Showing posts from 2024

Crossing the Channel - 50° 47' 53" N 01° 07' 11" W

Our first overnight passage aboard Chinook and we set off from Cherbourg, bound for Gosport in England.  The lines have officially been cast off!  We had to do a bit of planning as this meant leaving France (and the EU/Schengen) and checking into the UK.  We had to manage the strong tidal streams in the Channel and enter Gosport on the right tide.  The route required us to traverse the busiest shipping lane in the world!  And just to make things interesting, we were slipping across in a weather window between two storms.  Too easy! (yes, Lynda, my brain is definitely going to mush!!) Tidal Streams in The Channel The first number is the speed for Neap Tide and the second is for Spring Tide - in tenths of a knot. Spring Tides occur about 36 hours after Full and New Moons. Gosport is approximately 80nm NNE of Cherbourg.  We anticipated it would take us somewhere from 12 to 14 hours.  With the moon in a waning crescent phase (the new moon is on Monday 8 April), the currents would

Four years on - 38° 28' 49" S 145° 01' 34"

Still missing you Dad... Here is the eulogy my sisters and I gave at Dad's memorial service in April 2021. Susan With a father like Dad, our childhood was run on adrenalin. The adrenalin of both pleasure and angst from adventures, misadventures and mad-capped antics with Dad.  Dad did and we followed with the thrilling discomfort that dominates our memories. And our childhood came with a soundtrack - Neil Diamond, Carley Simon, Cat Stephens, Barbara Streisand... We sent to sleep with the likes of ‘Sweet Caroline’ and ‘Peace Train’ being played loudly. Very loudly. There was no ‘sshh, you’ll wake the kids’ in our world. As little people, a highlight was accompanying Dad to the sales at the Dandy Market to sell the vealers. It was a mass of noise, colour and smell and he humoured us with a walk around the many pens of various animals. Though he would not buy me a goat, Kate a pig or randomly and quite irrelevantly, Wendy a monkey, we loved the adventure of the trip. But th

We moved! - 49° 40' 01"N 01° 40' 17" W

Having commitments with the Garcia warranty team and wild conditions forecast for later in the week, we took the opportunity of a small weather window to spend Sunday night at anchor.  We had intended to head to Anse du Brick, a beach about 6nm to the east of here but the swell was still entering the bay so we scurried back to the shelter of the harbour.   We ended up in Baie du Sainte-Anne in and amongst the crab pots, just south of Fort de Chavagnac. We tested our new Rocna Vulcan anchor and are pleased to report we did not move at all - even with 20kn of wind and a 5m tide! With wind warnings forecast, we zipped back to the marina.  Delighted that getting our 16 tonne beauty into her pen in 20kn of wind is not nearly as scary this week as it was last week! Cherbourg Harbour is an amazing place.  It is the world's second largest artificial harbour with 6km of break waters with five forts protecting the outer harbour.  It is a bustling with boats of all shapes and sizes, from kid

Leaving Chinook and heading back to Canada - 49° 38' 27" N 01° 37' 00" E

 Yep, you read correctly.  Our plans have changed, as plans often do and our 2024 is looking somewhat different from what we wrote in a previous post - A Rough Plan for 2024 .  Chinook will be left safe and sound at Port Chantereyne Marina - with her Garcia friends! We still plan to head to the UK and Ireland after Easter and will spend until mid-June cruising around, exploring the area and putting Chinook through her paces.  Our plan is to sail to Alderney, just off the coast of Normandy, on Easter Monday or Tuesday.  It is a short hop but has some major tides that can run up to 10kn so we need to time our departure well.  We bought the "Aurigny' (Alderney to the English-speakers) courtesy flag from the local chandlers here in Cherbourg We will then cross the English Channel to Portsmouth and work our way west along the coast of England to Wales and Scotland before heading south along the eastern Irish coast.  We need to be back in Cherbourg by mid-June for the 3-month warran

Getting organised - 49° 38' 27" N 01° 37' 00" E

You may or may not have noticed that the latitude and longitude haven't changed for the last few posts.  There is a reason for that. Chinook is staying put for a few days. It has been a busy exercise moving aboard, sorting out where to put what, measuring this, buying that, mounting the vacuum, making up the beds - the endless small jobs to set up a home.  As our new home is a boat, we have to ensure the glasses and mugs are stowed so they don't smash and items in lockers are secured.  Sticky-backed velcro, shock cord, non-slip matting and double-sided tape have been consumed by the rolls. Shock cord holding down tools under the Tech Room sole (for those non-sailors, the sole is the floor...) The standard Garcia has more than a few surprises for new owners ... and one of them is AMPLE STORAGE.  Not only are there plenty of storage lockers, but the storage lockers often have storage lockers behind them!  We now know why the waterline stripe is 8 - 9 centimetres above

Moving Aboard - 49° 38' 27" N 01° 37' 00" E

Wow, that was a big week.  We are exhausted. ... and smitten! Monday was a paperwork day, but aboard Chinook.  We went over the contract, item by item, to ensure that everything the contract stated would be delivered.  There were a few things missing or incomplete (mixups in ordering, vendor delivery timing issues) but they were noted with written assurances that they would be delivered, changed out or corrected.  This all needed to be clearly stated before we transfer the lion's share of the purchase amount to Garcia. Signing and double-checking the contract Anything that wasn't in place, was incomplete or not working properly would be dealt with by the warranty team.   There was no refuting that they had delivered A boat. We had no idea how she sailed and there was no way that a single day of inspection would allow anyone to check every bit of the more-than-5000-person-hours of labour that went into this sleek looking vessel. The "Grin and Grab" p