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


Cruise Data

Distance: 29nm

Total to date: 818 nm

Avg Speed:  9.7.kn (8kn thro' water)

Starting: 08:00 hrs UTC (Cherbourg East entrance)

Ending: 11:00 hrs UTC (St Vaast entrance)

Duration:  3:00 hrs 

Diesel: 45 ltrs (estimated)

Mooring:  :  Cherbourg €41.86, St Vaast €41.77

Electricity: incl (10A St Vaast)

Water: included

WiFi : free at Cherbourg but congested; Free and good at St Vaast

Inshore Forecast 

Selsey Bill to Lyme Regis (6pm 20th)): SW 4/5 sl/mod, good viz

Local Predicted Grib:  WSW  10-11 knots

Cherbourg: Windfinder WSW 10-12kn (gusting 16 ), waves 0.7-0.8m (from W) F1/3 slight 1014/5mb 17-18degC

St Vaast: Windfinder WSW 8-12kn (gusting 14 ), waves 0.5m (from W) F2/4 slight 1015mb 18-20degC

Tides (UTC)

Dover  : HW 01:59 6.1 14:14 6.3  LW 09:01 1.4 & 21:22 1.3 

Cherbourg: HW 10:56 5.7 LW 05:22 1.7 & 17:35 2.0

St Vaast: HW 11:49 5.9 LW 06:16 1.7 & 18:33 2.0


Charts(see Chart Database)

 Imray 2010.11 (K) and 2110.10


(see Waypoint Database)

221, 222, 223, 224, 226, 227, 228, 229

VHF Channels

Cherbourg and St Vaast Marinas Ch9, Jobourg Traffic Ch13 , 

Dutch Waterways

Dutch Waterways

Visit dutchwaterways.net for latest updates and to order a copy of the book

Broom Owners Club

Visit broomowners.com for regional events, members pages and details on how to join. 

Journals of David A Broad

Visit davidabroad.com for my daily journal from 1984 to the present day