It’s hard to describe how a boat comes alive.
31 hours into our passage to France, our second night out. it’s now 01:00 on the 15th of July 2016. I’ve just relieved the “boys”, who had their first watch without me for the last 4 hours. I had planned on sleeping another two hours, but I awoke and knowing the English Channel transit lanes were only an hour away, I figured I may as well get up.
Besides, nothing untoward had yet happened, and like the experienced manager taking the young prospect out of the game on a positive note, not letting mistakes happen as they fatigue.
Last night I had been alone, the boys sick as dogs. No, probably sicker.
I like the night, slicing through the water, the white mustache at the bow. There is a coziness the envelops the boat making us even more with nature.
We ran yesterday for 24 hours with the paravanes deployed. We needed them. The weather has been exactly as forecast, with strong NW winds 18 to 25 gusts to 32 for the first 12 hours after leaving Ireland. That caused for some rough seas, 6 to 12 feet.
The next 12 hours were a bit better, with winds decreasing to 15 to 18, gusting to 25 and they were more northwesterly. Then finally, yesterday evening they had died to 5 to 9 knots, so the seas quieted to just a few feet.
Now, as forecast the winds are westerly at about 8 knots. Not bad, not bad at all.
Paravanes worked well. I had changed the rigging a bit more since Scotland last month. They now run 17 feet below the water line and they are considerably more effective than last year.
The hardest part has been saying goodbye to so many dear friends and nice people in Waterford and New Ross. I think I’ll be back though, at least after we put a few miles on as we circle the globe. But I’m sure after a number of years and many miles, I’ll be ready for northern Europe yet again.
Just south of Waterford, we passed an old friend, Fastnet Sound. They dredge the channel just south of the Barrow Bridge, which has a tendency to silt up in the spot where the rivers Suir and Barrow meet. They then dock for the night across the river in Waterford.
They took a picture with showed up on Marine Traffic showing us leaving, with me on the foredeck taking picture of them. You can see that picture at Dauntless taken by Fastnet Sound leaving Waterford on the River Suir.
Well, it’s now Sunday, 48 hours after our arrival in Camaret France.
It’s taken me this long to recover. I must be getting old. I slept Friday night for 12 hours, having only slept for about three the two days previously.
Dauntless as ever performed flawlessly and this time, this passage, so did the captain. No incidents, accidents, or other shenanigans, yours truly has been known for.
Coming up France. French boaters may be a mess, but the food is divine!
Here are two videos of the crossing. Sorry nothing spectacular.