This morning (or even last night – either way at 0300 UTC+2 / French summer time) we left Cherbourg for Guernsey, on Skipper’s birthday – not sure how auspicious since straight into WSW BF2-3, but at least it’s sunny and warm!
After our departure from English shores a fortnight ago, we might appear less advanced than some might have expected, but on closer inspection we’ve made a lot of progress.
The timing of our departure from the UK was driven more by the need to pick up the children from their grandparents in Paris than by our readiness to leave, not to mention the favourable wind and sea state.
On arrival in Cherbourg it was straight off to Paris for time with friends and then family before returning to the boat to complete our preparations, having left with an under-prepared boat, insufficient spares and tools, clutter all over the place and without the children.
Whilst we may not be Atlantic-ready, we are much better prepared now. Amongst the achievements:
1) boat anti-fouled and anodes renewed;
2) water-maker elements mounted and plumbed in, including fabrication of a new plinth (sanded down and primed – 3 coats) – the main focus of Skipper’s four days solo after early return to the boat, a project in itself.
3) engine cooling sea water intake leaking valve replaced.
4) far too many parts, spares and odds’n’sods purchased, assuring our contribution to the local economy;
5) au revoirs said to la famille over an extended weekend of relaxation in the French countryside;
6) gaff, epirb and life jackets wall-mounted
7) more or less EVERYTHING removed from its location, reassessed and repacked several times.
— lego hoard and surplus clothing had to go (to children of local employees – missed nephew or niece hand-me-down opportunity)!
8) and even a chance meeting with friends we’d never have imagined seeing in Cherbourg – only in town for the father to take a train to Paris and on to London – leading to an impromptu lunch in the restaurant du port.
— for once we’ve French Sunday closing to thank – all town centre restaurants closed for lunch so they were forced to resort to the port.
9) last but not least, all the children de-liced (de-loused?) and all bedding washed – every day a new challenge!
At any rate, we’re underway again, if we’re definitely not done tidying up ….
Re-fuelling and low tax (yeah, right!) shopping in Guernsey, then off towards South Brittany