Friday 24th July Ref: 2015/21
I had been concerned about getting far enough along Normandy Bay and near enough to Ouistreham to complete our passage to Caen in a few days time and so the calmer weather forecast for today and the positive email reception we had received from the Port En Bessin tourism office encouraged us to make this trip there today
Another relatively short passage of some 1hr 45mins and 14nm promised not to be too difficult and so I hurriedly planned the route, waypoints and passage plan this morning. The tidal gate at Grandcamp opened at 1.40pm LT and it was sufficient to plan to leave around 2pm after the first exodus and, we did this within a quarter of an hour or so, which we achieved, despite the short notice and last minute plans. The cruise across the rocky plateau was taken in a north-eastery direction to go east of north cardinal No1 and that went well but then we encountered a metre swell from the last days stronger wind and had to ride that as we rounded Ponte du Hoc and the travelled along the Omaha beach. As we neared PortEn Bessin, the seas state eased back to slight and then smooth as we made our final approach, avoiding many small open fishing boats and crab pots as we went.
Upon arrival we entered the outer, and then the inner, harbour, the swing bridge opening for us helpfully and then we could moor at the visitors pontoon immediately on the right with another yacht. This pontoon mooring is now managed by the tourism office (where you pay) and is of very modest cost with electricity available if you have a cable long enough. There was scheduled to be an evening market and a firework display as this was Friday and they lay on this for every Friday in July and August. The street market fissled out in the rain but the firework display went ahead and we had the best seats in the house to enjoy it!
Weather was 24degC 68-64%RH, Barometer falling steadily from 1005 to 1003, and rain showers but good visibility. Wind less than 7knots but swell made the sea moderate at times but mostly smooth to slight.