A lot has happened since our last blog. We are learning to live our life around the weather and the tides, plans need to be made to fit in with the elements. We never got to Weymouth as the weather was not right to guarantee a comfortable return trip to Poole for Easter so we went directly from Lymington to Poole.
We were meeting up with friends in Poole over the Easter Weekend and preparing to cross the Channel to Cherbourg if the weather was suitable. We spent two days in the town quay marina going back and forth to the shops to make sure we had food etc and then as the Marina was full for Easter we had to move to a mooring. This meant using a water taxi to get back and forth to Poole.
Easter Monday was calm with light winds so we knew that sailing across the Channel might not be possible and we might have to the engine a lot. The forecast for the next few days was no better so we decided to go, at around 5:30 am Monday morning we slipped our mooring and headed out into the channel. We were ready for a 12 hour trip and we were all a little nervous about the number of large ships we might meet mid-channel. We only managed to sail for about 1 hour of the trip but the fear of large ships was unfounded. We kept a keen watch but only saw one large ship an that was over 2 miles away. Our third full-time crew member Mr Autohelm looked after most of the steering across the Channel.
As we approached Cherbourg we were accompanied by a pod of dolphins as we made for the east entrance, this was the highlight of the trip. Our friends stayed a few nights in Cherbourg before making a much quicker trip back on Brittany Ferry’s “Barfleur”.
We stayed in Cherbourg 8 nights and explored the town, we are both trying to learn a bit of French using an app on our phones to help us over the coming months. Cherbourg had a number of nice parks and we tried to visit the museum of the liberation but it was closed for refurbishment.
We left for the Channel Islands on the 30th April. Once again the winds failed to blow so we motored for the 7-hour trip. We arrived safely at St Peter Port and had to wait for the tide to enter the Marina. We took a bus to go around the island and walked some of the coastal paths. The coast is reminiscent of Pembroke or Devon (there is even a Pembroke Bay) We have also explored St Peter Port (or Town to the locals). This is built into a steep hillside and has many familiar shops but we are now outside the EU. We keep meeting people who know previous owners of our boat (In Lymington, Poole and most recently in St Peter Port, you can see a photo of two Island Packets on the pontoon.
We plan to go to Jersey next and then on to the North Brittany Coast. Updates to the Blog may be sporadic as we need to be in a place with a good internet connection. (Some of the photos in this blog were from our friends who came across the Channel with us we were very grateful for the extra crew for this part of the trip.)