Cherbourg Peninsula 04-26 July 2020 - 345 nautical miles

Passage to Lymington, Sat 04 Jul 2020

Gareth and I were away at 0930 smashing into 30-38 knots apparent on a long bouncy motor to Lymington. It was more of an ordeal than anything, but we needed to be at the other end of the Solent ready to go cross channel as soon as the weather allows. Moored in Berthon, had a couple of beers and lunch, popped to the shops, then chilled. I cooked magret de canard and we had a music night. Still very windy.

Lymington, Sun 05 Jul 2020

It was sunny but still ver windy with some very strong gusts and the sea was rough, so we stayed in Lymington. I cooked bacon butties and Gareth did some cleanin. We chilled and got an Indian takeaway in the evening

Passage to Cherbourg, Mon 06 Jul 2020

Gareth and I were away at 0400 out of Lymington, lit by the "Buck" moon. It started to get rough as we went out through the Needles channel and when we got to Bridge, we hoised 2/3rds genoa and sailed fast through a very rough sea. The boat was flying but it was very rough. The forecast was 5-7 WSW going W then NW decreasing 5-6

The tide took us East and a bit further than I would have liked, and when the wind neither eased or went even West let alone, NW, we had to smash our way into Cherbourg, with wind over tide. We were doing 9 knots but being slammed all over by the confused seas. We got in after 12 and a quarter hours, and it was lovely and sunny. We were tired. Evening meal of steak in the marina restaurant Equipage. You had to wear a mask to walk through the bar, but not in the restaurant itself, which was about 20 feet away !

A day Cherbourg, Tue 07 Jul 2020

A day in port for us today. Lazed in bed and Gareth got the croissants and it was another lovely sunny day with hardly any wind. We went into town, had a coffee and then into Carrefour for a new hoover and a breadknife. France is pretty relaxed about the covid rules. You are supposed to wear as mask indoors in shops, but we didn't need to wear one in Carreour, but they were marshalling social distancing at the tills.

We then chilled on the boat - me sitting in warm sunshine on the deck. Then into town for a drink and another steak at Pantagruel. It tasted great, but we both had very instant bad stomach issues. Early night again.

Cherbourg to Dielette, Wed 08 Jul 2020

Up and away at 0500. Very grey so quite dark, and the wind was a steady 5-6, so we had 25-30 knots apparent on the nose, which was all very unpleasant. Another rough trip - very rough indeed at Cap de la Hague - with one monster slamming wave that stood us up. Then rolling down to Dielette, and a surf into the harbour. Grey all day. Both of us very tired. Three rough passages.

Very quiet and grey day in port then. Walked up to the nice restaurant but while open at lunchtime, he said closed this evening, as was the other one in the marina. So the moules place, which was fine. I had fish and chips, and Gareth had a burger. Back on board for music and wine and bed

Dielette to Granville, Th 09 Jul 2020

Both slept very well until 0900. Another grey F5 SW kind of day. relentless. I did bacon butties, and it was a lazy morning. Left at 1300 and smashed out to the headland. Turned left and it was too tight to sail but a nicer sea than any of the previous days.

Gradually as we headed South, the sea got calmer, the sun came out, and the wind went onto the beam at 15-18 knots. Out came the sails, off with the engine, and for a couple of hours, it was a wonderful sail. It got windier so we dropped to genoa, and sailed with that to the Granville headland. It had clouded over, and was a bit blowy. The gates opened on time at 2018, and we came in shortly after to let the initial rush settle. It was not busy and we were able to go back onto the berth we had last year right next to the Visiteurs sign. A nice spot with a view of the entrance.

We rushed off and got dinner in the nearest restaurant which was fine, and then flopped into bed.

Granville, Friday 10 Jul 2020

Slept until 0900. A lovely sunny warm day, albeit with a breeze. Gareth got the croissants and bread, and we had coffee and breakfast. I sorted out the paperwork with the marina office. Nice warm and sunny day. Gareth cleaned the boat and I did a few jobs. Julia didn’t arrive until 6pm, and then we drank the magnum of pink champage, and I had booked Pirates, which was a great night out.

Granville, Saturday 11 Jul 2020

Lazed in until 0900, and then Gareth got breakfast as usual. Gareth then drove us south of Avranches to a Carrefour hypermarket and we bought wine and Leffe. Then lunch and went for a walk around the old town. Evening we went to the Morrocan, which was OK.

Granville, Sunday 12 Jul 2020

Another warm sunny day. Gareth got breakfast as usual, and then we moved the wine and beer from Gareth’s car to the boat and Gareth’s kit to his car. Then fond farewells. Chilled in the sun, and went out for a pizza in the evening at La Bisquine along the commercial front. Early to bed, but I was woken by yoofs fishing, drinking and talking on the pontoon. Julia slept through it all.

Granville, Monday 13 Jul 2020

Still warm and sunny. Up at 0900 and had tea, and papers and I had a shower. Then we bought gambas and I booked the Chausey trip for Thursday and met Julia in Carrefour. Then lunch in Pirates in the sunshine. Service and food average this time – they were too busy. Back to the boat and we both read in the sun, until it started to cloud over. Then inside on laptops and back outside as it warmed up a bit.Got chatting to Ann and Guy in Mooie meid (Nice Girl) and invited them aboard for drinks. We then shared dinner, eating in their cockpit. Then inside theirs for more drinks. Lovely evening. Unfortunately again, we had some more fishermen at midnight, this time quite unpleasant types who wouldn’t move away. I rang the police, but by the time they arrived the blokes and their girl with a pushchair had gone.

Granville, Tuesday 14 Jul 2020

Bastille day in France. A bit jaded this morning. Moved the boat to the other side of Ann and Guy, to be away from the fishing spot. Had mackerel and some crab for lunch and bought a chicken for dinner and then went for a long walk through the shops and around. Many places closed because of Bastille Day. Grey and miserable all day – and odd bits of drizzle. Reheated the chicken with boiled potatoes in Dijon mayonnaise and then invited Ann and Guy round for drinks.

Granville, Wednesday 15 Jul 2020

Lazy morning again. Still grey but getting warmer. Out to the shops and booked for dinner, and I booked a haircut. Back for lunch – yesterday’s chicken. Then my haircut while Julia went shopping. Nice cut, if a little short. Then I bought three shirts in Devred. Always buy stuff in that shop every trip to France. Back to the boat for drinks and a snooze. Then a lovely dinner at the Cabestan down on the commercial front. Patrick and Blandine rang, and they are coming to see us on Sunday. Back to the boat for some TV - iPlayer Ashes to Ashes and bed.

Granville, Thursday 16 Jul 2020

Up at 0630 for shower. Then on the ferry to Chausey. Quite cool and grey through the morning. Arrived and straight in for a coffee. Then walked for two hours – really nice island. Then into the Hotel du Fort for a beer and then a really nice lunch. Julia had tataki tuna and I had gravelax salmon for starters and we both had moules. All good. Then another hour or so walking as the sun finally started to appear, and it turned out to be nice and sunny and warm for the rest of the day. Back to the Hotel du Fort for another couple of beers and deck chairs in the sun, and then the ferry back. Quick shop and sat in the sunshine. Then had a light supper, and final drinks with Ann and Guy. Then iPlayer again and bed.

Granville, Friday 17 Jul 2020

Another grey day. Lazy day today. Met Nick and Vanda in a Hanse 385 who moved next to us because of the fishermen – same issues as we had. It stayed grey all day and only brightened up a little quite late on. We didn’t do much other than walk into town to the butchers. I had a really shitty email from work which took the shine off the day, but otherwise we didn't do much. We ate on board – stuff we had for lunch, and we bought brochettes we brought earlier with new spuds and beans. We watched a movie and bed.

Granville, Saturday 18 Jul 2020

At last a proper sunny warm summer’s day. We got up and went into the market which was fun. Back and ate sausages from the market and then went for a walk out to see the harbour entrance at low water, and also walked around to the other end of the marina. Then sunbathed and I paid the marina, ready for our depart on Monday early. While we were looking one way, we could see some folk on another boat getting excited and reaching for their cameras. After a minute or so we turned to look and there was a dolphin playing right there in the marina. Of course by the time, I got my camera out, it had gone underwater and slipped out without surfacing again. We then had drinks with Nick and Vanda and went out to dinner at the restaurant Parfum Poivre, recommended by the lady who cut my hair, and we had a fabulous meal. The best chateaubriand I have ever tasted and Julia had salmon. Nice evening. Back for some TV and bed.

Granville, Sunday 19 Jul 2020

Grey and depressing this morning. Did jobs on boat. Some water under the engine which I think is from the rudder stern gland, which probably needs greasing or the volvo seal which may be in need of replacing. Went into town for shopping and there was a brocante which was fun. We bought some wine glasses. Then we got a call from Patrick and Blandine who were already on our boat. We quickly finished our shopping and got back. We had a bottle of champagne with them and then off to lunch at the Le Cabestan again. Great meal. This time Julia and I both had the cooked oysters. Julia and I both had cod. Great to be with Patrick and Blandine again.

Back to the boat and by now it was hot and sunny. Chatted and drank a few more with them. Then they left and we did another shop and then had drinks on board inviting Nick and Vanda aboard. Then a nice supper of herrings and Vietnamese crab sticks. Then TV and bed.

Granville -> Dielette, Monday 20 Jul 2020

Up and away at 0523 as soon as the gate showed 2m. Bit of a smash bash for the first couple of hours, but as the sun came up and things warmed up, it eventually went smoother and slightly less wind on the nose. However, it was on the nose all the way to Dielette. Got in after 7.5 hours in glorious sunshine. Moored inside the lower pontoon waiting for the gate to move into the upper area shortly after 1730. Found that the moules place was shut, so stayed aboard. I did oysters and then Julia cooked gesiers for us. Lovely evening. Lovely sunset.

Dielette -> Cherbourg, Tuesday 21 Jul 2020

Up at 0630. Very cold this morning. Away just before 7 and a nice morning. We had a spring tide under us, and were quickly up to Cap de La Hague. It was very smooth for a change, and at one point we hit 13.4 knots SOG. Becoming a warm summer day, and we got into Cherbourg after a little over three hours. Had bacon butties which I cooked, after Julia hosed the boat. We then went into town, got shopping and had a drink at our old haunt, the Bucaanier. Drank a new ( to me ) Belgian beer call Cisey. Nice. Hot and sunny there, but a bit windy back on the boat but ok. We were both tired, so slept for a bit, then up and off to Pantagruel. Where we both had filet steak, as Julia’s favourite liver dish was off the menu. Back to the boat and sat inside reading and chilling. Lovely sunset, but a little too chilly to sit outside. Early night.

Cherbourg, Wednesday 22 Jul 2020

Lazy morning. Cold again first thing, but becoming a warm summer day with much lighter breeze. Went and got bread and croissants, which were consumed outside with OJ. Weather was nice and sunny but too windy to sunbathe. So we went into town and had drinks at the Boucanier in the sunshine and out of the wind. Came back and snoozed / read, and then gin and tonics in the cockpit and out to dinner at the Galette place - Le Ty-Billic, where we have been many times. It was a really good meal and we both had the campagnarde. Back to the boat for more iPlayer, Ashes to Ashes, and bed. Liverpool beat Chelsea 5-3 and were presented with the Premiership trophy.

Cherbourg, Thursday 23 Jul 2020

Grey and humid today. Up and into the market, which was great. Bought seafood and veg and strawberries, and then drinks at Boucanier again. Then back to the boat for lunch and sat indoors the afternoon. It stayed grey and rained in the evening. During the afternoon, we booked a replacement holiday to Greece as our previous one was cancelled. Then we went into town and had a fabulous pizza at the Moulin just along from Pantagruel. Back to the boat, got seaworthy, and relaxed with an early night for me.

Cherbourg -> Lymington, Friday 24 Jul 2020

I didn’t sleep that well, waking up regularly. Up at 0330 (FST) and away at 0400 into picth blackness. Lovely picture looking back to Cherbourg. Sea very lively and the wind F5 W. Much more than forecast. Julia stayed down below for the first seven hours, as it was a bit bouncy, but it calmed and calmed. I had full genoa and half main as soon as it was light with light engine – tried without, but too slow. Full main as it got less with more revs and then full 2800 in the end. Gas ran out which was odd, but later discovered that it had come out of the strap and worked the valve loose, so it had leaked gas. Stank of gas in the chain locker ! The wind picked up a bit and then fell back. Dropped all sails at the needles and motored into Lymington. It had been a grey day but it did brighten up a little as we came in but still a bit too breezy for sitting out. I slept for a bit, and Julia had a shower and a mooch into Lym. I then showered and after spending time on the phone to Easyjet (1.5 hours waiting to sort out a spelling mistake) we had G&Ts and Oysters and fish-kebabs with filet de gode. (eglefin / haddock) Lovely evening. Bed early for me – Julia stayed up and watched TV.

Lymington, Saturday 25 Jul 2020

Well it rained overnight, and it is windy and grey and drizzle with more rain forecast, so actually, we are please covid cancelled our party plans as an outdoor event today would have been a bit miserable. Had showers, and coffee, and then went into the market. Lovely trip to the market. Bought more pies, I got my cable ties, and we got a present for the neighbours. Back to the boat for brunch, and then chilled until Nigel and Suzie arrived for drinks. During which time, it rained very hard. Drinks was fun and then we saw their house and went to dinner at the Yacht Haven. Very nice I had ribeye but It was in a paris butter which actually had curry powder, so although the meat was good, it spoiled it a bit for me. Nice evening.

Lymington -> Haslar, Sunday 26 Jul 2020

Weather cheered up a bit. Walked to the Haven for papers. Back for coffee and then away out of Lym. Lovely F5/6 SW, WSW. Genoa up at Jack in the Box, and sailed all the way to Wooton, and motor sailed in from there, dropping round Gilkicker. Loaded wine and beer and got away before 3, and made M&S in Alton. Home and watched the Premiership finale, read papers, had dinner, TV and early bed. Had a great holiday - weather though very mixed.