The fleet reach Cherbourg
49° 38.446 N 001° 237.236 W Port de Chantereyne, Cherbourg, France
Friday 17th August
It was an early alarm call for the three-man MBM team, as Guernsey man Richard Poat went home yesterday. The two girls, Michelle and Claire, departed Weymouth aboard Time Flies, their mission to assess the sea conditions off Portland Bill and hopefully make passage to Dartmouth.
Conditions were no better than the previous day. Three metre waves and a gusting westerly wind prevented the RIB from rounding the Bill. Time Flies reported back their assessment and returned to the harbour. In the meantime, Neale, aboard Calm Voyager, slipped his lines and had a look for himself, well aware the fleet were anxious to move after five nights in Weymouth. Although Neale managed to enter Lyme Bay, his findings were no better than those experienced aboard Time Flies.
Neale addressed a disappointed fleet and the team immediately worked on contingency plans. A typed brief was circulated to the boats outlining three possibilities. It said, “Plan A, is to move to Dartmouth this afternoon. Plan B is to go to Cherbourg this afternoon and Plan C is to sit out the incoming weather in Weymouth, and head to Guernsey early next week. Moving to Guernsey today is not an option as they do not have room to accommodate the fleet over the weekend.”
In the early afternoon Neale departed the harbour aboard Calm Voyager to have a second look at the Dartmouth passage. Again, conditions hadn’t improved from earlier, so he headed 15 miles southeast in view of plan B. The sea state was slight to moderate on the beam, so Neale informed the fleet that we would move to Cherbourg. The RIB Time Flies departed immediately on passage, followed soon after by the rest of the boats. Neale returned to Weymouth to bring up the rear of the fleet.
The boats began entering Cherbourg’s breakwater at 1700 hrs local time, and for many participants it was the first time they had crossed the channel in their own boats. Broom 37 Amore, Azimut 42 Dream Catcher Fairline Targa 30 Merelle, Broom Monarch Corona Mia, Bavaria 32 Sport Extasea and Corvette 32 Celtic Twilight were elated to have made the inaugural trip. Congratulations to all our first-timers.
20 miles off the coast of France, Broom Monarch Corona Mia reported they were taking on water. On arrival in Port Chantereyne, a lift out was arranged with the aid of Neale on the telephone and Claire aboard Corona Mia. Meanwhile, Michelle helped berth the incoming boats.
It had been a long day and a wet crossing but everyone was happy to be in France.
Michelle aboard Zeppelin RIB Time Flies
David aboard Bavaria 32 Extasea