wednesday 17 th of June we decided to sail from portlant to The France coast. the plan was to get as far west as The 25 knot SW wind would allow us. We are sailing with a double reefed main sail and a 80% reefed cutter jib. at some point going 7 knots against the waves. A huge swell is rolling in from the Atlantic. Wind waves on the top. The weather outside is terrible. Raining into the night. Later fog. In the middle of the night I notice a large ship on the AIS display which is on a collision course (CPA = 0). after contacting the captain of the motor vessel by radio while he Is 12 miles out he promises to change course. After a while I check the AIS display again. CPA 0, eta 5 minutes! i call the moter vessel. We are on a collision course! what are your intentions? Please show me your green. He responds. All hands on deck!
Quickly we put on our foul weather clothes and life jacket and run outside. We tack trough the wind. At that moment we see a steel wall with lights coming out of the fog, to disappear behind us seconds later.
We cant make west and decide to approach Guernsey, one of the British Chanel islands. This is known to be one of the most dangerous waters in Europe. Strong currents up
to 6 knots and underwater reefs. Unfortunately this is the only place we can run at this time. on the chart I spot a bay on the north side.
15 miles out I call the Guernsey coastguard To ask them to advice if my plan is safe. That’s a negative. Do not approach the north side. Take the big Russel. Stay in deep water. We change course for the big Russel. Just before arriving the day starts. On our approach the current is turning against us. We Unreef the cutter jib and run the engine full trothle. 2-3 knots over ground. Meaning 5 -6 knots current against us. Suddenly strong wind gust. I quickly release the main sheet. We heave deep. Waves are breaking slightly into the big russel coming into our starboard.
Into the big russel the waves get calmer. We spot a jumping Moonfish!
after arrival we drop anchor. Customs come to the ship. If we want to come on land there is a mandatory two week quarantaine. we can stay inside the marina on a pontoon they inform us. Later we move to the pontoon. We stay for 5 days. Then we set sail for France.
On the the way to France (Brest)we have a big swell from the southwest and a wind from the east. The wind increase from 5 to 15 knots and later back to 5. During the night on top of the swell one meter wind waves start to form in the opposite direction. We continuously keep changing sails as we make little progress I decide to change destination to roscoff. One more rocky shore. With daylight we approach on the engine as there is no wind.
Rocks popping up above the surface everywhere. We do not have a chart of this area but the pilot said 205 degrees to the lighthouse is a safe course. we make sure we stay very very close to that line.
We make it into to the harbour. Hot showers and capuchino at the local bar await. what a delight after so long. A new country! The third on the logbook.
As as we walk on shore we meet the gendarmerie maritime coincidentally. There are no restrictions.