Wednesday 21st June Ref: 2017/11

I planned our route to Port de Bessin late in the day and got our Grandcamp Maisy harbourmaster to find the phone number to the tourist office there and we called it and they confirmed that the visitors’ pontoon in Port en Bessin was completely free this afternoon and so we should have every chance of finding a space. The trip was made in slightly more wind than of late at up to 11 knots but its direction was following both us and the 1-2 knot tide and so the sea was only slight/moderate and the swell not an issue

We passed Pointe du Hoc and the poignant Omaha Beach and foreshore, the site of so many young Americans losing their lives on the 6th of this month in 1944 and the wrecks of their landing craft, amphibious tanks, landing craft and support vessels were under our hull and all round us on our charts and visible on our sonar and echo sounder as we cruised on. Most of these young men remain in the cemeteries on the cliffs overlooking these beaches but for some this stretch of the Channel is their only resting place.  If the weather was as kind then as it was today, then many more of them would have survived.

The approach to Port en Bessin across the bay was a straightforward one and it just needed some careful work at the helm to turn across the following tide and hold the correct course transit into the outer and then the inner harbours.  I called port control on VHF Ch 18 and they held me there until two fishing boats exited and then I came in after them to find the visitor’s pontoon clear as predicted and the basin calm enough to enable an easy mooring, bow to the lock in an alongside mooring.

It took a while to figure out the electricity as it is one of those supply sockets where the plug has to be twisted after insertion. This was not before I had deployed a very long lead and found the second box no more cooperative than the first to just having the plug inserted! I then found an SFR ‘Fon’ internet service, which is affiliated to my home account with BT Fon in England and the KPN Fon in Holland and has served me well with fast and efficient connections during my travels and that was a welcome alternative to the use of my 4G phone data allowance of 20GByte monthly.

Unfortunately, as before when we visited, there is no water but I had anticipated that and filled up before we left Grandcamp Maisy. 


Temp 27>29>27 deg C, RH 51>45%, Pressure 1015 mb steady, good viz, slight occ mod seas and wind less than 11 knots westerly

Cruise Data

Distance: 15 nm

Total Year to date: 484 nm

Avg Speed: 7.5 kn

Duration: 2:00 hrs

Diesel: 28 ltrs

Mooring: Grandcamp  €36.40 (£31.92/night); Port en Bessin €32.44 for 3 nights (£9.48/night)

Electricity: (included in both)

Water: Free at Grandcamp , none at Port en Bessin (perhaps with difficulty at lock)

WiFi:  none at both (private services only)


Grandcamp Ch 09

Underway Ch 16/09

Port en Bessin Ch 18



2110.11(H), 2110.10, 2110.09, and 2110.11(F)


252>251, 298, 299,289, 297

Locks and Bridges

Grandcamp Maisy HW -2 1/5 to +2 1/2 18:48 to 23:52 French Time

Port en Bessin 19:23 to 23:23 French Time

Tides (UTC)

Thursday 22nd June: Le Havre HW 07:56 7.6, 20:23 7.8 LW 02:29 1.7, 14:56 1.5; Cherbourg HW 05:54 6.0, 18:22 6.2 LW 12:17 1.6, 12:42 1.4; Dover HW 19:10 6.4, 21:31 6.6; LW 04:00 1.1, 16:27 1.1 Grandcamp HW 06:54 6.7, 19:22 6.9; LW 10:45 1.6, 11:20 1.5; Port-en-Bessin HW 06:56 6.9, 19:23 7.1; LW 01:56 1.6, 14:26 1.4

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