Fair winds and calm seas - the fleet experiences a perfect crossing homeward bound

 

Morning broke and the sun glimmered off the white fibreglass. Neale addressed the fleet over the VHF saying that the weather for Sunday had not improved. Forecasts were predicting stormy weather and anything up to a Force 6 in the Channel for Sunday. With this in mind it was decided that the fleet would return to UK waters a day early, with the first boats departing at 10.30, when there was 1.5m over the sill at Victoria Marina. There was still time to wander into town for supplies – for the MBM team it was a quick dash to M&S for supplies of Guernsey butter.

Day 9 Karianne Beneteau Antares 9.50

Photo – Karianne Beneteau Antares 9.80 cruising in company in the Little Russell

Sure enough at 10.30am the tidal gauge at Victoria Marina hit 1.5m and the team began calling out boats one by one. Time Flies went ahead for a planned photoshoot in the Little Russell, while Blue Fin remained behind to leave last and bring up the rear. The fleet were going home via the Alderney Race catching the last of the tide north.

With an almost non-existent wind, hot sunshine and flat seas, conditions were absolutely perfect in the Alderney Race and the Channel beyond. Visibility was moderate, approximately two to three miles, and sadly only faint outlines of Alderney and Cap de la Hague were visible as we passed by. The incredible conditions continued for the rest of the journey home. It was obviously not good sailing weather, however, as in the Channel there were a few yachts making for home under power.

Day 9 Bluebell Beneteau ST34 off Platte Forgere

Photo – Bluebell Beneteau Swift Trawler 34 off Platte Forgere

By 7pm all boats had confirmed with Neale and Claire that they were back safely in their home ports and it seems everyone had a great time – it was definitely a crossing everyone will remember for the rest of their boating lives. Control boats Blue Fin (MBM’s new Jeanneau Prestige 38S) and Time Flies made their way back through the Solent triumphantly, towards their home berth at Port Solent.

Despite being delayed in Portsmouth at the start of the cruise, the fleet visited three ports: Cherbourg, Jersey and Guernsey – not bad at all for a week of cruising. Back safe in their moorings, tomorrow will no doubt be a day spent cleaning and tidying, as for the MBM team it’s back to another lengthy jobs’ list!

Sunday 6 June: It seems it was a good call moving a day early, at 3pm the Channel Light buoy was reporting gusts of 29 knots and 1.2 metre waves. As he logged out with the team on saturday, John of Only Money said “Good call Mr B”. Special thanks to the MBM staffers, Keith & Richard.

Main Photo – Get Passionate Cranchi Zaffiro 34 in the Little Russell

Until next time….

Normandy Cruise 3 to 17 July