English Channel Crossing
Our English Channel Crossing proved to be a good test of navigation and nerve. We are now moored in L'aber Wrach, North West Brittany, in peaceful and tranquil surroundings. This first hurdle is all worthwhile.
Having set off into head winds of a Force 6, a lumpy sea, and with us all very tired from our last minute preparations, we quickly took the decision to return to Plymouth, to a safe anchorage, a good nights sleep and the promise of better weather the next day.
Refreshed, we left on Thursday 18th, and with a good S.E Breeze made brisk progress due South towards France. Our watch system ensured George, Jack and Jed all had their turn at the helm, with plenty of fishing and reading going on. At dusk the wind died away, but we ad a visitor! A small bird landed and settled in Grums hat to roost!
Bridget and Grum sailed through a very black night with distant lightening flashes from all directions, and shipping all around. Several times we had to steer Double Waters off course to avoid large ships, although the job was made easier by the radar. It was the radar that confirmed we were about to sail into an isolated storm, which coincided with the approach of two large vessels. When the torrential rain hit Bridget was soaked in seconds, visibility disappeared along with the nearby ships, both visually and on radar! For about 5 minutes we desperately kept a lookout for the ships lights and any reflection on the radar. Our course and approach to the ships proved to be correct as the rain eased and they both passed comfortably ahead. Scary moments none-the-less!
By Dawn we could see the loom of the Lighthouses on the French Coast, very reassuring for the boys as they got out of their bunks to join us.Some brilliant navigation and mooring saw us into L'aber Wrach for some welcome sleep!
Distance Travelled-115 nm (Nautical Miles) in 24 hours
Double Waters in France. Sitting out a gale and torrential rain in La Rochelle. The past week we’ve enjoyed good sailing weather, most days sailing 50 – 60 miles, anchoring over night or using a marina. Belle isle, IlD’yeu, and Ile de Re have all been overnight stops. Boat life is settling down; routines established, a watch system, washing up rota, bilge pumping duties, bread making, conserving power and water supplies and rigging checks. No leaks, no collisions, no pirates! But boat caught mackerel for tea, dolphins, island cycling and jellyfish counting competitions. (jed won 57-18) The boys’ musical mission continues with guitar, (new strings from point D’abbie) keyboard and songs aplenty.
Up to deck now to check our storm warps are holding, - bit early in the trip to be sitting out gales! Heave Ho!