Route Out Route Back
Late getting away this year as I had toilet issues over winter resulting in a new fwd electric heads and a replacement pump assembly on the aft one, which I can’t get to seal, plus I didn’t dry out and scrub the hull till late May!
Mon 22 Jun Ridge Wharf – Cherbourg 76.3nM 15 hrs
Left Ridge at 1400 after loading up between showers. Good crossing to Cherbourg Monday night with the wind behind me, though it dropped off in the early hours, so I motor sailed, arrived 0400 and tied up on A pontoon.
Tue 23 Jun
Had a sleep, then moved boat over to the shore connected pontoon. Unloaded my bike, then up to the marina office to pay dues, €41.62 for two nights, then cycled to supermarket to shop for dinner – marinated prawns, baguette, tomato, tartelette framboise and a bottle of wine.
Looked at the forecast and it looks like I will be heading for Guernsey Thursday or Friday then Roscoff and points West – The sun is out, summer starts here.
Wed 24 Jun
Time to buy a new French data sim, my old one had expired. Not much choice in Cherbourg, no Vodafone shop only Orange. New sim €14.90 with 3 gigs on valid for 6 months €35. Not exactly cheap, but the 6 months validity hopefully means that I won’t have to bother topping up when I get back into France from Spain.
Thu 25 Jun
Did some more shopping ready for the trip to St Peter Port tomorrow, trips to the supermarket are very easy with the bike. Had a coffee and chat with my neighbours, Robin and Hilary on Signet, a Sadler 34, they have sailed N Spain several times. Packed bike away and topped up water, then in the early evening, moved back out onto A pontoon (which isn’t connected to land) ready for an early start.
Fri 26 Jun Cherbourg – St Peter Port 45.4nM 8 hrs 45
Left 0415, dawn just breaking, wind was from the S so I could sail along the Cherbourg Peninsula to Cap de la Hague, arrived at 0700 when the tide was just starting to run South. I expected to motor sail, but with the strength of S going current it meant that I could point WSW and sail. Managed to do a stupid thing! Knocked my shoulder against my chart plotter and broke its bracket. I have lashed it back up with some cord which I think will hold up ok. The tide had just started to turn North when I entered the Little Russel so motored down and anchored in Havlet Bay at 1300 along with a largish USA flagged ketch, which had slowly been catching me up, to join a couple of Dutch cats already anchored.
Time to catch up on sleep. Trying to get into relaxation mode, so an afternoon siesta is called for.
Some go by Ferry
800 year old Castle Cornet
Sat 27 Jun
It’s now time that I caught up on a bit more boat maintenance, so stripped down the anchor winch and gave it a degunge and regrease, finished just in time to up anchor and move, as I’ve just been informed that there is a powerboat race this afternoon and I’m parked quite close to the ‘track’ between the turn buoys. The Dutch cats had already left.
Sun 28 Jun
A lazy day, the American boat left but several (3) Dutch boats and a Belgian came in and anchored. I think it’s significant that there are no other Brits, we mainly seem to like the easy, if expensive, marina life.
Mon 29 Jun
Up anchor and round into St PP to fill up with fuel at 68p per ltr. Then went onto the outer pontoons, which are now connected to shore, so I could stretch my legs, have a shower and do a bit of shopping. I had a craving for a hot steak & kidney pie but could I find one, could I hell, so had to make do with a couple of hot sausage rolls.
I did well, over three hours ashore and no marina staff demanding money, mind you, it was over lunch time and low water, which I guess is their down time, then back out onto hook in the bay.
Tue 30 Jun St Peter Port – Roscoff 76.7nM 16 hrs 50
Set off 09:00 down the Little Rustel for Roscoff, wind was E4 so I could sail, doing best part of 5 knots.
Wed 1 Jul
Arrived Roscoff 01:50, hardly any pontoon spaces free but managed to find a vacant residents berth free so commandeered that and turned in.
The new Capitannery is now all completed and very smart it looks too. The girl in the office said that I could stay where I was, €26 / night. The complex now has a small grocery store, a well-stocked chandlery and a bar, plus a fuel berth. I gave the bar a good test, and in the evening bought a takeaway portion of chips to have with my dinner.
Thu 2 Jul
A lazy day, I didn’t bother going into town, just up to the bar for a lunchtime drink and took in some sun, this is the life!
Fri 3 Jul Roscoff – L’Aberwrac’h 31.5nM 6 hrs 30
Left at 05:45 for L’Aberwrac’h. Took the inshore route past the Ile de Batz with a light following wind, so motor sailed to start, then the wind picked up ENE 4, so I could sail.
Views into Ile de Batz moorings
L’Aberwrac’h is expensive for what it is, €27.22 / night. I met another solo sailor and arranged to eat out together. He had met with some friends so we all went out together to restaurant Vioben, good company and a very good meal.
Marina from Lifeboat station wall
Sat 4 Jul L’Aberwrac’h – Camaret 14.1nM 7 hrs 20
0730 start, no wind so had to motor all the way. Arrived mid afternoon, headed for the inner marina and rafted off another Brit boat who was leaving the next day.
Sun 5 Jul
Boats duly left and a finger was also free, so I moved to the vacated finger.
Now wait for a weather window to cross Biscay.
Thur 9 Jul
Toilet now sorted – no leaks, no more bucket. 🙂
Over winter I replaced the manual pump on the aft heads. I tested it with fresh water but couldn’t get the outlet elbow to seal, I dismantled everything several times, even removed the old elbow joint and fitted a new one.
The problem was that the elbow wasn’t mating to the pump properly, the angle wasn’t quite square, due to a stiff outlet pipe, so I fitted the elbow to the pump first, before putting the elbow in the outlet pipe, that sorted it.
Time to think about when to leave. I had paid for the week to get the weekly reduced (7 for 6) rate which expires on Saturday, also Saturday is looking good for three days to cross.
The only downside is that I’ve now broken two teeth (which I can live with till I get home) on the local speciality apple ‘cake’ which is actually very hard as it’s caramelised, but to die for!!
Sat 11 Jul Camaret – Gijon.
Finally set off at 12:15. Once down past the Raz, the wind was SW 3-4 so the best I could make was 190, which put me on course for Gijon. I had hoped to cross to La Coruna, but you have to play the hand you are dealt.
Sun 12 Jul
Averaging about 4 knots, not great but the weather is fair. Wind WSW 3-4
12:00 Log: 97 mls in 24hrs WSW 3-4
Mon 13 Jul
The wind died as I approached the centre of the high, so at 06:30 the engine went on. The sea flattened down to mirror calm and I motored for 18 hrs.
12:00 Log: 100 mls in 24hrs
which would have been a lot worse without motoring! Wind SW 1-2
Tue 14 Jul
Once through the high the wind turned around to East and picked up to a 3 so I could sail again.
12:00 Log: 100.1 mls in 24hrs
14:00 tied up at Marina Yates, which took a bit of finding as it isn’t where my plotter says it is!
It’s here !
Total: 306 nM 74 hrs (3 days 2 hrs (20hrs on engine)
Did all the formalities, the marina lend out bikes because it is out on a limb. Old and heavy, but I gave one a go and cycled into town. There is a good cycle path and it took me about half an hour to do the trip. I found the Orange shop and bought my Spanish 3G sim card, 2Gb for a month for €10, best deal yet, then did some sightseeing and had a meal.
The ‘other’ Marina area and Monument to Pelagius who founded the Kingdom of Asturias
Wed 15 Jul
Slept in then cycled to the big Carrefour supermarket to stock up on fresh food and veg, as big if not bigger than Cherbourg one. Saw a small halogen cooker with elements at the top and bottom, thinking about buying it to use when hooked up to the mains.
On route to Carrefour supermarket
Marina Yates, Is it worth it?
If you have crew or are only staying a night, then NO, the town centre marina would be better, but solo, on a budget and staying two or three days and you don’t mind a not unpleasant bike ride to town, then I would say YES.
It looks like I’m the only visitor! Treated very well by friendly staff. Showers are hot, untimed and spacious but, probably due to low footfall and that the cleaning contractor isn’t controlled so the shower and toilet block has dirty floors. I asked staff how often they were cleaned, he asked why and I told him the bins were full, several hand wash dispensers were empty and one shower looked like a football team had changed in there. He went and looked, then got on to the contractor.
We shall see tomorrow. . .
What has happened to all the Spanish sun?
Cloud and rain!
Thu 16 Jul Gijon – Aviles 22.7 nM 5 hrs 30
I’ve decided to buy the cooker so went back to the supermarket to get it, only €25.
Topped up water then left at 13:50 for Aviles with a NE 3 behind me.
On arrival I tried calling Aviles Marina on Ch9 but no response so picked a slot and tied up, then the marina staff turned up to assist.
The smarter side of the entrance
But don’t look to starboard!
The industrial side, best looking the other way!
Fri 17 Jul
Met up with David on White Angle going East. He had got away from UK much earlier than me so had made it to Portugal and is now heading back, I’m so jealous!
Sat 18 Jul
David and I cycled out to the beach West of the entrance to Aviles, had a beer, a nice sunny day.
Beach with rocky outcrop off to the West and Right: Harbour entry in the distance
In the evening we went out to eat in an area which I had missed on my last visit, up near the Bus Stn. Good meal and a reasonable price, needless to say, the heavens opened up and we had a thunderstorm, luckily just after we had finished our meal (outside).
Sun 19 Jul
White Angle moved on to Gijon, David is going to try Marina Yates.
I cycled up for a shower. The showers, up by the Port office are new, clean and have good hot water. Then had a beer at the bar near the Port Office on the fisherman’s wharf. I cycled back and carried on the ‘other way’, past the boat and followed the river inland. A good cycle path but most unattractive and industrial. I circled round clockwise to return, which took me through a very rundown apartment estate. The good bit was that I found a 2nd Lidl where I bought a cycle ‘computer’ / log for €9, I will now know how far I cycle.
For my evening meal I tested my new cooker with a frozen lasagne, tasted good but I burned the top a bit, all washed down with Planters Punch. Next time, I must either turn the top heat off or cover the top for the last 10 mins.
Mon 20 Jul Aviles – Cudillero 12.5 nM 3 hrs
Decided to give Cudillero a try, left at 09:30 and motored West along a misty coast.
Entry is where the Archers are in the middle of the pic below left.
I had 6 mtrs in marina at LW
Fore and aft mooring buoys but no space on pontoons, so rafted to a mobo on the end of the pontoon. I’m waiting to see if I get chucked off!
1st impression, not great.
Blagged my way to stay rafted for the night, €15. Appears to be a flat rate, as another smaller Brit boat is on the buoys and he paid the same. Lucky he let me stay rafted with power as it’s hot today and I can get my fan going.
The pontoon gate is locked, so had to extract inflatable to get to land.
2nd impression – A pretty tourist trap with restaurant prices to match!
Out of tunnel then the walk down to the Harbour
They have fuel here, so arranged to get fuel in the morning
Tue 21 Jul
Inflatable on the fore deck now, so defo in cruising mode! 🙂
I kept a watch for the fuel berth to open, but no show!
From sun to rain, well, mist and fine drizzle, so decided that I’m not going anywhere today!
Mist and rain gone in the evening and sun is breaking through. Oh! and re the fuel, he waits for a customer to turn up before opening.
Wed 22 Jul Cudillero – Ribadio 43.5 nM 9 hrs 50
I filled up with fuel, 44 ltrs @ €1.385 per ltr, card payment no problem. I am running quite economically, I reckon about 1.2 ltrs per hr.
Left at 09:30. Misty and wind on the nose so motoring.
I had 30 plus miles on engine, rocking and rolling like crazy, making for Ribadio – 12 mls to push.
The sun is now out.
Ribadio – Anchored SW end of commercial wharf.
The peace and quiet is wonderful and it’s a lovely evening. Passed another boat anchored off the marina.
Thu 23 Jul
Rowed ashore for a look around to refresh my memory and do some shopping, then back to boat.
Hey, this is the life, sun shade is up, Martini Rosso in hand (bought on my foray ashore), watching the world go by and, would you believe, the boat that was anchored off the marina, well he’s moved and come and anchored by me! Not Brits, maybe French, I can’t see their ensign, but they have a dog.
Sat 25 Jul – A decision has been made.
As I’m not going to get to Portugal, rather than retrace my steps from my last visit and given the majority of the wind direction for the next week, I am going to head East and visit new places.
Now Chill and watch the world go by – Great
I think my next stop will be Luarca. Supposed to be ‘a small, attractive and lively, easily entered fishing port‘.
Sun 26 Jul Ribadio – Luarca 26 nM 5 hrs 45
08:15 up anchor. Now heading East, this is more like it, wind up the chuff! 4-6 gusting 7
Made 6.5 knots when the wind picked up, running under Jib & Jigger (genoa and mizzen) – I love that phrase.
I’ve set a route on the plotter (1st time I’ve used Route function) set the AH to Track, now sit back, read a book and wait and see if the boat turns when it aught! It did as it said on the box and got me to Luarca. You have to pick up a mooring buoy in outer harbour with a long line to the wall, but it wasn’t easy with the strong W wind blowing.
Arrived at 2PM. It’s taken me an 1 1/2 hrs to get tied to buoy and a shore line out!
First attempt to pick up the buoy failed, a blue flagged RNSA boat next to me did nothing to help till I missed the buoy and had to shout a very loud HELP as I was about to ram him. Just averted disaster, he getting to my nose and me getting back to cockpit to give lots of reverse thrutch. I then asked if one of them could get in their dingy and put my bow line on the buoy as I approached, which he did, but no more than that.
There is only one shore bollard to tie to, so I ended up having to use three long lines to get to it, which reduced to two once I had tied on then pulled my arse round through 90° to square off.
Entry to inner harbour. Now in recovery mode!
Went ashore and scoured the back streets for a cheap €8.50 meal and clara (shandy), it was quite good for the price. Escalope, veil I think, potatoes, red peppers, egg and salad.
Had a drink at a Bar with the Blue ensign boat that I nearly bumped, Dorset folk, so they can’t be toooo bad! Introduced them to the wonders of mifi, I can’t believe that you could cruise this far and not know about it!
During the night there was lots of noise where I was, rocking rigging and a dog barking.
No facilities but the upside is that it’s free.
The buoys would be ok if the wind was N or E, but a tad exposed to W or S.
Mon 27 Jul Luarca – Aviles 30 nM 6hrs 50
08:45 retrieved shoreline and back to Aviles.
Still no response on Ch9, but the marina guy turned up just after I had finished tying up! Only stayed one night and did a bit of shopping, then on to Gijon, back to where I started!
Tue 28 Jul Aviles – Gijon 22 nM 5hrs 30
More visitors in Marina Yates this time, a Brit chap helped me tie up. Learning from the previous experience, this time I got my own bike out, much more comfortable and easy to handle than the marina ones. Malcolm, the chap on a jeanneau 39i invited me out to join him and Andrew, the chap helped me tie up, to dinner in town. Turns out that Andrew, also solo, is in the town centre marina, but is bringing his boat ‘Child of the Wind’ over to be lifted out for a bow thruster anode to be changed. It must be contagious, as Malcolm is also being lifted to have a stuck seacock replaced. I offered to apply a little heat to it, to see if it would free but was refused! This lift turned out to be unnecessary, as when the mechanic turned up and got his fist to the stuck seacock he freed it!
I ended up spending five days here, due to bad weather and strong wind from the East, but the three of us ate out again the second evening then ate on my boat on the third, as I had made a large stew in my pressure cooker on Tuesday, not expecting to eat out, and it wouldn’t keep any longer. It was OK, the maturing time must have done it good.
Friday, Andrew left heading West, Malcolm returned the invite and we ate on his boat ‘Child of the Wind’, pizza, washed down with a bottle of Pineau des Charentes, which I supplied and we both enjoyed, even though Malcolm said he would stick to his Rioca.
Concert in town and a nice Moon.
Saturday, the sun was out, we cycled to town, then to Carrefour for shopping then a leisurely beer. I paid my dues and packed up to leave in the morning as at last the weather was in my favour.
Sun 2 Aug Gijon – Ribadesella 30nM 7hrs 30
I arrived a bit early, the book says enter HW-2, so anchored for an hour in fairly bumpy conditions, then went in.
A tricky entry
A very helpful Frenchman helped me tie up. Locked in for the night as the pontoon gate is controlled by a dongle which you have to leave a €50 deposit for.
Nothing like an early evening aperitif
Monday and Tuesday – got my bike out to explore, this is a nice little seaside town.
Hotels along the shore look out to sea.
Along the River
and the Seafront
Wed 5 Aug Ribadesella – Santander 63nN 12hrs 30
Left with HW and a morning mist rolling down hills.
Half the trip was in my favour with a following wind of 4-5, then it died to nothing, so had to motor.
Santander is just round the corner
Found an almost perfect anchorage at Playa de los Peligros, under Hotel Real, with a shortish row to the beach, then either a 15 min walk or a bus ride into town.
I got the bus into town the first time, as I wanted to get to the very far side of the City to top up my Spanish data sim.
The very large shopping centre where google said the orange shop was, was almost deserted, I don’t know how it makes money.
SIM topped up then bus back to the town centre for a look round, then walked back along the beach to the beach bar near where I left the dingy for a beer before rowing out.
Rain, so stayed at home. Visited by Customs & Excise all very pleasant but formal.
Friday & Saturday
Sightseeing, I can’t say that this place would urge me to stay, except for the idyllic anchorage. Just a big city.
University on left Maritime Museum on right
but some fantastic bronze statues
Sun 9 Aug Santander – Audierne 331 nM 82 hrs (28 hrs on engine)
Been here four days now. Looked at the forecast and it said that the back end of the week would be crap, so I’ve had enough. Last minute or even last second decision to head back to France.
Flattened dingy, up anchor and into the marina to fill up with fuel, then 11:00 off to points North.
Motored for the first 10 hrs as wind N 2, then around midnight I got some wind, E 3 so could do a bit of sailing.
Mon 10 Aug 12:00 Log: 107 mls in 25 hrs
Sailed and motored some till midday Tuesday
Tue 11 Aug 12:00 Log: 95 mls in 24 hrs
The wind picked up NE 3-4 touching 5 so did some tacking, but not making much forward progress.
Wed 12 Aug
At 09:30 the wind died, so spent all day motoring to Audierne
12:00 Log: 89 mls in 24 hrs
Dropped anchor at 21:15, a lovely evening, full moon and flat calm sea (the last 40 mls in 9 hrs 15).
Thu 13 Aug Audierne – Cameret 29 nM 5 hrs 45
Left at 08:30, should have been 8, to get to the Raz at HW Brest +5.5.
It took two hours to get to the Raz so the current was running and guess what, raining again, still at least it has given me a bit of wind in just about the right direction, making 5.5 SOG but only for about half an hour, rain passed and wind died, so more motoring.
Cameret just round the corner.
It looked as though it might be quite full in the inner marina, as lots of boats out on the buoys, but I tried my luck anyway and found a space alongside a mobo which obviously no one else fancied rafting too.
Got chatting to the French couple on the mobo, the lady speaks very good English, then went shopping. On return they invited me to join them for a glass of wine (Coteaux de l’Aubance) and a bowl of soup, a very nice evening.
Fri 14 Aug
Returned the invitation of last night, they were amazed by the space in LinR. 🙂
A bandstand was being set up on the front (French public holiday) so we went over to watch them in the evening, a very good blues group.
Sat 15 Aug
After a wander along the front to check out the bay I paid my dues, filled up water tank and moved out onto anchor in the Bay, near an American flagged boat. Waved hello to the chap on the boat, he came over for a chat then we went into town for the evening’s festivities, nowhere near as good as last night, this evening was a traditional French umpha band.
American’s name is Hoy, he had been doing charter skippering for a company in the Caribbean, then took on a crew for his boat, Goldilocks, to cross to France. Captainhoy.com
Sun 16 Aug – Mon 17 Aug
Relaxed and caught up with boat jobs, mainly anchor winch which has been playing up. It looks like the motor needs replacing.
Tue 18 Aug
Hoy and I went into town early to catch the bus to Brest, Hoy to change dollars, me to get a replacement data sim from the Orange shop. It all worked out well, new sim at no cost. It’s good to be back online.
The bus back was full, even with a 2nd bus laid on – load of teenagers heading for a festival.
Wed 19 Aug Cameret – Paluden 36nM 6 hrs
Caught up online, got forecast and prepped ready to leave with the tide at lunchtime. Had to heave up the anchor by hand, hard work and it took much longer than expected. I finally left at 13:30, I should have left at 12:30 to be at Vieux Moines at slack water, which is earlier than my Pilot book says. It’s 8nM which with the state of LinR’s bottom is 2 hrs. Had a fair SW5 wind but the apparent wind dropped right off once I was heading N with the strong current, so motor sailed. Had quite a bit of rain.
The guy from L’Aberwrac’h marina was quick off the mark to shepherd me into the marina, but I wasn’t intending to pay their prices. I told him that I was heading up river to Paluden, but in fact picked up a buoy on the river.
A very peaceful night.
Thu 20 Aug Paluden – Roscoff Marina 34nM 7hrs 50 SW 5-3
Left at 11:00 to get E going tide. Took the shortcut N through the channel de la Malouine which saves quite a bit of time, then with the wind off the quarter, I hoisted my mizzen genaker. Arrived W of Ile de Batz near low water, went S of that île thinking that I might pick up a visitors buoy ready to go into Roscoff Vieux Port at high water but decided it would be late at night so passed on to the marina.
Met up with Eas Mhor, a Moody Eclipse 43 who had passed me on route. Richard & Liz invited me over for a drink and chat, nice evening.
Fri 21 Aug Roscoff Marina – Roscoff Vieux Port 2nM 40 mins
Left 09:30 just before HW to go round to the old port so I can dry out and clean off the boat bottom.
13:00 touchdown, now waiting for water to disappear, but will have to leave tomorrow so I don’t get neaped!
The water went away quicker than expected so no time to go for a beer.
Hull not as bad as expected, no mussels, a few barnacles down between keels but lots of weed around waterline and on outside of keels. About 3″, I could have used a mower!
The hardest part was getting weed off keels, normally it’s scraping between keels, but that wasn’t too bad, I sat on my stool, so I didn’t get my bum wet.
Water is still well out, so contemplating cleaning above waterline, but after a coffee and rest!
Did above waterline, now feeling very righteous.
Locals are setting up for a shindig on the quay, apparently it’s ‘Jonny Onion’ day tomorrow.
Sat 22 Aug – 10:10 back to Roscoff Marina.
Got my bike out and cycled to St Pol de Léon to have a look at the harbour, to see if it was suitable for a boat visit. It’s not!
Such a pity, as I love the town, well worth a visit by bus or bike.
St Pol de Léon Harbour and surrounding area.
The forecast says that there is some bad weather heading this way so need to find myself a cheap hidey hole. St Pol is out, so spoke to White Angel to see what he thought of Port Blonc as my alternative. He wasn’t keen, thought there would be too much swell, so I had a rethink and decided on Morlaix, which is only a short hop up the river, it will cost, but safe from storm and tempest.
Sun 23 Aug Roscoff Marina – Morlaix 12nM 2hrs 30
Left Roscoff with the rising tide at 08:15 and locked into Morlaix at about 11:30.
Put up cockpit cover and hunkered down to sit out the bad weather.
Mon 24 Aug – Wed 26 Aug
Thu 27 Aug Morlaix – Primel 11nM 2hrs 10
The sun was out, locked out at 15:00. Down the river and round the corner to Primel, a small fishing port with 24hr access so I can get away at a sensible time in the morning. Picked up a visitors buoy.
Fri 28 Aug Primel – St Aubin Bay, Jersey 75nM 17hrs 15
Left at 07:15, had some wind from the East so I could sail, but it dropped off in the afternoon so ended up motoring. A long day, arrived in the bay and dropped anchor with full moonlight and flat calm sea at half past Midnight.
Got my head down straight away as I need to be up early to get into St Helier marina.
Sat 29 Aug St Aubin Bay – St Helier marina 2nM 1hr 30
It took me 45 mins to get the anchor up by hand, that was hard work! Finally headed for port at 07:45. Met up with White Angle and we walked round to pick up our duty-free Southern Comfort. David and I had a wander round town, I got myself a Jersey Telecom data sim – £10 for unrestricted data for 14 days, then walked around to the Yacht Club for a very good dinner.
Sun 30 Aug – Mon 31 Aug
David headed up to St Peter Port Sunday morning, I was going to go over the bay to St Aubin but on trying to start the engine, the starter motor gave up on me so I spent the day dismantling it from the engine. I couldn’t do much about it till Tuesday, as it’s a Bank Holiday but I contacted Arthur, who lives in St Helier (we met in Spain in 2013) to find out where to find a good Auto Electricians shop. I unloaded my bike and spent Monday wandering around and downloading some TV series to catch up on, thanks to the unrestricted data sim.
Tue 1 Sep St Helier marina – St Aubin harbour 2nM 1hr 30
Cycled out to the Auto Electricians with the starter and got it tested, the man who knows said that it was running ok, so it must be a bad connection. I then spent the rest of the morning refitting it, tried to start the engine and, much to my relief, it fired up ok. Showered, packed everything away, and stayed in the Marina till the evening HW, bought myself fish and chips for dinner, then went across the bay to St Aubin drying harbour, which is free. Another lovely moon.
Looking across St Aubin bay by night to St Helier.
Wed 2 Sep
There are power points on the quay but you need a pre-payment card to feed it with. Got my bike out again and hoisted it up the Quay, I should have done it at HW! then went in search of where the electric cards are sold. I went into the chandlers to ask and struck lucky as they had them, not expensive £1.30 for 30 kW of juice. A sunny day, so cycled round the bay to St Helier to browse the chandlers, it’s further than I remember so had to stop for a glass of Cider on route.
Looking across St Aubin bay by day
Thu 3 Sep
Showered in the Royal CI’s Yacht Club and had a lunchtime drink then refreshed my memory of the town, or is it a village?
Fri 4 Sep
As there is a fuel point on the quay and I was in hose stretch distance from it, I decided to fill up here rather than wait till St PP, phoned the number on the hut and the man duly came round. 67p per ltr, nowhere near the rip off Marina prices. Cleaned and rolled the dingy to put it away, as I don’t envisage using it again this trip, then cleaned and tidied up the boat.
Sat 5 Sep St Aubin harbour – St Peter Port 28nM 5hrs 30
Got away at 10:20 just after I floated. I put the sails up in the bay, but not sure that I will get to use them as the forecast is for NW wind, maybe backing West. A couple of rain showers came close, which I tracked on Radar, then the sun came out in the afternoon. Tied up on the new outer pontoons at St PP to get an early start on the morning tide, then went for a wander round town – it doesn’t change much. I thought about anchoring in the bay but the thought of pulling up the anchor by hand put me off the idea!
Sun 6 Sep St Peter Port – Cherbourg 44nM 7hrs 30
Left on the last of the south bound flow at 10:20, fair wind from the East so sails up on the way out of the harbour and passed a couple of cruise ships anchored off. Good sail up to Cherbourg but my AIS told me that a towed platform was going to arrive at the W entrance to the Grand Rade as me. I hung back, discretion being etc.
Platform on tow
Mon 7 Sep
Weather is looking good to cross to Poole tomorrow. Followed a well-worn trail round town which ended up at Carrefour and lunch in their café, I wish I had gone somewhere else to eat as I chose Sausage Andouilette – made from chopped chitterlings, a cute little name for pig intestines, a bad choice!
Tue 8 Sep Cherbourg – Poole 69nM 12hrs 25
Left at 05:00, still dark, I don’t enjoy early starts, but a good crossing, wind ENE 4-5 and got into Poole in time to get enough water on the last of the ebb to get up to Wareham. Tied up at Ridge Wharf at 19:10 with still some light in the sky. Went to see in the car was still where I left it three months ago! Joy, it’s still there, so put the battery on charge (I had had the forethought to leave a charger and extension lead in the boot) then de-kitted the boat and loaded it all into the car. It was getting on midnight by the time I launched my hard dingy, tied it to the boat and got my head down.
Wed 9 Sep
HW 06:25, left Ridge at Seven to go and pick up my mooring. It’s amazing how much time it takes to put lines and fenders away, put covers on, clean cooker and fridge and do a final check round. Eventually got the dingy back to Ridge at lunchtime, then home.
1498 nM covered, 80 Days away.
On reflection, not the best of summer cruises, mainly due to mediocre weather.
The highlight was my stay in Santander, some good weather and a great anchorage.