Well, we found that out anyway, the hard way. When we thought we had half an hour of motoring to do at dawn to enter Cherbourg Harbour(large commercial hbr) in the dying wind, we found ourselves making 6,5 knots through the water but close to zero over ground! I e the tidal stream was about as strong as our 30 hp Yanmar diesel engine.
So, we found ourselves pretty much 'standing by' outside the entrance on 2700 rpm for a few hours. Then we diecided to at least take advantage of the turning tide, which kept us going at 10+ knots for a few more hours.
For a while e considered continuing one day more, but headwinds aren't our favourite treat, so we turned Bb to Guernsey when it showed up after dawn when passing Alderney, the first of the Br Channel Islands.
So, just after lunch we anchored in Havelet Bay,just off St Peter Port which is the largest town on this lovely island.
All in all, a much better alternative than Cherbourg and at least some 30 miles closer to the W part of the English Channel.
BTW, the area here at the Channel Islands, Cherbourg and last but NOT least, S:t Malo, is together with S.t John - Newfoundland; Canada the places in the world with the largest Tidal Range. Around here, seven meters Tidal Range at Spring tide is not at all unusual.
St Peter Port on the photo
After a couple of lazy days here, while a minor low swept by with some near gale force winds on the nose, we will go up at 4AM in the morning to take a little leap over the Channel to France. Isabelle is gettign a bit homesick I guess... ;:)
Bembridge from the boat just a few minutes to go in the sunset...
Pretty sunny and the wind is picking up from SW. A small and comparately weak Low will pass over the British Isles the next couple of days. At this moment it looks like we could have a good weather window starting on Thursday for the leap around the infamous waters surrounding Ile d'Oessant (Ushant) and the western point of Bretagne/Brittany.
This suits us just fine, since we would like to explore Isle of Wight a bit closer.
After the usual chores before taking off from harbour/marina, consisting of going provisioning (buying grocerys) equipped with backpacks, topping the boat's tank of fresh water etc. we took off around 3 PM on the last outgoing tide. We didn't even bother to set sail for the 3,5 mile trip across The Solent to Priory Bay just outside Bembridge - Isle of Wight - where we anchored a bit closer to shore than last time. Seasoned Solent Sailors by now obviously. Given that it is Sunday and sunny there were 15-20 boats at anchor here, most of them left when the tide turned in the afternoon, for another working week I guess.
We had a quiet evening just the two of us catching up on some writing and reading.
Everything has an end, even these ineresting and enjoyable days in the NW part of England. Today a new car drve back to the boat for us, and Dave continuing to London by himself to meet an old friend on his Birthday-
We made a stop at Stonehenge where we spent an hour or two admiring these 'Pyramids of Europe'.
Just before Portsmouth, we had dinner at Pub where the menu was very modern, 'Med Style' and the surrounding countryside as nice as ever.
For myself, I spent the latter part of the evening installing a new harddrive and Win Vista + Nav. software and charts on Isabelle's laptop. The symptoms weere there for some time, but a few days ago the computer could simply not find the Harddrive on start-up.
When it comes to charts, we carry three computers. The work-horse, the backup and then the backup on the backup. Furthermore a couple of external drives plus the installation discs. Additionally we carry some paper charts too, including large scale charts (plotting charts) of the waters we plan to sail the nearest six months or so.
Jen, the poor girl, had to work today from 7 AM to 7 PM but Isabelle, Dave and I took of for a drive around this breathtakingly beautiful landscape where one hill followed another in a labyrinth-like pattern for many many miles. we visited the nice llittle town of Buxton and a large Cavern in the limestone structure and had a long walk on the hills to see a little Shrine on a slope and a 'Hall' or the ruins of one, several hundred years old. A huge building almost liek a castle, built of large stone and situated in pristine environment.
After all that walking were starving of course and had a BBQ in Jen's garden with Scottish Beafs, sallad and accessories. As if this wasn't enough we took off by foot again to the Pub in the next village. Not by car but by an interesting 'shortcut' over the hills, over a bridge crossing a river and through the darekest forest. All this without flashlights and with wet mud all over the place after the THunder storms we experienced in the morning.
Very interesting expedition where the rest of us learned that Dave has a terrific night-vision. He claimed that to be caused by his slightly defect ability to see the difference between different colours which might well be true. The Ales at the Pub tasted wonderful after thsi little adventure, but that must me obvious for anyone by one.