Aside from catching some seaweed and taking in some fine sunshine the weak easterlies meant we motored sailed much of the way back to Guernsey. We rafted up in St Peter Port, it being invaded by a French flotilla. We didn’t want to return to Guernsey since we’d been there twice already on this trip but it was necessary. The highlight was discovering an Indian restaurant in town, which Linda, Jon and I rated as perhaps the best curry we had ever had!
Paimpol is one of those French towns that comes to life at six in the morning. The boulangerie and patisserie were open for trade, so too were the cafes and tabacs. That early morning buzz is something that is lost in the UK. The only thing open in the UK at that time in the morning is the all-night garage and McDonalds.
So what was the lesson learnt? Simple really. Always err on the side of caution if things do not seem quite right. Don’t try and ‘force’ your passage into an angle that doesn’t match the suggested instructions. Generally a compass won’t lie so if it’s telling you you are 10 degrees out, then you probably are. Thanks to Jon’s sensible and considered approach we successfully made our way up the river with no problems, despite the fact that all his crew were moaning about him being over cautious!
With Tim and Sharine replaced by Liz, we made our way down towards the northern coast of France, aiming towards Lezardrieux. Lezardrieux is France’s answer to Dartmouth, with pink granite, cider and lots of bottles of Pouilley Fume. The sun came out for our crossing though despite some great SW winds early on we had to motor for the second half of the journey. Still, spending the next 24 hours drinking cider made up for the lack of the sail.
We anchored up at Creux harbour and as the sun went down Tim and I nipped ashore for a quick exploration and then back again to spend an evening of getting drunk whilst at anchor. We explored intellectual topics – just how fishy is fish from the north sea – and looked at the stars.
What didn’t help, however, was the autohelm playing havoc with the steering. It kept locking up! It was starting to get so bad that it was taking over the steeting of Barnacle Bill, often pointing us in the direction of immediate danger. As we approached the south of Sark, heading towards an eastern cardinal warning us of very shallow water, we decided to take drastic action.