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Old 08-05-2011, 04:29   #1
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We've Just Done Our First Channel Crossing !

Hi everyone!

Just a quick note to thank everyone for all their replies to our threads. We've been madly busy getting our boat ready for our Channel crossing and trip to France.

We finally made it across the Channel on the 5th May arriving early in the morning of the 6th. It was pretty lumpy for most of the way until about 4am when the sea calmed down and there was a nice gentle swell. It was lovely watching the sky get lighter and finally sighting land. We arrived in Trebeurden completely exhausted - well most of us. We have been chilling out here for the last couple of days enjoying the sunshine, friendly atmosphere and of course the wine and patisseries!

Our two extra crew are coming down to Brest with us and then we will be on our own. We are setting off for Morlaix at 4am tomorrow - well, hanging out on a buoy from 8pm because of the sill here and needing to arrive in Morlaix at the right time for the lock etc. Will probably anchor for a while first.

It is wonderful to finally be over here and using my French again which the locals seem to appreciate!

Will keep you posted from time to time when we feel like getting on the computer.

Cheers everyone,

Louise and Jon

PS I think we can call ourselves real sailors now!
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Old 08-05-2011, 04:45   #2
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pirate Re: We've just done our first Channel crossing!

Good onya guys... from now on its 'No looking back'.... except to make sure no ships are bearing down on your stern..
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Old 08-05-2011, 04:57   #3
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Re: We've just done our first Channel crossing!

Congrats, sounds like you just made it before the weather changed. Been lashing it down this side of the channel for the last two nights.

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Old 08-05-2011, 07:50   #4
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Re: We've just done our first Channel crossing!

Cheers to you getting the world's busiest seaway under your belt
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Old 09-05-2011, 11:01   #5
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Re: We've Just Done Our First Channel Crossing !

Well done guys - enjoy the rest of the cruise.

JOHN
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Old 10-05-2011, 15:47   #6
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Re: We've Just Done Our First Channel Crossing !

Congratulation from a continental sailor!

It is always a "small victory" feeling, once the channel is "behind", even after several ones.

I don't know if it's due to:
  • The fact that 25% of the world maritime traffic is passing by everyday it and you have went through the traffic as well...
  • The tidal challenges...which makes you waiting 6 more hours when you enter the "four", before you can celebrate in the next pub.
  • The fog that is usually appearing suddenly (just when you are between 2 containers ships running 20 knots, with no wind, and the f...ing piece of fishing net has trapped your propeller...).
  • The fact that none of the trawlers that crossed your way did also crossed...your boat as well!
  • Or that the typical tropical weather over the area did make you shivering all the night?
All kind of feeelings that the modern life does usually not gives you onshore, simple and very intense feelings...thanks to this "challenging" area.

The other aspects is the history over centuries that happend in the area, when you think off all these wrecks and victims that are on the seabed, very impressive too...

So, we hope that will not be the only one has it is always a pleasure to cross the channel.
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Old 16-05-2011, 11:37   #7
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Re: We've Just Done Our First Channel Crossing !

Hello everyone!

Thanks for replying to our thread.

Your dog looks lovely, Pete! I am a big dog-lover!

Just to let you know that we have now made it down to l'Aberwrac'h. First stop was Trebeurden which was nice and peaceful after the arduous, rather bumpy crossing of the Channel (though it was lovely at 4am watching the sky get lighter and finally sighting the French coast). We spent a few days there and then went on to Morlaix which of course is a beautiful town. Our friend, Bill, our extra crew, helped us navigate the rocks in and out of Morlaix thankfully! (Actually, we couldn't have made it across the Channel without our two extra crew to whom we are eternally grateful!) We had an uncomfortable trip part of the way to l'Aberwrac'h from Morlaix, rolling quite a bit and I was pretty sick, but once we had put down the keel and put up the sails, things got more pleasant and steadier and we had a nice sail most of the way.

Now we are enjoying l'Aberwrac'h for a couple of days. Setting off for Brest tomorrow at 5am. We'll be giving Bill a good dinner there and then he is heading off back to England on the Roscoff ferry so we will be on our own! We are going to go up the River Aulne and spend some time there saving some money as feeding four people and paying for marina fees for the last week and a bit has been pretty expensive. Then heading off for the Gulf de Morbihan for a while before the chaos of mid summer sets in!

I have found the French people very welcoming and friendly and accepting of my French which I seem to be speaking quite easily now that I am here. (Have been studying it for a pretty long time on and off but haven't had much chance to practice it in situ!) Of course, we are enjoying the great wine etc etc. We are also enjoying seeing our life together opening up in front of us leading who knows where ..... a great sense of space and freedom!

Wishing you all safe sailing.

All the best,

Louise and Jon
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Old 16-05-2011, 12:35   #8
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Re: We've Just Done Our First Channel Crossing !

Congratulations! The first Channel crossing is a big milestone in a sailor's life! It's funny but we were out there with you - crossed Hamble-Cherbourg via Needles the same night. We had a great sail, averaging nearly 9 knots in a perfect 20 knot (apparent) wind. There was no moon and boy was it dark! It was my seventh crossing (the first was last August; I told you it's addictive).

The other reward, as you have discovered by now, is the wonderful cruising grounds of Normandy and Brittany with their incredible natural beauty, ancient and beautiful ports, splendid food and wine, wonderfully friendly people, especially the French sailors.

Don't neglect to stock your bilges with wine while you're there; I actually prefer the Carrefour in Cherbourg for this purpose. You can roll your shopping cart right down to the pontoon!
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Old 16-05-2011, 13:04   #9
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Re: We've Just Done Our First Channel Crossing !

Thanks Dockhead,

We like it so much we're not sure we'll be coming back!! So much nice wine and friendly people!

Happy sailing,

Louise and Jon
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Old 16-05-2011, 13:20   #10
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Re: We've Just Done Our First Channel Crossing !

The one time I crossed the channel (it was from Dover), the skies were clear and the water calm. One just needs to meditate and think positive thoughts beforehand.

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Old 16-05-2011, 14:13   #11
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Re: We've Just Done Our First Channel Crossing !

Louise and Jon, a couple of our favourites, Vannes and Auray in the Gulf plus Piriac and La Turballe slightly further south.

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Old 16-05-2011, 16:38   #12
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Re: We've Just Done Our First Channel Crossing !

Congrats on your first crossing, been a while since I did it on a sail boat. I'm stuck waiting on weather to make my 5th Irish sea crossing, fingers crossed, its looking abit more promising for tomorrow morning, still going to be a beat though.
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Old 16-05-2011, 16:44   #13
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Re: We've Just Done Our First Channel Crossing !

keep waiting Nigel, lots of crap coming through

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Old 18-05-2011, 09:12   #14
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Re: We've Just Done Our First Channel Crossing !

Thanks everyone for your replies.

Pete, we will definitely go to those places. At the moment we are resting up in Brest at Marina du Chateau. All very organised and friendly here - well, at the marina at least!

All the best,

Louise and Jon
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Old 19-05-2011, 03:12   #15
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Re: We've Just Done Our First Channel Crossing !

Hi Louise,
Keep and eye out for a 35 Rogger pilot house boat named Sundog who cannot be far away from you - and travelling same basic route.
Good pals Gerry and Sarah are also heading for the Med (they come from Scotland) and got to l'Aberwrac'h two days back via Ireland, Scillies and UK SW coast.
Tell them I said to come say hello - really nice guys.
Cheers
JOHN
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