three hulls, two people, one trip around the world…

Transfer Trip: Cherbourg – Le_Havre

The route from Brest to Cherbourg brought our 2nd night trip, this time only three of us.  The wind was moderate at first, but increased again during the night (approx. 5 Bft.). The most exciting incidents were a fishing boat without AIS, which Mathias recognised in time by its lights, and a sailor on the opposite course. There we could test our theoretical knowledge of light recognition in practice. I learned that the AIS symbol with the tip of the triangle does not point exactly in the boat’s direction of travel. The position lights are already more meaningful. Anyway, we were happy when we finally saw the red light of the other one on port side. It should be mentioned that our radar did not work during the first days. The error could only be corrected by a software update and the correct switch-on sequence of the devices.

In Cherbourg we waited a day because someone was supposed to come on board to look at why water was leaking into the centre hull. He was announced for 9 a.m., postponed the appointment a few times and finally did not show up at all. In the meantime, Wolfgang and Mathias had already come up with their own idea, bought a non-return valve and pieces of hose and installed it in the bilge pump line.

That solved the problem.

This is how we treat our guests 🙂

The following day we left because a low front was due to arrive in the next few days. We wanted to get a bit further before this front. Several weather apps and the Navtex forecast gave us one more day before it would be too uncomfortable.

The day brought wind and a few discussions about the maximum heeling angle, which is still considered comfortable, some reefing manoeuvres, genoa in, genoa out. Practice makes perfect! With the size of the sails, everything is done with the help of the winches, pulling by hand is no longer possible. 

In the afternoon, the first unsightly single-travelling thunderclouds moved in. The first one caught up with us from behind as we were sailing with a reef + jib. A strong gust in this cloud was already frightening. Mathias, as always, kept his cool and only told me afterwards that the anemometer had briefly shot up to 50 knots. 

A section of calm sailing followed again. At the second cloud we were forewarned and tied the second reef in the mainsail. This time it was not quite so bad. Quote: “It’s only 30 knots of wind.” The third cloud brought another gust up to 52 knots, but we had taken 2 reefs in the main and the jib away. Inside, you didn’t even notice that it was getting so critical. 

After that, we had peace and quiet until we reached the port of Le Havre. Only during the mooring manoeuvre did the rain pelt down. Conclusion: 2 people were soaked to the skin, Mathias had a wet sock. He was standing at the helm. 🙂

We stayed in Le Havre for 3 days and let the low front pass through. Because the wind was pushing us against the jetty, we could not have left at all. 

A little storm can’t keep the French sailing schools from training. But this troop turned back and stayed in the harbour basin.

bigger is always possible

Lively cleaning was the order of the day. On Sunday, a new guest came on board.

A small addendum about VHF radio:

After we had just completed the LRC radio licence course and exam, we were soon on our first mission. At first, however, we couldn’t do anything with what we had just learned, because in France all radio traffic on channel 16 was in French. You could just guess what it was all about. A channel change, however, was not to be understood and neither were details of the Securite messages. Only near the Channel Islands did the messages on channel 16 make sense again – in beautiful British English! Not that the French can’t do things differently. On the way to Le Havre, we were hailed by a lighthouse tower. I did well on the radio (thanks to radio instructor Martina) and answered the questions about the number of people, draught and route, while Mathias and Wolfgang at the helm wondered why a German woman’s voice was coming out of the radio handset and why they could still listen in despite the channel change. With the wind noise up at the helm, they hadn’t noticed that it was us who were being radioed.

Translated with DeepL

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