Monday, 25 August 2008

Fast crossing

Fecamp proved to be an excellent destination with some real pros and a couple of cons.Fecamp itself is an unremarkable destination, in that it is largely modern, after being substantially flattened during the 2nd world war. It does however, have the rather spectacular Benedictine Palace, where the famous Benedictine drink is made. This is an amazing building, filled with artifacts that are really quite beautiful, from ivory carvings from the 12th century through to 19th century paintings. Quite worth a visit. It is however, at its best when you tour the Benedictine production facility, and sample the output!Other than that, it is a pleasant enough town, with plenty to keepu occupied for a couple of days. Which brings us onto the cons.....Rather like Ramsgate, the marina suffers a bit from swell entering. Although not as bad as Ramsgate, we did have a couple of rolly nights. The reason we had a couple was that the weather again turned for the worse. We did initially think, sod it, we'll go anayway, and then we went and had a look at the entrance channel and changed our minds.
There were large near breaking waves between the two pier heads, and it looked extremely unpleasant. The second day we got closer to deciding to leave, and then we watched a boat exit. It changed our minds.

We could see their keel as they left!So, Friday, things had calmed down considerably, and we decided to leave. The forecast was for a grey, but dry day, with a SW F3.... perfect.So 5:00am we rose, with a 6:00 departure planned..... actual conditions seemed in line with forecast... so we slipped and left.... a nice easy exit (phew!) and we were out to sea.....We were perhaps a little light on diesel to motor the whole way, so we were glad to see some wind.... as we exited the pier heads, we pulled the sails out, and turned off the engine....Within 20mins, the skies turned blacker than hades, and we were in torrential rain, and 28kts of wind.... sigh.....But it wasn't to last.... the rain departed past us, and the wind moderated to 20kts, across the rear quarter... the swell followed us, and we had the most magnificent sail back across the channel... a little avoiding action in both lanes, neither serious, the clouds parting to bring the sun out, and with the log reaching on one occasion 9.41kts through the water, I was having a ball!Things are definitely coming together, as SWMBO even took the helm for a while, something she would have never done in those conditions even as recently as last year...Just 10hrs later, we rounded the safe water mark for the entrance to Eastbourne, dropped the sails, and restarted the engine.... wonderful.A quick and easy entrance into Eastbourne, tied up for the night, a great Italian meal ashore and the world was good.

Miles logged 66nm
Miles this season 634nm
Miles this trip 241nm
Miles since this blog started 3,581nm

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