23/06/2017 – Change of plan!

What are plans for, if not to moderate or change them as circumstances dictate? But more of that later. It can be dangerous to slavishly stick to a plan when conditions change, for example if driving from the South Coast to Scotland you wouldn’t plan your trip on an average speed of 70 m.p.h. then not alter speed when a fog descends because ‘the plan says we average 70.’ ..... ..... Thursday was another gentle day with just enough breeze to allow us to drop the revs to little more than tickover to maintain an average speed of 5 knots or better. The day’s run to noon was a record breaking (at least for this leg) 128 nM, nothing to shout about but, hey, we are making satisfactory progress while conserving fuel. The day was interspersed with meal breaks, cups of tea and not much else. Dinner was spicy Italian sausages with couscous and ratatouille. We were still on schedule to arrive in Camaret shortly after dawn on Saturday. ..... ..... Today, Friday, it’s all change. The wind is still very gentle, the seas are still very calm and we are still motor sailing at between 5 and 6 knots. Now we would really like to average 6 while not using more fuel than necessary. Why? The elephant in the room is the predicted wind pattern for the end of next week when we hoped to be heading for Portsmouth. Yachts can make progress towards the wind, that is not our concern. From Camaret we have to head north up the Chenal du Four inside Ile d’Ouessant (Ushant to Brits) with the tide, this becomes hazardous when the wind is against the tide. It was beginning to look as if we would be stuck in Camaret for at least a week. News from Richard, our potential hitch hiker, is that his passage is possibly going to be postponed and there is no guarantee they would actually make landfall in Camaret before the very strong winds arrive on Tuesday. We are now heading for Portsmouth! ..... ..... The factors deciding this destination are varied. The fuel gauge does appear to be working, we are just being very cautious with the revs and expect to be sailing properly within about 12 hours. If we can average 6 knots we will reach the Needles Channel, another tidal gateway like the Chenal du Four, before the tide turns foul on Sunday morning which will get us into the Solent. Then we will be bashing into the tide all the way to Portsmouth Harbour entrance, but we should have enough fuel and at least the wind should help us. A late afternoon arrival on Sunday, a week earlier than previously predicted, looks possible. The only downside is that the pontoon at Hardway Sailing Club will be very nearly high and dry! We have decided to go into Haslar Marina in Gosport for a few nights to get ourselves sorted out. If we were willing to pay for a marina berth in Camaret we should be willing to do the same in England. ..... ..... Watch this space or Facebook posts from family for updates. We do not have any working phones or iPads for the UK and I might just forget to blog that we have arrived! What a shame, I was looking forward to a nice French meal on Saturday however I am now getting excited about completing our circumnavigation in two days’ time. Tonight’s ‘last night at sea dinner of steak chips and corn on the cob’ will have to wait until tomorrow and I’ll have to get enthusiastic about cooking something different. ..... ..... Joyce


23/06/2017 – Change of plan! — 3 Comments

  1. Regret we will not be able to meet you at Gosport, you got back too quickly
    We have just got back from Barcelona and have a ton of stuff to get done before tomorrow.
    Keep in touch, you know where we live, when we are there!
    Chrys & Rog

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