#1 2011-09-25 12:59:08

Registered: 2004-03-12
Posts: 2

SEONAIDH - ICCY Rally to Recamp, Normandy 2004 (V34)

ICCY Rally to Recamp, Normandy 2004
by Michael_Bennett


Tuesday 6th July

It was a most beautiful morning and we planned to leave Ramsgate at 0700. but didn't actually get away until 0730.

Seonaidh, moored in the outer harbour, Ramsgate

We called port control and were asked to wait for a ferry to leave.  Whilst circling around we managed to run aground.  A good start to the journey!!

Ship's log 7548.

We left harbour at 0740 and steered course 215.  Wind speed 9 knots, speed over ground 6.6 knots, and motoring.

Setting the course

At 1015 we altered course to 149 to cross the shipping lane and decided to put the mainsail up.  Wind speed 8 kn and we maintained our S.O.G of 5.7 knots.

As we crossed the shallow waters of the Varne sandbank our speed dropped to 4.6 knots, then increased to 5.9 knots as we went into deeper water.

At 1140 we altered course slightly to compensate for the tide, and at 1205 we turned to starboard to avoid a tanker in the shipping lane.  I was on "collision course" watch.  We passed by her stern and resumed our course of 218 - now approximately 9 miles from Boulogne.  Wind increased to 12 knots, so we hoisted the jib, cut the engine and were doing 7.2 knots.

I think we'll miss her!

The wind increased to 19 knots and as it was getting a bit "tippy" I went below to make some sandwiches.  By 1330 the tide was against us, so we were only making 5 knots.

I think I can see land!

At 13 30 BST we called up Boulogne port control, were given permission to enter and were moored up at 1400 BST.

Ship's log 7580.

Distance covered today 32 miles.

Snep, Foxhunter and Kirsten were still here.  These were three motor boats which were taking part in the Rally.  Dick (Muscateer) and three other yachts were in Le Treport already, and well on their way to Fecamp.  They had a better chance than us of being there in time for the Opening Ceremony.

Wednesday 7th July

When we awoke, we found that Josh, another of our friends from the Royal Temple Yacht Club had arrived during the night in his yacht Trailerman.  He had intended to do a night passage and go further but the weather was against him, so he put into Boulogne about 0200, and, like us, decided that we were "storm bound" for the day.

That being the case, there was nothing for it but to explore the Old Town.

The Old Town Boulogne

Sightseeing being thirsty work, it wasn't long before we needed to stop for some liquid refreshment!

How Much?  Will I ever get used to Euros?

Thursday 8th July

In order to have a chance of getting to Fécamp in time for the Opening Ceremony, we needed to set off today.  The forecast was not good, but we set off with Josh with the aim of going straight to Fécamp, or at least as far as Dieppe.

0700 - We left harbour.  Wind speed 18 knots, increasing to 22 knots, almost immediately, but it was quite bright and sunny, so we were in good spirits.

We could be in for a good day's sail here

Unfortunately the bright weather didn't last long and it soon became overcast and colder.  The sea condition was not good either.

0850 - We had ½ knot of tide with us and were only making 4.2 knots over the ground.  The wind was on the nose, and we had the mainsail up and were motor-sailing.

1230 - We were finding conditions most unpleasant, so we called Josh to say we were making for Le Tréport, and altered course accordingly.  Josh had abandoned the idea of going to Fécamp and was heading for Dieppe, as he and his crew were also finding the trip uncomfortable.

1300 - 14 miles from Le Tréport and pouring with rain, but making 5.2 knots so needed to keep cheerful!  It was too "tippy" for me to go below to make sandwiches, so I did the best I could by balancing things on my lap in the cockpit, and trying to avoid the incoming waves!

1450 - 5 miles from Le Tréport, wind now gusting up to 30 knots.  At times the waves were big enough to knock us back, so that our S.O.G. was reduced to 2.5 knots.  Not pleasant, but the end was almost in sight!

Then we heard a thud from down below.  On investigation we discovered that one of the wedges holding the mast had worked loose and become dislodged.  This necessitated some running repairs with the use of a hammer!

1615 - Arrived at Le Tréport, tired and wet only to find that the Eberspacher was not working, so we couldn't even dry our clothes.

Ship's log 7624.

Distance covered 44 miles.

Time taken 9½ hours.

After a day like today, I was far too tired to perform my duties as "galley slave", but as luck would have it we were berthed just by the main promenade which was lined with fish restaurants, so we didn't even have far to walk for supper!

Our berth in a busy marina - We are against the pontoon on the right

Friday 9th July

The weather forecast was horrible, so there was no chance of going anywhere today.  In any case, one has to lock in and out of this marina, and we should have left at 0600 to catch the tide!  Our excitement for today was provided at someone else's expense.  As we strolled along the promenade, wrapped up in our winter clothes, we saw a crowd gathering, and heard that a yacht had grounded.  It was a Bavaria 36 which had misjudged the channel.

Oh dear!  We'll have to wait for high tide!

We continued our tour round Le Tréport, which is a delightful little walled town.

Le Tréport Old Town

There was a market on the quayside, so we took advantage of offers to taste wine, cheese, ham and sausage, before making our choice and buying something for lunch.

Couldn't resist wine tasting - then we HAD TO buy some!

After lunch, Michael and I took "le petit train" a land train which tours the town and its outskirts.  John, being younger, went for an exploratory walk.

The fish restaurants were so good, we decided to eat out again.  I'm obviously having very light duties on this trip!  We were also able to watch the re-floating operation for the Bavaria, which returned to its berth next to us, and planned to leave early the next day with us.  So although we were disappointed at not making the Opening Ceremony of the Rally we managed to have a nice day.

Saturday 10th July

The weather forecast was still not good, but if we were to make it for the Rally, we would have to go this morning.

0635 - Waiting for lock to open.

0655 - Cleared the lock and the harbour entrance, being careful not to run aground as our Dutch friend with the Bavaria had done.  Wind speed 17 knots.  Motor-sailing.  S.O.G. 4.7 knots

0805 - Wind 14 knots.  Sea moderate.  S.O.G. 4.9 knots.  8 miles from Dieppe.

0900 - Off Dieppe - 31 miles from Fécamp.  Blue sky appearing and sea calmer as it was no longer wind against tide.

A much more pleasant day's sail.  Skipper's coffee break!

1010 - S.O.G. 6 knots.  10 miles from St Valerie.

1050 - Wind increased to 18 knots.

1210 - Just past St Valerie wind now 18 knots gusting 20 knots.  Sea becoming rougher.

1250 - Dick, my brother, of Muscateer, phoned to see how far we had got.  I was able to tell him exactly where we were, and he promised to look out for our arrival.  He also said there was a vacant berth just opposite him which he would try to save for us.

1410 - 5 miles from Fécamp

1525 - Off Fécamp harbour entrance.

1530 - Tied up opposite Muscateer, thanks to the help of the welcome party.

What a welcome sight!

Ship's log 7664.

Distance 40 miles today.

We were the last yacht to arrive, and were just in time for our crew to visit the Benedictine Monastery.  A pity we had to wait until the end of the visit before we could have a drink!

Our skipper felt it was his duty to remain behind and complete the paperwork!

The Benedictine Abbey

So we had finally made it, and were all set to enjoy the rest of the activities of the Rally, beginning with the Welcome Dinner, where to our great astonishment we were awarded a prize for being the last boat to arrive!  It made all the effort worthwhile, and we ended the day tired but happy!

Sunday 11th July

Tide at Fécamp:
High water: 07:09 am                High of water: 6,59m                Coeff. 45
Low water: 01:35 pm                High of water: 2,85m
High water: 07:43 pm                High of water: 7,05m                Coeff. 43

09:15 am: Delivery of the picnics and programme for the day at Société des Régates.

10:00 am: Departure by coach to Etretat.  Meeting point behind the Société des Régates.

Stop at Yport (1h30) then Vaucottes where we have lunch on the beach (If it's raining we go back to Société des Régates to "picnic" all together inside)

02:00 pm: Coach departure from Vaucottes or Société des Régates to Etretat (in case of rainy weather)

02:30 pm: Arriving in Etretat.
During the afternoon:  English or French audioguided tour of the Clos Lupin.  Go by your own and give the "Bon pour" in the hall.  Please don't go all together because there's a departure every 7 minutes for 8-9 personnes.

05:30 pm: Pick up at the Parking du Grand Val to return to Fécamp. (30')

07:00 pm: Coach Departure to the "Hotel de Ville de Fécamp" (City hall) for the Mayor Reception.

07:30 pm: Cocktail party at the "Hotel de Ville".

From 08:30 pm: Return to harbour by coach.

Monday 12th July: time of the first meeting point:

07:15 am: Boarding the Coach to Rouen behind the Société des Régates.

08:30 am: Breakfast at Jumièges

Day Free for those who don't go to Rouen

Sunday 11th July

The day dawned rather overcast and grey, so we were glad we were not sailing today!

We set off by coach, stopping at Yport where there was a Sunday Craft Market.  Having strolled round it, we set off to look at the beach, which would have been most inviting on a nice day, but was a bit bleak in today's conditions.  It had also begun to rain, so a decision was made to return to the Club House and eat our picnic indoors - and a very good picnic it was too!  We were also entertained with some French sea-songs by our hosts!

Our organising team in good voice

After lunch we set off again for Etretat, a small town famous for its cliffs and, on a good day, most spectacular, I'm sure.

The beach at Etretat

Etretat, not at it's best!

After a brief walk round we decided to visit the Museum "Le Clos Lupin" the home of a French author who wrote detective stories featuring the celebrated Arsène Lupin.  The house and gardens were attractive, and the audio-guided commentary was most amusing.

Le Clos Lupin

In the evening we were treated to a cocktail party as our official welcome from the mayor, at the town hall, a magnificent building adjacent to the Benedictine Abbey.  This is French hospitality at its best as there is usually champagne and canapés, but on this occasion we were offered a variety of other drinks.

Monday 12th July

Tide at Fécamp:
PM: 08:14 am                High of water: 6,85m                Coeff. 42
BM: 02:41 pm                High of water: 2,95m
PM: 08:47 pm                High of water: 7,05m                Coeff. 43

07:15 am: Boarding the coach to Rouen via Jumièges.

08:30 am: Breakfast at Restaurant <<L'Auberge du Bac>> at Jumièges.

09:30 am: English or German guided tour of the Abbey of Jumièges.

11:00 am: Departure from Jumièges to Rouen by the <<Route des fruits>>.

11:45 am: Free time at Rouen.

00:30 pm: Lunch at Restaurant <<Le Rouennais>>.

02:30 pm: English or German guided tour of the old streets of Rouen from the Old Market Square to the "Place Saint-Mare", close to the "Hotel de Région".

05:30 pm: Reception at the <<Hotel de Région>>.

From 07:30 pm: Arrival in Fécamp.

Tuesday 13th July: time and meeting point

For the commandores: 09:45 am at the Hotel Grand Pavois.

For everyone: 01:30 pm at the Société des Régates for the briefing of the "friendly race".


Monday 12th July

A very full day ahead of us according to the programme, but after a lovely French breakfast at Jumièges we were ready for a short stroll along the banks of the Seine.

Bev & Michael  Skipper & Galley Slave!

Then we had a guided tour of the Abbey of Jumièges, by a guide who was really dynamic and so enthusiastic about his subject, he really made history come alive.

The ruined abbey of Jumièges

Then on to Rouen where we had a delightful lunch to build up our strength for our walk round the city.

Skipper, galley slave & crew

Josh & Julia from Trailerman

The famous clock

The stained glass windows in the modern Church of Joan of Arc

Rouen is a really lovely city, with so much to see, and we learnt a great deal of history from our enthusiastic guide.  Apparently, when Joan of Arc was burnt at the stake, she was "persona non grata" as the citizens of Rouen were allied to the Bergundians.  The church was built more recently to atone for their sins.

It was a most enjoyable day but the amount of walking and standing took its toll on most of us, and we were really tired by the end of the day!

Tuesday 13th July

Tide at Fécamp:
PM: 09:21 am                High of water: 6,95m                Coeff. 44
BM: 03:46 pm                High of water: 2,90m
PM: 09:48 pm                High of water: 7,20m                Coeff. 47

09:45 am: Appointment for the Club's commodores at the hotel Grand Pavois.

During the morning, please inform us about your choice for the afternoon:
Excursion on the passenger boat "Ville de Fécamp" or go to sea with an ICCY boat or none of them.

02:30 pm: Departure of the ICCY boats between the entrance jetties.  If you want to have in your crew members a person from organisation, please tell us.  We'll be very pleased to join you.

03:00 pm: Departure of the Passenger boat at the other side of the bassin where most of your boats are located.  The boarding pontoon is just close to the building "Pêcheries de Fécamp".

04:00 pm: Return at harbour.  Departure of a second tour if the first one was full.

05:00 pm: Return at harbour.

06:15 pm: Boarding the coaches for the "Diner de gala".

Stop at the panorama close to the seamen's church:  wonderful view of Fécamp.

07:30 pm: Arrival at Sissi's Castle for the <<Dîner de Gala>>.

After dinner, return to Société des Régates.  We'll give gifts to several of you.  Champagne will be offered.  Party until the end of the night...

Wednesday 14th July

10:00 am: Closing ceremony, close to the flag mast, folllowed by "Au revoir" Cocktail at Société des Régates.

Tuesday 13th July

There was a free morning for most of us today, but we were told that the "friendly race" which was planned had been cancelled as the weather forecast was not good, but that any yachts who felt like it could go out for "a jolly" and a pleasure boat would take anyone else who wanted to join us.  My crew decided they didn't want to go, so I took up the offer to join my brother Dick on Muscateer.  Emmannuel, one of the organizing officials offered to join us, and the weather turned out to be georgeous, so we had a delightful trip to Yport and back.

We soon overtook Trailerman

Josh and crew, looking a little disgruntled

The official photographer came out to capture the occasion

On our return, Josh decided he would have to go up his mast, as his yacht Trailerman had been dressed overall with "fairy lights" which had been blown down in the winds, to the delight of my skipper, as they had been keeping him awake all night!

It looks pretty scary up there

Let him down gently, lads

All the boats who were taking part in the Rally looked really attractive as they had made an effort to hoist flags and fairy lights.

A colourful sight.

This evening was to be the farewell Gala Dinner.  The evening began with a trip to the cliff top where we visited the seamen's church, and from where we had a wonderful view of Fécamp and the marina.

The seamans' church

Can you pick out our boat?

The dinner was held at Sissi's Castle, named after EmpressSissi of Austria who used to stay there.  On arrival we were greeted with a glass of champagne which was served in the gardens in a most spectacular setting.

Champagne and canapés

I even dressed up for the occasion!

Sissi's Castle

The elegant dining room.

Wednesday 14th July

The closing ceremony took place this morning, after which we were offered a final "vin d'honneur" in the club house, and each boat was presented with a CD of the photographs taken during the Rally.  A lasting momento of a lovely trip.

Handing over to next year's committee

Although the Rally was officially over, we were invited to stay on for the Bastille Day celebrations.  In the afternoon there was a parade of World War 2 vehicles and memorabilia, and later in the evening a spectacular display of fireworks.


Thursday 15th July

Most people had planned to leave today, but the weather was appalling, so we decided very early on not to go.  A few left at 0700 as planned, others decided to wait a while, but most had left by lunchtime, leaving us feeling rather desolate!

We put on all our waterproofs and decided to visit the museums we had missed on the first day, so we didn't actually miss out on any of the sightseeing.

We went out for a final meal together as John and I had decided to "jump ship" tomorrow and head for home.

Friday 16th July

Michael had invited a friend to join him for a week's sailing and we had agreed to meet him at St Valerie en Caux, as the weather forecast was not too bad, and Michael was anxious to be out at sea again.

We set off at 0830, with the wind more or less on the nose, so that it would have been perfect weather for going to Le Havre!  But we were able to steer a suitable course and tack out before making another tack in to St Valerie.  The timing was fairly crucial as St. Valerie, like Le Tréport is tidal, so one has to lock in and out.

In the harbour entrance, waiting for the lock gates to open

We arrived in good time and moored up in time for lunch.  By this time the weather had become really warm and sunny, and I was regretting my decision to go home.

I decided to have a walk round the town whilst waiting for Rex to arrive with the car.

St Valerie en Caux

St Valerie en Caux

Rex had arrived on my return, so John & I set off for home, calling in at Dieppe to collect my sister-in-law Bev who had also "jumped ship!"

My last view of Seonaidh before leaving for home!


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