As I write this, it is morning here in Cherbourg, France.
The time I’ve been here in Cherbourg has been sweet. I am spending some of it relaxing and lots of it making repairs and modifications to Bodacious Dream, in preparation for our next race, the Normandy Channel Race, which starts September 2nd. That’s this coming Sunday! The time till then is going by very quickly!
So, with the tiller welded and repaired, autopilot instrument replaced, vang reworked, halyards reworked, leaks stopped, new handholds, sails repaired and a lot of other smaller items taken care of, it’s time to leave Cherbourg and sail to Caen for the start of the race.
We’ll be leaving here tomorrow about noon – I hope, as all sailing around here depends on the tides. The two headlands – one to the west and the other to the east have tidal races where the currents run 7 knots or more, and if the wind is against the tide, the wave action is severe. So, you play your passage according to the tides. There is nothing quite as much fun as having the tide going with you, boosting your speed by the speed of the current. So, if we have to motor in light winds at 6 knots boat speed with a 7 knot current, we’ll be making 13 knots. Against it, we’ll just have to wait.
So, the Normandy Race is 1000 miles. We start in Caen and sail across the English channel then along the southern coast of England and out to the famous Fastnet Rock (the last sight of Ireland for emigrants sailing to America) and then back to Caen via one of the islands. I expect this to take us about five or six days, weather pending of course.
To follow the race, set your sights on www.normandy-race.com. There’s a ton of information and tracking to follow our progress. There is a great line up of competitors, many of whom are the biggest European names in the sport, so we’ll certainly have our work cut out for us to stay ahead of them.
I’ll be sending another write-up on the Quebec-St. Malo race here shortly. Sorry for the delay on that, but gettin’ comfy with these new electronic media thingies takes a bit of time for this ol’ grey-haired sailor!!