The Home Run
Bloscon -> Treguier
Depart before dawn. Some wind but not enough to do anything with. Arrived just after low (slack) water. Richard & Helen again.
Tide still inconvenient: neither morning nor afternoon. Temperature up to 42°C. The weed sweeps in from one side with the flood & the other side with the ebb; great, solid rafts of it, getting jammed everywhere.
Treguier -> St Quay
Departure scheduled for 06:30 (before dawn). Found Richard & Helen apparently praying to the weed gods: kneeling on the pontoon finger with torch & boathook trying to clear the matted stuff. Entirely clear on my side. E-mail later announced total cooling water failure necessitating engine dismantlement.
St Quay -> St Cast
Departure 07:30 (after dawn). Still no wind, motored past Erquy to St Cast (St Guildo). A lively town I’d not visited before with 2 large rocks inside the harbour.
St Cast -> St Malô
Still an earlyish tide. Saw the Condor Rapide coming out the harbour as I was approaching. We crossed at the lighthouse. Her speeds, as shown on AIS, were successively: 11 kt, 21 kt & 31 kt. Found out why the Bas Sablons marina is cheaper than the inner basin: with a NW wind/sea, the waves just roll right in.
St Malô -> St Helier
It’s a fairly neat trip up past the east of the Minquies. Just needs to start with all of the east-going tide, which, of course, means another early start but I got in to St H marina without having to wait for the following high water. Some may have seen the sign on the marina wall which gives the harbour lat/long as 49° 11′.00 N, 2° 07′.00 W and wondered why such precision when it’s not actually correct. Well, it is actually correct & it’s in exactly the correct place on the marina wall: it’s just the wrong marina, it should have been in the residents’ marina but someone screwed up and put it in the visitors’ marina instead.
Another pause to allow the tide to roll past a little and collect some shopping and watch a film.
St Helier -> Dielette
Dielette is very useful as an all-tide stopping place, so yet another early start (04:30 BST) to catch all the tide that’s going that way. Chased out of St Helier in the dark by a pod of dolphins which followed me all the way to the Anquette channel. Got stopped by the engine temperature alarm which usually means weed in the sea-water inlet but that was clear even when rodded all the way through to the sea. Tried again: still hot so topped up the inner water from the drinking supply and that seemed to do the trick. Which was good because the tide had definitely run-out when I reached Dielette. New buildings here including an anonymous Capitainerie with only the back door open. The facilities look to be on the way up, but unfortunately haven’t got there yet. Closing day Monday so the good restaurant was shut.
Dielette -> Cherbourg
No more pesky saints! Woke at 04:15 to leave but found the harbour shrouded in fog. Still foggy at 04:45 and again at 05:15. Last chance saloon at 05:45 and the stars were showing so got up, dressed, rigged for sea & out by 06:00, still in the dark, of course. (It is France & therefore 2 hours ahead of the sun.) Roaring trip north & round the Cap de la Hague where the tide seemed to leave me (middle of an eddy, presumably) and continued to Cherbourg arriving at 10:00, just in time to see the sluggards leaving. It seems I got a sort-of-discount last time (no walk-ashore berth) so they knocked a bit off my (boat’s) length: I’m now recorded in the books as 7.6 m and I’m not going to argue it in French!
Cherbourg -> Emsworth
Yet another before dawn start, although this time I did manage to get breakfast first. Hints of fog the previous evening and again at first with light wind, sun fine when it woke up. Wind improved later but motored until the Nab Channel then sailed to prove I could still remember how. Onto the waiting pontoon in daylight for something to eat before entering EYH about 22:15 (after dark, of course).