Roscoff to Plymouth
28 September 2012
So Kim's brother Mike came into the port on the Brittany ferry in the morning and was able to spend all of an hour in France before he handed over his nice new Peugeot estate to Kim and the dogs and we departed the marina! Kim was a little nervous about driving her brother's brand new car in a foreign country but as it was literally exit the car park and turn right for about 200m she was fine. Dogs all ready with their papers and the smallest muzzle in the world for Whistle!
We waved farewell and headed out of the marina.....straight into fog! Damn it but not a lot you can do about it and common at this time of year. Mike was very glad to be aboard and thankfully after a couple of hours and we got further away from France, the fog lifted. It is pretty much bang on 100 miles from Bloscon (Roscoff) Marina to our destination of Mayflower Marina (Plymouth) and pretty much due North. We turned off the engine and sailed for a while but then our speed dropped to under 5 knots - to cover the distance without spending the whole night out there as well we needed to keep our speed up. The wind sadly was not as helpful as we had hoped by the forecast with it being NE rather than SE but the sea state was good. Nothing really of note - Mike and I chatted about the usual: football, beer, and girls, and put some tunes on - there's not really much to look at in the middle of the channel with the main source of entertainment the shipping. The AIS tells you all about the great big ship you can see including it's name, size, type, destination etc and the main thing is it tells you whether you are going to collide with it or not. We saw a few 'big ones' and we also demonstrated how useful the AIS equipment linked to the chart plotter is reassuring you that the big ship is going to pass half a mile astern of you. The closest thing we got to was a fishing boat from Plymouth which decided having gone all over the place and well clear, was now going to do 10 knots as an 'overtaking vessel see Rule 13' and make us change course by heading on a collision course.
Night descended and it seemed to take forever for us to get past the Eddystone Lighthouse, and we carefully entered Plymouth by the Western entrance. There are many lights when entering Plymouth at night which can make it a little confusing, but we successfully navigated through ‘The Bridge’ shortcut up to Mayflower and found the berth we were allocated. We quickly moored Petrella up (she had done brilliantly yet again – a fantastic cruising boat!) and we popped up the bar for a celebratary pint at the bar. We were both pretty tired but we had made it back to ENGLAND! It did feel a little strange to be honest not saying ‘bonjour’ at the bar and paying with the £10 note I had kept for the last 6 months. Kim made it to the boat with the dogs early in the morning and had managed fine. Great challenges ahead and we will certainly look back at our 6 months of sailing experience fondly – we had covered 1500 miles and been to many places we had never been before.
Great challenges ahead: we are now excited and very much looking forward to moving into our new home in Cornwall, Kim her new course, and me with a new job to start!