Tuesday 21st July Ref: 2015/19
Having had an 'interesting' few days undertaking ferry passages, train journeys and then long drives to Horning in Norfolk from our temporary base in Cherbourg, we were quite tired and the wind was a little strong on the Monday and so we opted for a 'lay-day' then and delayed this first leg of our Normandy cruise until the following day. This proved to be a very good judgement as conditions were just about ideal.
This passage should always be sheltered from the prevailing south-westerly winds and to be possible even when the weather forecasts are not too good. This one was timed to coincide with a quieter day wind-wise and to take advantage of the tide flowing eastwards from the Cherbourg eastern entrance and then carrying us around the next headland to arrive in the vicinity of St Vaast just before high water when the beds of farmed molluscs will be safe from our propellers and we should be safe from them!
From previous visits, the hazards are the numerous small local boats and the countless crab and lobster pots that they leave everywhere but we have always been welcomed in the past and found a berth so a to enjoy a stay in this lovely Normandy resort. Rides on the amphibious vessel to the Isle of Tatihu is to be enjoyed and the 'fruit de mer' savoured! This time, we found that the errant crab and lobster pots had been restricted or at least placed with more discipline such that they were not such of a navigation hazard.
We found that St Vaast did not answer on their Ch 9 VHF and the staff had a variable understanding of English anyway and so you are invited to find a berth suitable for the vessel length and the 10-12m accommodation was on Pontoon C and so we took up the hammer head berth and that was fine. Entry is normally from 2hrs 15min before HW to 3hrs afterwards but we arrived an hour before HW which was just about idea.
The weather we experienced was 2-10kn from the WSW mainly but variable with a swell of 0.7 from the West reducing to 0.5m during the passage and this proved to be accurate. We had temperatures of 25-31degC pressure steady around 1013mb with good visibility with calm seas and a slight swell for a short while