One Week Sail to Normandy

Crossing the Channel

A quick report on my one week cruise to Normandy with British Offshore a few weeks ago. There’s a full photo gallery of the trip at

One Week Sail to Normandy

On Monday morning we crossed the English Channel to Cherbourg. It was a 15 hour passage, with five of us on a Westerly Fulmar 32 II, but we sailed for only the first two hours. It was almost entirely calm for the rest of the long motor.

On Tuesday, we took the day off and explored Cherbourg. I used my ancient college French on various adventures.

On Wednesday, we had wind and sailed to Saint-Vaast la Hougue. There were two semaphore towers there to explore.

On Thursday, we sailed past the D-Day invasion beaches to Ouistreham. I walked through the town and visited a captured German bunker that was converted to a museum.

On Friday, we sailed to Honfleur, which was the most picaresque town we visited. We walked the town, bought wine and gifts, and enjoyed Saturday market.

On Saturday, we left Honfleur at noon to do an overnight passage across the English Channel. There was 18-20 knots of wind, so we sailed all night, but the sea conditions were rough with 8-10 swells and waves. The boat was bashed a bit, and we hobby-horsed from 6 knots to 2.5 more than once. In your bunk, you would go weightless every 10-15 minutes as the boat fell off waves and swells.

On Sunday morning, after a 18 hour passage, we were back in the Solent and returned to the Hamble River.

It was a great trip, and I learned a lot. It was my first time doing longer passages, and visiting France, so it was a great learning experience. The channel wasn’t difficult to navigate, and it was fairly easy to avoid the shipping traffic. Next time we go, it will be on our own boat.

Honfleur

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