern France and then on to Camaret. The weather forecast got the wind strength about right but not the direction - it turned to the south west- so we ended up bashing our way down through the rain and rough seas but nothing too bad. We missed the tide for the Chenal du Four but by that time we were going through regardless. Fortunately we are on neaps so the tide slowed us but didn`t stop us.
Anyway here we are in Camaret on a mooring buoy and ,of course, it is raining. We are holed up on the boat and Martyn is looking for things to do so he has found everything we might need in an emergency and has velcroed it to the boat in an accessible place. I think he may have had too much time on his hands today...
The weather for the next couple of days isn`t good so we are staying here until Sunday when it looks there might be a weather window for us to set sail for Spain and the sunshine. Ever hopeful .....
06/11/2012, Elkins Boatyard Christchurch
After 6 weeks of preparations and constant delays by rain and more rain Gemini is finally launched, loaded with everything we will need and weighed down with much stuff that we probably won`t but are taking just in case. We are amazed that she floats at all! She is berthed in the small dock at Elkins and we plan to leave on the morning tide.
In the lashing rain the rigging had its final tune and then Martyn was happy to find that the furling gear on the head sail had jammed and needed to be taken apart and adjusted. As Jane said from the comfort of the boat to Martyn outside on the dock in the rain and dark better here than at sea. Martyn`s reply was lost in the howling wind.
At least we know why we are taking the boat to warmer climes.
As ever another day or better still another week would have meant we were completely ready to go but the weather looks worse at the end of the week and the best chance of getting west and to Camaret in one go is to leave tomorrow. Let`s hope at least it stops raining ....