To the Baltic in 2013 – part 1

Well the great plans of mice and men.  We set off at midnight to the visitors pontoon, Chichester Harbour. Despite setting our alarms on phones we overslept!  However small jobs were started and main sheet and other halyards were either upsidedowned or cut 50 -60 cm shorter to expose fresh rope and so  even out wear and tear. Dick is much troubled by fast boats from Emsworth Slipper shepherding a few dinghies, creating  wash while he is working on deck.
The day is quite windy with short showers and sunny intervals but much colder than yesterday.  high gust have been up to 25 knots.

Sunday 30 April
Yesterday set off at 0600. Very cool but sun rising and sea fairly smooth. With filled thermoses and good food supply and forecast set off close to the Selsea coast and so to Dieppe, France.
We had text all family and friends and radioed Coast Guard about the journey. All was well until Dick tried to change the chart plotter and accidentally lost everything!!! So sharpening the 2B pencil spreading the paper chart out flat and getting the Breton plotter out from under all the charts we carried on, after all Dick had crossed the North Sea in a Wayfarer Dinghy only 15 years ago, old methods had not been forgotten! Fortunately it was sunny and visability very good so not only could the big ships probably see us but we could see them and estimate their speed and course and so stay out of their way.
Progress was rapid, 7knots with wind, tide and Mr Yanmar all cooperating. Hey this could be a wonderful crossing!  Yet, with a swell, plotting position, making quick hot drinks and gabbing instant cold food was all even Sea Legs himself could do.  We decided at about 1700 to go back to plan A and make Fecamp our destination while it was still light and even at dead low water we should be able to get in.
Entering port according to both Block and CA almanacks we were spoilt for choice for which berth.  Choosing one at near end of pontoon, we were helpe by  he crew of an east coast Old Gaffer ‘Bonify’. After dinner drinks were offered and accepted. And so to bed and sleep and dream!

Sunday: rise and shine at sensible hour, quick shop for France can close Sunday afternoon and  for all Monday for the unweary. Lunch was typical English in France, baguette filled with ham, cheese lettuce tomato and fruit.  Dick and I went round the Benedictine Monastry which brewed the famous liqueur of that name. After sitting in the cafe xxx we went back to boa and Bonify.
Dinner was a grand affair. Night before we had said that we had  shoulder of lamb and could we invite the skipper and crew of Bonify to eat together with us? Well when I returned to the boat the lamb had been cooked and the beans and mashed pots nearly ready but could we eat on Tringa? Of course, but just let us clear the  table and put the extension on. By the time that had been done another two Franco-brits had been invited!  Just like Mamgu I managed to get the meat around all seven of us and  as good a time as has been seen on Tringa.
Off tomorrow to Dieppe.

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