July 2016 - England, Guernsey, France, USA
July 31, 2016
Easy, fast security in Paris as we arrived early. Great flight arriving in Chicago at noon. We rented a car at the airport and spent the night at our son Justin's house in Chicago. Unfortunately they were gone on vacation but we got a good nights sleep. We went out for an early supper nice hot Mexican food and to bed by 1730.
USA | New York | Montezuma | Home I grow up in and Daddy was born in
We woke refreshed at 0200, took showers, had breakfast and was on the road to Montezuma New York by 0300. No rush hour traffic at that time of day but quite a bit of road construction. It took us about 11 hours to get to Dad's house.
USA | New York | Montezuma | Daddy and Al enjoying summer breeze
We've been having a nice visit. Just happy to visit and listen to Dad's stories. Yesterday we drove along Cayuga Lake (one of the Finger Lakes) and had a nice lunch at Wolfies on the lake. Today we visited my brother Tom and Margaret for the afternoon. We plan to be with dad until Aug. 6 and then drive back to Chicago to spend the week with Justin's girls while mom and dad fly to London for the week.
Channel Islands | Alderney Race | Artemis going 13.7 kts with Spring Tides
France | Cherbourg | Artemis alongside in Chantiereyne Harbor
July 25, 2016
We left Guernsey as dawn broke at 0430 on Wednesday for Cherbourg France about a 41nm via the Alderney Race. Alderney is another one of the Channel islands close to the Cherbourg penninsula. Timing for the Alderney race is very important especially during Spring Tides when you can get over 4kts of tide. We had a variety of winds ranging from a mere 8kts to 38kts off Cap de la Hague on the Cherbourg penninsula. Our top speed through the Alderney Race reached 14 kts but we only caught a picture of 13.7!! The French Coast Guard pulled up behind us as we approached Cherbourg. Fortunately we didn't have to reduce sail and wait to be boarded this time. They were satisfied with doing a radio check-in. One year because of a customs check the tide changed on our approach and it took us an extra hour to arrive in the harbor. We tied alongside on E dock.
France | Honfleur | Artemis in the locks at Honfleur
We left Cherbourg 0500 now on French time as dawn broke. We sailed and motor sailed 78nm to Honfleur on the River Seine. This time we passed through the Barfleur Race which was not as dramatic as the Alderney Race but we did pick up a couple of kts. We arrived in Honfleur at 1630 but had to wait until 1700 to enter the locks. We had 4kts of tide rushing past the Honfleur harbor entrance so Al had to keep our boat speed up to 4kts heading into the tide to hold our place outside the harbor as we waited to enter. We moored on the Avant pontoons for the night.
France | River Seine
France | River Seine
Friday we had a beautiful day to motor up the Seine River to Rouen. We left a bit early for the tide at 0900 so our first hour we had 3kts of tide against us. But the rest of the 63nm we had 2-3 kts of tidal current with us. We arrived in just 8 hours in Rouen. It was a much faster run with Spring tides. We arrived at 1700. Glad to be settled in Rouen.
Saturday we took the four sails off Artemis for the winter as for the rest of the season we will become a motor boat! We gave her a bath and scrubbed the canvas that will be stored with the sails. I also washed all of our bedding (blankets included) and our laundry taking advantage of FREE laundry.
Sunday we walked into Rouen for mass at St. Joan of Arc and a walk about the town. Everything is so beautiful with all the flowers and sunshine. We are all set for our departure on Tuesday. We plan to stay at the airport IBIS hotel overnight and fly to Chicago on Wednesday. Great bus price on Flixbus from Rouen to Charles de Gaulle airport at only 12 euro per person.
Channel Islands | Guernsey | St. Peter Port
Channel Islands | Guernsey | St. Peter Port | Artemis in Victoria Marina
July 19, 2016
We left Portland Marina, England Saturday at 0400 sailing across the English Channel for Guernsey. It was a beautiful sunny sailing day. We even kept our speed up when we had foul tide because of the great sailing winds. The last 2 hrs we motor sailed to keep our speed up so that we'd arrive in Guernsey with a favorable tide. Perfect timing as we were able to enter over the sill to Victoria Harbor at high tide.
Channel Islands | Guernsey | German Defence Tower
Channel Islands | Guernsey | Claire and Sally
Channel Islands | Guernsey | view from German Defence Tower
Our friend Claire was on the dock to take our lines. What service. It was great seeing Claire again. She picked us up Sunday morning for church and a tour of the island. Guernsey is so pretty this time of year especially in the gorgeous sunshine we've been experiencing. We had a lovely lunch with Claire and her friends. Then we checked out the views from each direction of the island. We had a private tour of a German defense tower "Naval Observation Tower and Battery". Claire's friend Richard was just locking up when we arrived. Great views of the island and surrounding Sea. During an earlier visit to the island we had visited the Occupation War Museum which Richard also owns the lease to. Monday we walked about town enjoying the flowers and street music. We walked along the shore to Waitrose and bought some shrimp for dinner.
Channel Islands | Guernsey Island | St. Peter Port | Castle Cornet
Today we left Victoria harbor to buy fuel. Great price $2.70 a gallon. It was $5.50 in France and over $7 in England. We moored Artemis outside the Victoria harbor in the tidal harbor as we planned to leave early Wednesday for Cherbourg, France. We met Claire for lunch at the Guernsey Yacht Club while she was on break from court. Then we toured the Cornet castle. Another great day. Summer has finally arrived!
UK | England | Dover | Granville Docks Dover Marina
July 15, 2016
We had a relaxing couple of days in Dover. Al took time to figure our our windlass problem. Turns out the big positive feed cable was not doing it's job. We bought new connections and had them crimped on. All seems fine now or at least until the next time it decides not to work.
On Tuesday we had a hard day of motoring with 2 meter seas on the nose for 45nm to Eastbourne. We are getting tired of bad weather forecasting. We left early Wednesday 0530 for the Solent. Much nicer day of sailing. Great 6nm beam sail to Beachy Head and then a beat to Selsey Bill. Lovely until a front came through with 30kts of wind and blinding rain. Unfortunately we arrived in the Solent sooner than expected and had to motor into the tide for the last 12nm. We arrived at Cowes Yacht Harbor on Isle of Wight about 1800.
UK | England | Isle of Wight | The Needles
We left with the tide Thursday for Portland Marina. We had a fun sail leaving the Solent down past the Shingles and The Needles. We had 2kts of tide so we were sailing over 8kts. The Shingles is a reef off of the Isle of Wight in the western approach to the Solent. Many boats have been pushed upon the reef by tide and wind so you need to get it right when using that approach. The Needles are the 3 white standing rocks of chalk off the west end of Isle of Wight. Great sail for 4.5 hours until gunnery practice and a wind shift forced us to change course. So we had to motor the last 3 hours to Portland Marina. We stayed two days. We enjoyed a nice dinner at the marina pub and had a nice walk to the hill top enjoying the views over the harbor. We plan to leave in the morning for Guernsey in the Channel Islands.
UK | England | Chatham | Chatham Maritime Marina | Al working on the genset install
July 09, 2016
We left Chatham Friday afternoon down the River Medway to Stangate Creek anchorage. We were pleasantly surprised with our month long mooring fee and our crane operating costs. The install went much quicker as Al has done this twice now. Hopefully never again!
UK | England | Thames Estuary | Sunrise over the English Channel
We had a quiet night at anchor and left at 0400 Saturday morning. Al had to short out the windlass to bring up the anchor. Another one of life's mysteries. Al had checked the windlass several times while at Chatham and it appeared to be working just fine. Oh well another problem to tackle.
As expected we had quiet winds, seas and fair tide for the 30nm in the Thames estuary. We made the corner at North Foreland heading southwest for Dover at about 0800. The winds picked up on the nose so down came the sails. Fortunately we now had 1-2.5kts of tide with us for the next 20nm to Dover. Unfortunatly the winds continued to build over 25kts from the southwest. No we have a wind over tide situation. For those in the know about tides that means the wind is blowing strong against a strong tide which makes for rough seas. At 0930 we only had 8nm left to go to Dover but our boat speed of 6.0 kts (8 kts over water due to tide) suddenly went down to boat speed of 2 kts (4.5 kts over water) Glad we had 2.5kts of tide with us. But now we also had waves bouncing around us nearly stopping the boat at times. Two hours of this and we were given permission to enter Port Dover and into the marina.
UK | England | Dover | Dover Marina | Artemis in Granville docks basin
After an afternoon nap we had a bottle of wine and chicken fajitas for dinner. The weather forecast is for strong winds from the southwest for the next couple of days so we plan to stay in Dover until Tuesday.
UK | England | Chatham Maritime Marina | Rainbow seen from Artemis
July 7, 2016
After yet another rainstorm over the weekend we had a beautiful rainbow. Was this a promise of good things to come. It was actually followed by several days of real summer this week. Sunshine and shorts! Our friends Mairi and Nigel from Edinbrough left for their vacation cruising the French canals from Calais. I wish we could have left too as later this week the weather gets a bit iffy for heading southwest. We'll miss them as they would stop daily to see if we needed a ride anywhere and Nigel was forever going to the Chandlery. Of course we'll miss their companionship and conversations as we had a cup of coffee or a beer.
UK | England | Chatham Maritime Marina St. Mary's Island | Park along River Medway
We took a nice walk around St. Mary's Island. Nice walking trails along the River Medway and through parks back to the Chatham Docklands.
We finally got our generator back today. We went over to Energy Solutions to observe it being tested under full load. No crane operator today so we have to wait until tomorrow to have her put back aboard Artemis. It has been a long month... It seems water got into the engine somehow and now we have a rebuilt head, all new valves and 3 new pistons. After 26 years with the old generator in the same spot we never had this problem. Some believe we got back wash from water that didn't clear the muffler once the engine was turned off so Al has put on a muffler drain, new anti-siphon valve, ball valve on the exhaust and soon to install one between anti-siphon and the exhaust manifold. We don't want a repeat of this problem. No generator, so much time spent solving and fixing the problem and of course the money $$$$ spent so soon after installing this brand new piece of equipment is not FUN! On another note our new Superwind wind generator seems to be running properly and generating electricity.
We made a run to the grocery store and are making ready to leave Chatham tomorrow after we get the genset ba