UK | England | Isle of Wight Yarmouth | The Needles below Yarmouth Lighthouse
September 28, 2012
Sailed across the English Channel today from Cherbourg to Yarmouth on the Isle of Wight, England. Lots of wind and lots of sail changes. Changed our mind on the approach to use the North Channel instead of the Needles. Glad we did because of current and big rip tides as we passed between Isle of Wight and the mainland. Of course it started to rain again as we arrived. 11.5 hour sail today. SW to WSW winds between 17-35 kts and well over 2.5m seas. Arrived about 1830. We have to go in search of internet tomorrow. Love and God Bless Sally and Al
September 25, 2012
Hi Everyone, Glad we did some shopping and looking around Cherbourg Friday and Saturday because the rain came in big time on Sunday. Al and I bought a Facnor Flat Deck roller furling system for the staysail and ordered the new babystay we need to mount it on. We expect it to arrive tomorrow. We had a nice walk with Dick and Ginger on Saturday. Then Sunday the most we did was to venture over to the Basilica for mass.
Monday Al and I picked up our car around 8AM and headed out to Caen in the rain. Once again Joan our travel agent in Duluth got us a great car way cheaper than we could rent it for off the street. Driving along N13 in Normandy reminded us much of the time like driving in Minnesota or Wisconsin. Lots of trees, farmland, a variety of cows and horses in pastures and small towns. The villages in Normandy seemed familiar. Probably because of the WWII movies. Many of the older ones are walled. The area we traveled is a very productive farming area. Lots of dairy and beef, corn, sugar beets, potatoes... We spent 4 interesting hours at the Caen Museum For Peace. The museum included exhibits that spanned from WWI through the fall of the Berlin Wall.
France | Normandy | Omaha Beach | The Brave scupture for Americans
The sun came out in the afternoon so we headed to Arromanches to view the prefabricated harbor code named Mulberry harbors created for D-day by sinking old ships and caissons. At low tide we could walk out to one of the caissons. Next we drove to Longues-Sur-Mer and viewed part of the Nazi Atlantic Wall with it's massive casements holding 150mm German guns designed to hit targets 20km away aimed at both Omaha and Gold beaches. We were too late for the American Cemetery on Monday so we just visited the memorials over looking Omaha beach and the beach. We stopped at the National Guard Monument at Vierville-sur-Mer and then went to Pointe du Hoc where the US maintains a memorial for the Rangers. The bomb craters were unbelievable. Some were over 12ft deep. The beaches were emotional but it was only the beginning of the horror those young men faced for the next 11 months.
Today we drove to Bayeux to visit the Tapestry Museum and the Cathedral. Well worth the visit. We drove back to Arromanches to view the new 360 degree Cinema D-Day movie. Once again the sun came out in the afternoon.
We visited the American Cemetery and War Memorial Museum above Omaha Beach. It's about the same size as the one in Nettuno, Italy and spectacularly maintained. It is very impressive as it is overlooking Omaha Beach.
Our last site of the day was Ste. Mere Eglise where the paratroopers landed. One paratrooper was caught on the church steeple and hung there several hours before being rescued. Now a mannequin dressed as a paratrooper and in a parachute are hanging from the church steeple in memory of their liberators. Before taking the car back we went shopping to stock up before heading to England. We plan to stay in Cherbourg another day or two. Our roller furler will be here and Al wants to get it installed to make sure all fits properly. So far the weather looks good for a Friday passage to the Isle of Wight. Love and God Bless Sally and Al
Channel Islands | Guernsey | St. Peters Port | Artemis
September 22, 2012
Hi Everyone, We had a great time in Guernsey. We arrived on Saturday and stayed 5 nights in PetersPort. It was an interesting marina as we had to wait for the tide to rise and cover the sill by at least 2m before we could go in or go out. The marina itself was dredged to 2 meter which meant that when it was low tide Artemis sat on the bottom showing 8 inches of waterline. The first night I complained to Al that we needed to fill our water tanks as I felt like I was rolling out of bed. Then the next day we came back at mid day low tide and saw how high she was out of the water... Not a problem but unnerving to see her sitting on the bottom and wondering if she could fall over? The sill had a waterfall during low tide Then when reaching toward high tide the water would come racing in to fill the marina again. We had an additional 9m of water at Spring high tide:-) We were able to get duty free fuel at 80 pence a liter. (about $5 a gallon)
Our friends Ginger, Dick, Al and I went a couple of different hikes while there. The coastal bus costs 1 pound. We walked out to Island L'Eree during low tide one day and some cliff trails another. Al and Ginger were keen on seeing a Guernsey cow. It wasn't until our third day that while riding the bus to the German Occupation Museum that Al spied a herd. It made his day. Ha. The museum was very interesting with many artifacts left behind on the island nicely displayed and labeled.
Our social life has improved tremendously the last weeks. Speaking a common language ENGLISH has opened many opportunities for shared cocktails, meals and dockside discussions. Alchemy had us for dinner and we had a chance to reciprocate a few days later. Met up with our Guernsey friends for a couple of short visits but missed out on a longer visit as we had a previous engagement and we were leaving the next day. But as we told them... We'll be back! We made new Brit friends through Dick and Ginger and enjoyed a meal aboard their Hylas 46 Mussetta of Hable. Also had cocktails aboard Amusant powerboat shipped over from Florida. David and Wendy will also be spending the winter at St. Katherine's Dock in London.
France | English Channal | Cherbourg | French Coast guard and Artemis
Yesterday we motor/sailed 42nm to Cherbourg, France. Not too long after leaving the harbor we picked up 2 kts of current with us and eventually building to 5+knots of current. Artemis was going 11.6 kts! Then about 8 miles out of Cherbourg the French Customs boat circled both Alchemy and Artemis checking us out. After about 10 min. of slowly following us they dropped their Rib into the water and boarding us for inspection. We had been boarded in La Rochelle while in harbor but never while undersail. They asked us to reduce sail as they were coming aboard!
Last night we went to dinner with Alchemy and Musetta. Roz, Alan, Pam and Malcolm head for England today. Alchemy and Artemis plan to stay longer and visit the Normandy beaches and War memorials. Lots to see in this area so I'm sure a week will fly by quickly.
Hope everyone has a nice weekend. Love and God Bless Sally and Al
September 15, 2012
Dear family and friends,
We stayed at Port Vauban, St. Malo for 5 days and left this morning at 0630 for Guernsey in the Channel Islands. We arrived about 1430 local time. The seas were 1.5 with 2m swells yesterday. The winds 20kts gusting to 27 mostly the direction we wanted to go. So when we woke up Friday morning and it was drizzling we turned off the clock and went back to bed. Today we had flatter seas but then very little wind so we ended up motor sailing. We had to wait at a waiting pontoon outside the harbor for a couple of hours before we could get over the sill that maintains the water level of the marina. The sill dries at 4.7m but high tide is 11.7 meters right now. Our lines were taken on the marina pontoon by our friends Ginger and Dick on "Alchemy". We haven't seen them since Spring of 2010 when we left Kemer, Turkey. It was like we had just been together last week:-) We are invited aboard for dinner tonight and we'll begin the swapping of cruising tales. Ginger and Dick are wintering in London again this year so we'll have lots of time to reacquaint ourselves and share stories.
France | St. Malo | Artemis on Harbor quay above the locks
France | St. Malo |walking the ramparts around the city
Back to St. Malo! What beautiful city. It was bombed heavily during WWII but the old town has been restored to reflect what had existed before. We did laundry on Tuesday and walked the ramparts while we waited for wash and then drying. Beautiful views of the town and coast. They made a low tide swimming pool. When the tide goes out this pool stays filled so visitors always have a swim area handy:-) Later we walked the narrow winding streets and did a bit of grocery shopping.
France | Rennes | lunch with David and daughter Amy
Wednesday our friend David came to St. Malo and picked us up to go touring for the day. He and god daughter Sian came by around 1030. We visited Cite d'Alet and walked the ramparts. Al and I decided we would come back another day to do the WWII museum. Then we drove to Rennes the Medieval town near where David lives to pick up his daughter Amy from work to join us for the rest of the day. We parked near old town and the city market where we wandered old town. Neat old town with lots two big churches and lots of old board and plaster buildings that appear to be settling and bulging which gives them character. We found a Creperie for lunch. We had local cider, galette complete (ham, egg and cheese on a crepe), caramel dessert crepe and coffee. Very tasty I can't believe it was our first time eating a meal at a Creperie:-) After lunch we drove to Dinard and Dinan a river port to have a look around. Brittany is beautifully green, rolling hills with lots of farms. Great day but it only wetter our appetites to want to go back someday and see more.