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June 2016 - France, England

UK |England | Chatham | Chatham Maritime Marina|

June 30, 2016

Another week in Chatham Marina with an end in sight. The parts have arrived for the genset and the head is due back from the machine shop next Tuesday. So hopefully she'll be put back together and aboard Artemis again by the end of next week. It's been rainy and/or windy blowing 25-30+ kts the last few days. Nigel and Mairi are back from their trip up river so we'll make a grocery trip tomorrow to stock up again. It's good that we had no major cruising plans this summer. Now our hope is for good winds and weather to get us to Guernsey and back to Rouen, FR before we fly home end of July.

UK | England | River Medway | Chatham Maritime Marina | Artemis moored A-3

June 21, 2016

Well we've been in Chatham for a week and will probably at least be here another week. John from Energy Solutions where we bought our genset came over to take a look on Thursday. He has a rotor injury so Al did most of the work under his guidance. Long story short...somehow we got water into the engine and we have severe piston damage. We took the head off and John took it back to his shop and then on Friday sent it to a machine shop to see if it can be fixed. No news yet. In the meantime we have walked into Chatham a couple of times about 2m each way. Al got new brake pads and lines for my bike so we are ready for a ride when we can get away. We met some Brits Mairi and Nigel who have graciously taken us shopping a few times. There is a big Asda not far away and a couple of nice chandlers. We stopped at a pub on Saturday for a beer and ended up with free pizza. Sunday morning we walked into Chatham to St. Michael Archangel for mass. Then later in the day made an Asda grocery shopping run with Mairi and Nigel. Yesterday the first day of summer it rained buckets and blew like stink. So we read books and watched TV. Today is a beautiful day and we are enjoying the sunshine. For now we just play the waiting game. First to know the extent of the genset damage, next to make the repairs, and finally make sure it doesn't happen again.

United Kingdom | England | Eastbourne | Artemis

June 13, 2016

We had dense fog all day in Le Havre so we didn't make our English Channel crossing until Thursday. We left 0500 and arrived in Eastbourne at 1800 about 75nm. The day started out quiet but winds picked up 15-20kts from NE-E so we had some good sailing too.

UK | England | Dover | Topairy planting of English crown in Dover Square

We left Eastbourne the next morning with tide about 1140 and motored to Dover about 44nm. Immigration came to the boat to check us in to UK. We stayed the weekend in Dover. We spent most of Saturday trying to figure out why the AIS wasn't working. We could see ships/boats as we traveled down the Seine so didn't realize we had a problem until crossing to England. Fortunately we had excellent visibility so it wasn't a major issue. Al finally gave up and ran new wiring and all is working fine now. Sunday after mass we went to Collins Yard for Sunday Roast. Cozy on a rainy day.

UK | England | Dover | White Cliffs north of Dover Harbour

Monday we left Dover at 0800 for the Thames Estuary and River Medway about 54nm. We had a little of everything. It was blue skies and calm seas with about 10-12kts from SW as we sailed north up to North Foreland then it switched on the nose as we turned more west into the estuary,. We put the sails away one by one and then the sheets of rain hit.

UK | England | Thames Estuary | WWII observations forts looking out over estuary

Visibility was very poor during the downpours. We spotted about 50 seal lying on Pan Sands as we motored down Princes Channel in the estuary. The skies cleared as we approached the Medway River and we were able to set the anchor in Stangate Creek before the next downpour.

UK | England | River Medway | Stangate Creek anchorage | Al dressed for grilling

The skies cleared and we were able to grill for supper. Al had to dig out his Norwegian Moose Hat to keep warm :-)

UK | England | River Medway | Chatham Maritime Marina

We got up and rode the tide 7nm up the Medway River to Chatham Tuesday morning. We are here for a week or so. Depending on how long it takes for Energy Solutions to help us sort out our generator problems.

June 7, 2016

Well we didn't get the main mast up last Friday because the window of time got away as another boat sat in the work space having problems with his furler. So that meant a weekend of leisure... well leisure compared to rigging and traveling down river. The tidal heights continued to increase all weekend.

France | Rouen | HT nearly into the Port Gervais, Rouen parking lot

Spring Tides plus the flooded river brought the levels nearly into the parking lot at Rouen. Actually a few waves did roll in leaving some debris behind. We couldn't take on fuel because the fuel lift pump kept going underwater as the tide rose. Lots of cruise ships line the quay in Rouen because they can't travel under the bridges to reach Paris.

France | Paris | Port de l'Arsenal-Bastille Paris |floating pontoon over quay from docks

The marina we wintered in is flooded as the Seine has risen 6m above flood level. They have left the lock doors open and put in floating pontoons from the floating docks over the quay so people can get from their boats to the steps leaving the marina. These pictures were taken after water was receding.

France | Paris | Port de l'Arsenal-Bastille |WC doors flood level 1.5m above the quay

France | Rouen | Artemis with both masts

Monday was the day! We finally got the main mast back on Artemis. Then spent the rest of the day rigging and putting the sails back on. We were also finally able to fill our fuel tank. We treated ourselves to pizza and mussels with our friends on s/y Maggie, Jim and Kathy.

France | River Seine | Rouen | Artemis as the fog lifted for a bit

Tuesday, today we left Port St. Gervais Rouen at 0545 for Le Havre. The start was perfect with a quiet no wind departure. Then around 0630 dense fog moved in. We decided to continue on and so did the fog for 3 more hours! AIS, Radar, and Fog Horn blowing I stood on deck watching out for debris and looking for the shoreline. Lots of logs, stumps, branches, and junk floating in the water. The Seine winds making many s-curves as it travels toward the sea making a foggy journey difficult to follow on the chart plotter.

France | River Seine | on route from Rouen to Le Havre

Fortunately the fog would lift now and then and finally burned off completely by 1030 or so. We were flying along going 9.3 over the ground until 1100 then dropped to a low of 2.6 within and hour. By 1400 we were back up to 5.5kts. We passed under Pont Normandy and then Honfleur by 1500. Another hour out of the sea channel before we could cross the estuary to Le Havre.

We arrived at 1645 and headed right away to Passport/immigration to check out of France. We plan to leave in the morning for Eastbourne, England

France|Rouen| St Gervais port| Artemis

France| Rouen| Port St. Gervais| Superwind gen

June 2, 2016

Yesterday afternoon we were able restep the mizzen mast on Artemis. Jim on s/y Maggie came aboard to help out. Christophe was worried the mizzen would be too top heavy with the Superwind generator installed above the spreaders. But no problems. He couldn't do the main mast because the river level is too high and it would hit his crane. So now we wait for a better day. First job was to hook up the break on the Superwind generator so the blade wouldn't spin until we are ready to generate electricity. We got the mizzen rigged and the sail put on. This is time consuming because the Dutchman (sail flaking system) and the reefing lines need to be run. Fortunately the rain held off long enough for Al to grill our pork chops and asparagus.

Today the wind is howling 25-30kts. We rode our bikes to town to buy more wire for the wind generator. Al's been busy running wires and working on the Superwind this afternoon. Now wiring for the new hailer and fog horn. Maybe tomorrow Friday, we can restep the main mast with early morning falling tide.

Otherwise we wait until next week :-(

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