The fleet remains in Cherbourg as it blows up a Force 5 in the Channel

The fleet had a relative lie-in this morning as our planned passage to St Vaast was not due until the afternoon.

After breakfast the MBM team busied ourselves by refuelling Blue Fin and Time Flies. Richard and myself then set about getting the rest of the fleet fuelled.

Meanwhile, Neale and Claire headed out on Time Flies to check conditions for our planned afternoon departure. Sadly the outlook was not good: with a Force 5 in the Channel, with worse forecast, so the decision was made to stay put.

The plan now is to set off tomorrow afternoon, aiming to reach the evening high tide at St Vaast-la-Hogue. Still, the change to our itinerary did give the fleet (and myself) the chance to explore this French town.

Last time I was here I arrived in the evening and set off before dawn the next day. As I stood on the bow ready to slip lines the wind and the rain battled to see which could annoy me more. Needless to say my memories of Cherbourg are not overly fond.

Today though I have just got back from a very pleasant hour exploring this sprawling town – I stopped for a coffee and salivated at the displays in the countless food and wine shops. At this rate I think my suitcase will be a lot heavier on the way back.

Day-3-Cherbourg shop

And as if to underline my new-found love for Cherbourg, I have just heard that Sian and Terry off Allora experienced some lovely Gallic service today as a lady in a local upholstery shop repaired their damaged canopy free of charge. I doubt whether you’d get that level of service at home.

I don’t want to tempt fate though – certain members of the MBM office still have nightmares about a week they were holed up here when they should have been exploring the Channel Islands so two nights will do me fine, thank you very much.