Leaving for Dieppe

16th September 2019

Apart form actually getting up I love early morning starts. Once aboluted and having a strong dark coffee, its time to face the world. For me it the most wonderful feeling when you get onto deck, just before dawn, in the cool crisp early morning air. All is quite and peaceful with only a handful of souls around. There are still a couple of hours until sunrise as we slip lines and head towards the lock for our exit. It’s 0540.

A short 10 minute motor and we are in the lock and waiting for the 6 o’clock opening. Only one other yacht joins us, they are heading for the Solent.

Waiting in the lock with another yacht

Spot on at 6 o’clock , the lock keeper starts the process of letting us out and by 0608 we are through and heading into and across the channel.

Sails raised we mange to sail at 4 kts in the eagling morning light wind. By the time the sun rises the wind drops and on come the engine, it’s 0730.

Optimistic Paul
Approaching the shipping lanes

We cross the shipping lanes without event, but a good first experience for Paul, it’s his first Channel crossing.

The wind comes and goes as does the engine and it’s a combination of sailing and motor sailing. Homemade pea soup and Asda wraps and sandwiches on route to sustain us during our 13 hour crossing.

We sight the port entry lights of Dieppe quite some distance off shore and certainly well before the harbour entry lateral lights. 2 nm from Dieppe, we call the port authorities for permission to enter, a requirement as per the Almanac. Permission granted and we continue towards the entrance.

Approaching Dieppe, with port entry lights clearly visible
At last, the entrance to Dieppe

We enter, through the narrow entrance,on a low tide, with the harbour walls towering at least 12 metres above us. It’s dark again by this time which makes it all the more intriguing and challenging. We head the 1/2 nm through the harbour, before turning right into our destination of “Jehan Ango”. Paul reverses Izzy Wizzy , very professionally into our berth (No 9 ) and we have arrived.

Heading through the harbour and towards the marina

We put Izzy Wizzy to bed and head towards the exit in search of a meal. The harbour wall tower above us and it’s hard work climbing the 45 degrees incline to the secure exit. It’s quite eerie , looking down the many metres from whence we can. The tide is nearly 8 mtrs today and it’s a spring tide.

A 7.7 metre tide makes for a steep walk up the gangway
Izzy Wizzy, it the top right hand corner of the photo

We head for one of the nearest restaurant “Le Sully”, which has a few locals in it and looks good. Oysters as starters , which are good and steak to follow, mine was okay as I asked for it medium, whilst Paul was disappointed with his, which was rare and chewy. Nonetheless, we had a wonderful evening with a nice Muscadet sur Lie, before retiring for the night and a well worth sleep.

Paul and me having a well deserved drink at “Le Sully”
Evening Oysters

And so endeth Paul’s first cross Channel crossing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *