Day 71 Friday 11th August 2017
Le Havre to Fecamp
Depart at 9.45 am, and sail past the shingle beach with the beach huts as two more ships head into port with their pilots on board. A busy place, Le Havre! There are lots of terns, diving into the waves, and then gannets also diving for fish. The ‘lighthouse’ of Eglise St.Joseph doesn’t disappear round the headland until 11 am: it certainly dominates the skyline.
The wind was 10-14 knots from the NW and we made good progress out to the recommended crossing point of the Le Havre Antifer ship channel, which is about 4 miles out from the shore. The Antifer is an especially built port for importing petroleum products and we can see a large tanker in port. Reeds Almanac states that you should cross this channel in the recommended manner, but most other yachts seem to be ignoring this advice and save themselves a good couple of miles.
We were now able to turn towards Fecamp, which put us on a broad reach but I suddenly demanded to divert to Etratat to see the cliffs again. Unfortunately the sea was quite roly poly so my pictures are blurred – but lovely to see the elephant dipping his trunk in the ocean again.
Then we carried on to Fecamp, and the wind backed. We tried goosewinging but it proved impractical in the lumpy sea. We managed to do 6 knots over the ground just with the main, because we still had a strong tide with us. Enter the port, Malcolm compensating for the strong current which is trying to sweep us further north, and moor on the Visiteurs pontoon with a bevy of large Dutch boats on a touring regatta, now heading back home.
We’re both tired after our interrupted night and soon nod off for a nap. After supper we head to the Societe des Regates de Fecamp for a drink. The clubhouse , over the Capitainerie, has wonderful views of the port and the sea, right down to Etretat. But no-one speaks to us and we’re the last out at 9.30 pm – not quite a Whitby welcome!