Thursday, June 30, 2016

Nous sommes arrivés en France

Yes I can speak French - okay I can't but this is my phrase of the day!

This morning we pulled into Roscoff just ahead of a front which is heading across the Atlantic.

We completed our work with Oyster last week in Southampton, whilst also having a fabulous lunch visit from Lilian and Alfie and Carolyn's parents came for a night in the rain. Then we were keen to get moving, the plan was to head west to meet up with Mike and Nicky on ZenAgain who are just about to sail in to Falmouth having left Fremantle a year ago but the wind said NO! So as much as we wanted to welcome them to the UK our desire for some heat and the westerly wind meant we decided to head South.

Girls that lunch
Lovely UK weather in the Hamble
We left the Solent early into a hideous wind against tide for about a mile in the needles passage, we got completely soaked as one wave came right over Askari. Then the sea calmed and we set the sails for a lovely sail out into the English channel. We sailed for most of the day until the wind calmed and we were struggling against the current as we approached the Channel Islands. We had the choice to go to Guernsey again or push on with a bit of help from the engine over night to make the northern Brittany Coast, so that's what we did. The sea and wind calmed right off and we had a lovely first night at sea, albeit not that dreamy ghosting along on a light breeze and rolling moonlight sea that we all hope for.....

Horrid sea at The Casquets off Alderney
One of the great things about the northern hemisphere at this time of year is the very short night watch - it got dark at 10pm and was light again by 4am. Askari rolled on though the night, Carolyn managed to get a couple of hours in bed but Andrew napped in the cockpit. Many fishing boats don't have AIS which is a bit of a pain but we could pick them all up on radar and had an uneventful night at sea.

Lovely sunset and calm sea
Raising our French courtesy flag (this flag was last seen in Bora Bora 10 years ago)
Shortly after dawn and well before the front was due to pass over we appraoched Roscoff Harbour. Carolyn had emailed the night before and they had promptly confirmed that they could accommodate us; we just had to radio on arrival. Carolyn called on the VHF and a girl harbour master whizzed out in a tender to guide us in - we had to go at high speed as a ferry was just behind us and the Port apparently gets closed while they manoeuvre.
Arrival Roscoff

We had a sleep then cleaned up the boat, which ended up being a larger task than we anticipated as the elusive leak at the bow had reappeared; however during the trip Andrew had determined the water was coming in from the light fittings; then through conversations with our warranty manager on arrival we learned that grommets that were supposed to be in the back of the lights were missing so we effectively had 4 holes directly into our forepeak lockers! We are relieved to learn this and the grommets are being shipped out to us immediately.

Then we were off to explore Roscoff in the rain....

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