The penultimate day - the fleet arrive in Le Havre
Le Havre here we come
Crews awoke to a chilly, dewy morning in Rouen. At 0730 lines were slipping and boats were departing with the tide behind them. It would be a 6-hour passage down to Le Havre. Grey clouds loomed and a mist lingered on the muddy banks of the river.
Control boat Blue Fin stayed near the front of the fleet with Time Flies at the back.
High water Rouen was 0600 and, as you are not permitted to depart in the dark, punching the tide was to be expected at some point. With a favourable spring tide on departure, boats had up four knots carrying them downstream. For the boats travelling at the back of the procession, two-thirds into the passage the tide suddenly changed and the fleet were punching the tide.
Sunshine broke through the clouds leaving a bright, extremely hot afternoon. Blue Fin arrived in Le Havre around 1400 and assisted with berthing and fuelling in this busy 24-hour access marina. Le Havre is a seaside town and a very industrial, bustling ferry port. The skyline dominated by chimneys of oil refineries and high-rise accommodation.
Despite reports that the fuel berth would not accept UK credit cards, the fuelling went without a hitch and credit cards and cash were accepted. With a price of €1.08 per litre, it was the cheapest fuel so far. The only problem was that the fuel line wasn’t long enough to fill both sides of each boat, so it required turning around.
A briefing was held on the pontoon at 1800 detailing the move back cross-channel to the UK tomorrow. Many of the east coast based boats are heading for Ramsgate. While the remaining Poole and Solent boats will disperse to their home berths. With departure from 0730, it was a night of saying goodbyes before everyone turned in for the night.
Support RIB Time Flies passes under Tancaville Bridge near the mouth of the River Seine
The MBM fleet on O pontoon at Le Havre marina
Louise and five year old Sophie from Flower Power go for a row in the sunshine