Saturday 1st July Ref: 2015/24
Our time in St Valery-en-Caux was altogether too short and Kathleen pronounced this lovely sheltered and ancient little port the second best venue we had visited after St Vaast-le-Hougue. We certainly loved the market on the morning of our first stay and the walk out to see the dried out channel which was quite spectacular at low water Springs. I took some pictures as a future aid to navigation. The short stay was also enough for me to diagnose an instrument problem indicating a full-deflection reading on my port engine gearbox oil pressure and it turned out to be a broken wire which I then fixed.
The weather had quietened down by today and we could now cruise another longish passage from St Valery to Boulogne, which would comprise some 64 nm and take 8 hours at 8 knots. This was a cruise that I had done before in 2004, but this time we would be cruising much more slowly and planned to use 110 litres rather than the 320 litres I did then, a saving this time of some £210!
We left soon after the gate in St Valery En Caux opened around 8.45am UTC and we arrived in Boulogne around 5pm UTC (7pm local Time) which was well before dark and gave us time to settle. It was a long trip but one in fine weather and we had prepared lots of sandwiches and flasks to mark the half-hourly log recordings. We arrived just about on time and that was despite us being hauled over by a French Customs vessel outside Boulogne and made to wait a while! They called us on Ch16, asked us to go to Ch6 and then just questioned me a while and decided to let us go on our way withut boarding. Upon arrival, space was tight and there were no other large motor boats in the marina and so we had to raft against a sailing boat, which proved to be a new experience and challenge for my crew.
The breeze changed from the NW to the SW during the day and was mostly 7-8kn until the final hour when it rose to 10-12kn to oppose the tide and make the entrance to Boulogne a moderate sea which until then had been smooth/slight with a little swell. It was warm with temperatures 29degC falling to 24degC, 35-40%RH and the barometer rising from 1015mb to 1017mb during the trip. It was bright or sunny for the most part with good visibility