Monday, 27 May 2013

Crossing The English Channel

     Very cold windy weather delayed our departure from UK, but we were able to occupy ourselves well in Falmouth where Guy spent many happy summer holidays from Malawi with his Mother, brother Alan and Grandparents. It was here that Guy first got a taste for sailing with his Grandfather, Grenville Dyson on trips around the bay sailing and catching mackerel. It was here that Guy also started his life in UK in 1976 from Rhodesia and joined the Army for 3 years Bed & Breakfast! 37 years later, he is back in Falmouth after a 35 years in the Army and about to launch off on a sailing adventure!
Ginny Planning The Route. Simple 180 South!

Mary & Andrew With Ginny
     We managed to meet up with good friends Mary & Andrew who proudly hosted us for supper in their wonderful flat overlooking the finishing line for all yacht races of the  Royal Cornwall Yacht Club with Flushing in the distance where we would love a house. Dream on Guy. We also shared a last meal with them in UK, a visit to the Gurkha Restaurant, delicious.

Flushing From M&A's Window.
A Most Fantastic Ever Changing View
Low Tide Falmouth Quay
     We thoroughly enjoyed a visit to the Maritime Museum as the wind howled outside. Guy took the pictures of Low and High tide as a good reminder to get calculations right and one of the big problems we won't face in the Med. There is so much power in the water which should also be harnessed.
Maritime Museum, Falmouth
A Silhouette Yacht Like Grandpa Dysons
Happy Holidays In Cornwall
High Tide In Falmouth Quay
Won't have This Problem In The Med!
Pendennis Castle, The Maritime Coastguard HQ & Falmouth Hotel
Good Bye England.
Skipper All Smiles, May The Force Be with You.

Heading 180 South. Happy Days.
Guy In The Crows Nest.
Still No Sight Of France.
    We departed Falmouth at 0900 hrs with the plan of sailing on a course of 180 South. Due to a lack of wind, we had to switch on the metal sail and motor. We had no wind for the whole trip so it was a long motor. We had to dodge a few ships in the shipping lane but AIS made this all so much easier. We took it in turns to do 2 hr watches throughout the trip as it was only a full days sail. The highlights of the trip were missing the ships, the stunning sunset, the Cornish Pasties and a gorgeous full moon. The sea was very confused after a few days of strong winds but relatively easy going. We managed our arrival at the Chanel Du Four bang on time to get the tide through this notorious short cut and arrived at Camaret in France at 0840 hrs on Sunday 26th May after 137 nm safe passage taking 23 hrs 40 mins using 44 ltrs of fuel plus several chocolate biscuits and numerous cups of tea and coffee.

      The bend in the route, on the map below, is caused by the tide. You head South on a continuous course and the tide pushes you one way (west) the the other (east) and the you make sure you are at the right location to shoot through the Chanel Du Four at the right time to avoid 9 knot tides around the many rocks. Easy if you get it right, treacherous if wrong!
A Bit Of Fun With The Ships!

Oh What A Lovely Cornish Pasty!
This Was A Close One At Night. 1/2 nm! Such Fun.
Don't Panic!
Tied Up In Peaceful Camaret.
Our Route From Start Point To Fowey Then Falmouth.
The Crossing Route From Falmouth To Camaret
Through The Chanel Du Four.

The Old Wooden Fishing Boat Graveyard At Camaret
The Seaman's Church And Tour Vauban In The Background

Camaret Bay With Seaman's Church (Chappelle Rocamadour) & Tower 
     It was a glorious day so despite being shattered, we went for an exploration walk around the Bay of Camaret which included the inevitable visit to a bar for a few celebratory drinks and free wifi! Skipper had a few quiet moments in the stunning Seaman's Church, on the way back to K2, for future safe passages.

Seaman's Church, The Tower And Ginny

The Seaman's Church, Chapelle Notre Dame de Rocamadour.
Kisti Two At Peace In Camaret.
Note The French & Brittany Flags.
Ginny And The Folding Bikes

    The weather report was not good so we booked in for two more nights in Camaret. This gave us a chance to try out the bikes and have a cycle up to the Pointe des Espangnols over looking the Goulet de Brest, after a visit to the tourist office to get armed up with maps and guide books for Ginny. 4 hours later, with very tired legs and sore bums, we stopped to buy some lovely French cakes in Camaret and headed back to K2 for high tea. Just in time as the wind and rain suddenly attacked us at great force as we put on a few more shore lines. The bikes were excellent except for Guys seat, now known as the 'castrator'! owwww

Ginny & Map - Pure Contentment....
The Rucksack Has 3 More Maps!
OMG, Take Cover Guy.
Rosconval Church With Nepalese Bell Tower

Camaret Has Many Artists, Here Is One Of Their Houses.

      It is now blowing a strong wind accompanied with rain so now for some rest and see what tomorrow brings - Ginny has been reading all those guide books so expect more exercise Guy! What next, a 15 mile hike?  It has been fun watching some French TV. If only Guy had paid more attention to learning he French language at school in Rhodesia instead of concentrating on the lovely lady who struggled to teach us. Bon Nuit to one and all.