Monday 19th June Ref: 2017/10
The departure arrangements went well, although it is always a tense situation when you leave later in the day as the time ticks by. The wind was as expected and was against the prevailing and helpful tide but the sea state was smooth to slight for the most part and only moderate for a short while. As we cruised the following 3 knot tide was quite a boon but it was dragging fishing marks under and we had pull the throttles into neutral on one occasion as we had no option but to pass right over one of them and ‘freewheel’ past it.
I always monitor the real wind and tide states on board as we cruise and I became curious as the following tide started petering out too early. These tidal times are always just predictions and skippers have to be aware that climatic and meteorological factors can change them but with the breeze from the north-east against the tides I would not have expected the high water to have been earlier than predicted.
A glance at my tide tables revealed all. I had forgotten that the Almanacs give tide times for France in French Time rather than UTC and that a further hour had to be deducted and so we were nor running late! My plan was always to arrive at St Vaast a half hour before High Water and we had left 15mins earlier than that but I still increased speed to 10 knots from 8 knots for the final hour or so of the cruise such that we arrived at High Water anyway. We followed a host of other boats in across the drying approach and had a good 5m or so depth at all times. Not being able to raise the harbourmaster, we came alongside a large Dutch-owned vessel, a Princess 53 at hammerhead C and tied up without problem, taking our own lines ashore in addition to those securing us to the other vessel.
The weather had remained hot and sunny throughout and we had to deploy our sun canopy and air conditioning to stay comfortable as we prepared for a few days’ stayas stronger winds were now predicted
Temp 22>32 degC, RH 64>32%, Pressure 1017>1015 fallingy, fair/mod viz down to 3-4 nm at times, smooth/calm seas \(occ mod)with wind less than 11 knots north-easterly