Winsome 4th and last trip of 2021

October 10, 2021

After our finish in the Fastnet Race at Cherbourg, the boat stayed in Chantereyne Port at Pier P.

Just this week, on Tuesday 5 October, Leen, Dirk-Jan and myself prepared her for delivery to Caen via Ouistreham, including charging the batteries).

The main thing was the replacement of the drive belt installed during the Fastnet Race, by the right sized (102 cms). A job Leen managed in only 20 min.

We left Sophie’s house Wednesday 6 October at 06:00 (mind you 04:00 UTC) and we left the box at 07:00 LT. 

After some problems with hoisting the Main Sail we left the port, flying G3. Wind NW 27 knots.

It was exactly the right moment for a favourable tide and when we passed light House Gatville our SOG was already 10 knots.

One hour late we logged a SOG of 14,3 knots and we never made less than 10 knots SOG until our first and only tack towards Ouistreham.

In spite of our fast passage we could not reach the locks of Ouistreham of 14:10 so we had to wait for the next opportunity of 21:00. The harbour master asked us not to enter the entrance to the locks but since the waves close to the shore were extremely unpleasant, I asked him again to find us a place which he did by letting us moor alongside a small fishing boat. 

When Leen and DJ made a walk a discovered that our batteries had been discharged, leaving the start battery at only 12,1 V. So I quickly started the engine, which made no difference in the discharging of the batteries, but at least we had a running engine.

Leen and DJ came back with three Pizza’s and we started to prepare positioning the boat for the sas of Ouistreham. Did anyone of our readers know that Sas van Gent means the locks of Gent? Another French word added to my vocabulary.

Once we entered the locks we learned after one hour that the pedestrian bridge could not be opened so we needed to leave the locks again and enter another one.

At midnight we found a place for Winsome in the Marina right after the locks and fortunately the batteries could be loaded by shore electricity. This saved the next day. We had to climb out of a closed gate (..).

At 01:00 we got our rooms in IBIS hotel where Elodie served us a Belgian beer.

The next morning we left the marina at 09:15 so we were quite in time to reach the first bridge with an opening time of 10:10

To my surprise I recognized a quay close to Caen where Albert Thissen and myself made a visit last year for Spliethoff to Reinier Kaptein who told us all about export of woodchips shipments to Scandinavia (for WijnneBarends) and import of cat grid shipments from Turkey (for Henk Holtman). 

We passed another bridge which had to be opened and the we could easily pass the last bridge with an air draft of 33 metres (Winsome’s mast incl antenna is at 19,5 metres only).

The yard, Chantier Naval V1D2, where we spotted immediately two Vendée Globe boats. One of Bernard Stam and the green one SARNIA of Reima’s friends. A good reason to call Richard Klabbers right away.

We prepared Winsome, unloaded all sails and spi’s still on board in Sophie’s Toyota and had a discussion with Jean-Sébastien Pouet. It was my second visit, so knew what to expect.

Lunch with Sophie in Caen and back to Morsalines. Leen and DJ survived the trip in spite of being more or less choked on the back seats with all material on board.

Post by Harry Heijst | October 10, 2021 |