Breskens to Camaret-Sur-Mer

After exiting the dutch channels, we can finally move many miles in a day; therefore, this telling will cover a longer stretch.

Breskens to Calais

Thursday the 6 of august, we had an early start to the day, untie the lines at half-past 6, getting to the fuel dock was easy, but to our big surprise, it was first open from 8 in the morning. That is not self-service Breskens Marina. Anyhow, we had fuel enough to sail to Dunkerque. Minutes later, we are out of the marina and on our way towards Dunkerque.

We had a good speed thanks to the current along the coast, in only two and a half hour we passed through Belgian waters.

So instead of Dunkerque our goal now was Calais, arriving at the entrance of Calais at 1600. To get to the marina, we need to sail through the port of Calais. Therefore we need permission from the port captain to enter the port. Two ferries and a police ship had to pass before we got our clearance 1630, the last thing before we could tie up to the pontoon in the Calais Marina was the bridge to open.

At 17:17, we have tied up alongside; a staff member stood ready to help us at the pier.
He welcomed us to Calais and asked us to lock our dingy to our arch, due to the big problems with emigrants that try to cross the English Channel from Calais to Dover. Just some days before a fellow Danishsailor had got there dingy stolen in the night.

We had to register at the marina office and bring our boat papers and passports. Bonjour France, and welcome to the bureaucracy. Luckily we had everything in order, so no problem.

The trip took about 10 hours.

We planned to leave Calais the next morning, but due to the closed fuel dock in Breskens, we needed fuel. In Calais, there had been a superyacht earlier in the day, that had empty their supply of diesel.
According to the staff, there will be a new delivery of diesel in the morning after 8. Our plan changed; it wasn’t possible to catch the morningtide

Our plan is now to leave in the afternoon, unfortunately for us, the high-pressure fuel pump at the fuel dock had been damaged during the lack of fuel. So we calculated on what we need to use in the worst case if we need to motoring to Cherbourg. After a couple of calculations, we agreed that it wasn’t going to be a problem.

So 15:41 we call the port captain in Calais Port, to ask for permission to leave the port, and got permission right away, and off we were.

Walk in Calais, waiting for the tide

Calais to Cherbourg

We been studying the currents, tides schedule, and Sebastian had been learning where the TSS (Traffic Separation Scheme) in the English Channel. Made the shortest route possible along with the European side of the English channel.

After passing Cap Gris-Nez, we didn’t see many ships or boats; we heard a lot of PAN-PANs from Dover Coastguard and the french due to all the migrants trying to cross the channel. We overheard a longer discussing between an English sailor and Dover Coastguard, about a “blue rubber boat with four black people”. Here is was easy to hear that it was essential to know the exact position, due to if it was the Frenchman’s problem or the English people. Instead of rescuing the poor black anise.

Around 2 in the night Sebastian had a greeting from a dutch sailor, that hadn’t been awake and passed us with a distance of 100 meters. Otherwise, the night was quiet, and not much happened. Saturday around lunchtime the wind finally set in, not much, but enough to sail with the engine on 1500 rpm.

At 1300 Sebastian shouted “A DANE! – I see a Danish sailboat on the AIS”, and true enough 12,4 nautic miles to the portside we had Mandalay, heading the same direction as us – The race was on!
We moored in Cherbourg at 19:50, sitting in the cockpit with a drink, 10 minutes before Mandalay passed us, and moored further down the pontoon.

At 1300 Sebastian shouted “A DANE! – I see a Danish sailboat on the AIS”, and true enough 12,4 nautic miles to the portside we had Mandalay, heading the same direction as us – The race was on!

We moored in Cherbourg at 19:50, sitting in the cockpit with a drink, 10 minutes before Mandalay passed us, and moored further down the pontoon.

Had a little chat with the crew aboard Mandalay, they are going to coastal cruise to Montenegro, where they must be to November.

We spent one night in Cherbourg, before leaving for Camaret-Sur-Mer.
Topped up the water, diesel from the fuel dock, and off we were. Cherbourg had until now been the most expensive marina; €49 for one night. Most marinas had been around 30-35 €.

We almost had the enginen on 24/7

Cherbourg to Camaret-Sur-Mer

The trip from Cherbourg to Camaret-Sur-Mer is going to be the longest sail we have done, ever!
But again, not much happened, some crazy current and whirlpools around Jersey and Guernsey, a short period we considered dropping the anchor outside Guernsey, to sleep through the night. But after some pro and cons, we decided to continue the night through.

Around Banc des Langoustiers the AIS begun to have issues started to fall out. We sailed 90 degrees to the course on the Chartplotter. Sebastian had the duty, so he called one out the big costers out in the shipping lane, to find out if the VHF was dead too, but got an answer from the crew that was on duty. They had been sailing the English channel for 20 years never heard about it, but they could not see Idefix on there AIS.

The sipping lane in the distance

Sebastian informed them on our position; an hour later, it all worked again, so we continued.

After Camilla had woken up, we had a little talk about if we were able to catch the current in Chenal Du Four. We weren’t quite sure, so we decided to sail to L’Aber Wrac’h instead, and wait for the next tide and current to save the power and time to sail against the current.

But suddenly one boat after the other came out of L’Aber Wrac’h and had the same course as we had, plan changed again, and we continued towards Camaret-Sur-Mer. To safe more time, Sebastian decided to go through the archipelago via Chenal Du Rauous. The best decision, we overtook 4-5 of the boats coming out of the harbour in L’Aber Wrac’h that sailed outside the archipelago by the time we entered Chenal Du Four.

We dropped the hook outside Camaret-Sur-Mer after almost 26 hours and 172 nautic miles.

At anchor in Camaret-Sur-Mer