Dover to Levington
18 August 2016
Today was the final sail of the holiday. All three yachts left Dover and sailed to the River Orwell. This is another long day but there was a strong wind blowing most of the day, so we had a great sail.
This has been yet again a fantastic adventure. We have sailed through Normandy, North Brittany and South Brittany. Totalling some 1,500 nautical miles. This year we have spent a record time away from marinas. We had a total of 29 nights at anchor or on a mooring. During this time, we have also been to 7 islands and 5 rivers.
Some of the particularly memorable places were the wild island of Ile d’Ouessant, the quaint Ile de Groix and the fabulous Iles de Glenan. The beach on Ile Houat in brilliant sunshine was amazing.
The food and wine in France is always a highlight.
So, for another year, we hope you have enjoyed the blog. Goodbye!
Time: 9:00 hours Miles: 60nm Total Time: 237:30 hours Total Miles: 1446nm
Boulogne to Dover
17 August 2016
Fiona drove to Calais on Wednesday to take Bella back to Dover. Simon sailed Brindabella to Dover in company with Shades of Blue and Lily. The sun was out and there was a perfect wind, so sailed all of the way.
Sailing single handed is always a busy time as the work is normally split between two. Putting the fenders and rope away, navigating, putting the sails up, operating the sails, operating the radio and making the tea! It is also one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world, so navigating through first the southwest lane and then the north east lane is not easy.
Fiona arrived in Dover first, so was able to help tie up the boat on arrival.
Time: 4:30 hours Miles: 27nm Total Time: 228:30 hours Total Miles: 1386nm
Dieppe to Boulogne
14 August 2016
We left Dieppe at 7am bound for Boulogne. There was not much wind forecast, so we left the bimini up and motored.
The forecast was clearly wrong as the wind strength increased more and more throughout the day. It was on the nose, so we carried on and motored all of the way to Boulogne.
Boulogne is often used by yachts as a passing through port rather than a destination. However, the town has a lot to offer. There is a good fish market which is one of the best on this part of the coast. The new town has a lot of good shops and it is always worth a walk around the old town.
For customs reasons, Bella needs to travel back to the UK in a car on a ferry. We have tried many different ways of doing this each year from both Cherbourg or Calais. By far the simplest way (and believe me this is not simple), Fiona travels to the UK as a foot passenger, picks up a hire car, comes back to France, puts Bella in the car and goes back to the UK. Simon sails the boat back to the UK.
Anyway, Fiona collected the car from the UK on Monday and drove across from Calais to Boulogne.
Shades of Blue had sailed around with us on Sunday and Lily joined us on Monday. We all had a final meal out in Boulogne on Tuesday night.
The photo is of Boulogne old town.
Time: 9:30 hours Miles: 54nm Total Time: 224:00 hours Total Miles: 1359nm
Fecamp to Dieppe
12 August 2016
All three boats left Fecamp bound for Dieppe. Yet again, it was another good sail. We seem to have so many good sails this year, with the right amount of wind from a good direction. We have probably done more sailing this year than any previous year.
Our arrival in Dieppe was perfectly timed for the Saturday market. This is one of the best food markets in Normandy, with a combination of great fruit and veg and plenty of stalls selling meat and fish. The selection is amazing. You will have one stall just selling smoked trout, another selling rabbit and others poultry. For anyone that enjoys cooking great food, this is paradise.
Anyway, it's bulots (whelks) for starter and sole for main tonight and rabbit stew tomorrow night.
Time: 5:30 hours Miles: 32nm Total Time: 214:30 hours Total Miles: 1305nm
Le Havre to Fecamp
09 August 2016
We only spent the one night in Le Havre and then we were on the move again to Fecamp.
There was a strong wind blowing and it was a good sail in the sunshine to Fecamp. It was pretty rough off Antifer with the swell meeting the fast flowing tide but with the decent wind we powered through it.
We passed Etretat and into Fecamp. Fecamp is a great port with a good beach front, the Benedictine Palace, known for its famous liquer, and links with William The Conqueror. The town stretches back for miles.
We are back to three boats now with Lily re-joining us on Thursday.
Time: 4:00 hours Miles: 25nm Total Time: 209:00 hours Total Miles: 1273nm
Cherbourg to Le Havre
08 August 2016
We spent Saturday restocking the boat at the market in Cherbourg and had a lovely meal on Shades of Blue in the evening.
On Sunday we went for a walk along the coast and found somewhere for Bella to go for a swim. Bella thinks that it is her right to go for a swim every day. When we are out walking, as soon as she sees the water, she is pulling to be let off the lead.
On Sunday night we went to a long lost restaurant called Au Saint Michael. They cook great steaks on a wood fire. It's somewhere we went to many years ago and have not been able to find it again in the many back streets of Cherbourg. Anyway, we rediscovered it and it's just as good!
We left Cherbourg early for the long trip to Le Havre. There was a good following wind so we had a fast sail to Le Havre.
Time: 11:30 hours Miles: 73nm Total Time: 205:00 hours Total Miles: 1248nm
Dielette to Cherbourg
05 August 2016
We just had the one night in Dielette as we wanted to get around to Cherbourg for the market on Saturday. There was a fairly strong wind as we sailed out of Dielette and towards the Alderney race. This is a very fast moving area of water which flows around the Cap de la Hague.
We started with no reef in the sail but it was soon evident that we were over powered. At the first tack we reefed the genoa and the second tack we reefed the mainsail. It was important that we were under control by the time we reached the Alderney race.
The race was quite rough with extremely short sea and confused water. We briefly touched 16 knots as we were catapulted through the race and around the corner. Once though the race, it all settled down and we had leisurely sail into Cherbourg.
Time: 5:30 hours Miles: 30nm Total Time: 193:30 hours Total Miles: 1175nm
Granville to Dielette
04 August 2016
After a few days in Granville, we left for Dielette. We had decided to leave at 9am which in practice turned out to be too early. With the reasonably strong winds and very strong tide, we sailed very fast, up past Jersey and then Guernsey.
By the time we were off Guernsey it was evident that we were around 2 hours too early to get into Dielette. The objective then became to sail as slowly as possible. With 90% of the job rolled away and most of the main we crept along at just enough speed to be comfortable in the
swell. We still arrived at Dielette too early so we anchored for an hour waiting for the tide to rise.
Once at the marina, Fiona quickly made a reservation at the L'Escale which is a moules and frites restaurant we go to every time we pass through Dielette. It was originally in some portacabins but this year moved to a new building as part of the port office redevelopment. It's always
full of locals and people from the marina. Everyone has moules and frites which are served in huge quantities. Very pleased to say that it is just as good if a little more tidy now.
Time: 10:30 hours Miles: 48nm Total Time: 188:00 hours Total Miles: 1145nm
Iles de Chausey to Granville
01 August 2016
When we went to bed, the conditions were just about ok, but by 2am the swell was back and the boat was rolling for the rest of the night. The following day, we decided to move on to Granville.
As is tradition on Brindabella, we had a cooked breakfast while at anchor. French food is wonderful but you can't beat a cooked breakfast in the sun when at anchor!
We needed to wait for the tide to rise to get into Granville so we left fairly late and motored very slowly towards Granville. We were still too early, so we anchored for a while until the tide had sufficient depth over the sill to enter the marina.
Granville is very much a working town with less tourists than some of the towns in the area. Many of the yachts also bypass it going from Cherbourg, Channel Islands and then northern Brittany.
Due to some winds, we stayed in Granville with Shades of Blue for a few days.
Time: 2:30 hours Miles: 10nm Total Time: 177:30 hours Total Miles: 1097nm
St Cast to Iles de Chausey
31 July 2016
We left at 10:30 bound for the Iles de Chausey. It was an excellent sail with one single tack all the way.
Iles de Chausey is a fascinating collection of islands. There are 100's of islands which show at low tide and just one main one at high tide.
The anchorage there is basically at sea, so any swell and you are in for an unpleasant night. When we arrived it was a bit rough but we thought it would settle overnight. How wrong we were!
We went ashore and a swim and Shades of Blue came on board for dinner. We had been given some Mackerel by the yacht next to us in St Cast, so we had those.
Although the swell did settle for a few hours, it was not a good night, with the boat rocking in the swell all night. The following day however, was magnificent and the swell did eventually die down.
The photo is of the beach on the island.
Time: 4:00 hours Miles: 22nm Total Time: 175:00 hours Total Miles: 1087nm