Passage 2 Falmouth Harbour to La Rochele

Bootlegger of Mann
Frank Newton
Fri 11 May 2012 16:00



48:29.16N 05:10.2W


Passage 2   Falmouth Harbour to La Rochelle


We have a week in Falmouth awaiting favourable winds and where there was a crew change. We bade farewell to John and Peter and welcoming Doug Jacob, an old Caribbean sailing friend who was joining us for the La Rochelle passage. Whilst in Falmouth we take delivery of a new six man liferaft. We were able to visit local visitor attractions such as the Eden Project, Charlestown and the impressive National Maritime Museum in Falmouth itself. The winds finally moved from the SW to NW allowing us to make passage for La Rochelle.


Date :  Friday 11 May 2012


Conditions:  Wind: W-NW 20kts, sunny, Sea state: moderate Visibility: Good


Fuel 600 litres. Water 850 litres. Gas 1 ½ full bottles (took on 260 litres of fuel and 650 L of water in Falmouth Yacht Haven)


Crew: Frank; Jackie; Doug (Jacob)


07:40  50:09.26N 05:03.90W  Engine on – departed Falmouth harbour


   Porridge on the hoof
The crew relaxing after breakfast


08:10 Put sails out (mizzen and headsail); motor sailing with engine at 1800 rpm


08:40 50:02.89N 05:01.30W Bearing 238, 7.1 kts


Noon 49:38.50N 05:02.07W Brg :188 Wind : NW14kts SOG 7.5 – 8.3kts Motor sailing

employing all three sails.


15:00 49:12.6N 5:06.52 W Brg197 Wind NW 15Kts Motor sailing. SOG 8.3kts


16:15 49:04N 05:06.50W Brg 188 Wind N18 kts Motor sailing. SOG 7.6kts. Took in genny and main as with wind up the chuff, doing nothing.


19:30 48:42.93N 05:07.42W Brg 181, clouds, wind NW 10 kts DTG to WP 16nm Distance done 89nm. Ave speed : 7.4 kts


22:00 48 29.16N 05:10.2W  FN 9 to 12 Watch following corned beef hash dinner. Cold and cloudy. Wind: N 22kts Brg:198. Motor sailing. Off Ile D'Ouessant.


00:00  48:15N 05:09W  Saturday 12 May 2012 Doug Watch. All sails in, little wind – lots of swell from earlier SW winds making for a rolley uncomfortable passage. SOG 7.7kts. Brg 181.


02:30 47:54.94N 05 :11W Jackie Watch. Brg 131 Wind N25kts SOG 6kts Slowed for ferry

MV Cap Finistaire approaching us on our Port quarter on apparant converging course. Later put out Genny which immediately improved our speed by 2kts to a SOG of 8kts.

Distance done since departing Falmouth 140nm.


06:00 47:40N 04:45W Frank Watch. Brg 131 Wind N 25kts Sea state:Moderate to Rough.  Uncomfortable conditions aboard. SOG 8kts Distance done since departing Peel 465nm. DTG 170 nm. Assuming 6kts as  ave. ETA La Rochelle Sunday,10:30 hrs after further 28hrs passage


11:00h Jackie warms up leftovers of last two meals. After this quick warm lunch, Doug wants to take over watch. Frank rests and Jackie remains available in standby.


14:10 47:01.07N 03:32.77W A sunny afternoon with wind and sailing conditions unchanged.


Weather Météo France (15:00 channel 80)


Situation : 120512 06:00h

Low 995 hp Finland moving E, filling.

High Ireland moving towards France

NE 4-5 BF to 6. Waves NW 0.5 to 1m. Nice weather

Night 12 to 13 May : NE 4-5 BF to 6 off Belle Ile. No significant waves. Good visibility 4-8 nm, no clouds

NE 3-4 BF

Night to monday ENE 2-3 bf, nice sea.


15:30 46:56.48N 03:19.73W Wind 17 kts. All three sails out, engine off. THIS, is what it’s all about. Worth enduring what we’ve just been through.


18:30 G&T with olives in the sunshine. Lovely evening, looking forward to having scallops and another stirfry.





Météo Brest 15:00

Samedi 12 Anticyclone 1043 hp. Irlande dorsale en direction nord Allemagne.

Vent de NE 4-5 Bf, 6 au large, mer agitée, pas de houle, ciel clair, visibilité plus de 10 milles.

Vent de NE 4-5 Bf, mollissant puis virant NW 2-3 Bf. Mer belle, beau temps.

140512 Vent NNE 3-4, 5 Belle Ile, virant NNW 4-5.


After supper, the speed picked up to some 11.9 kn. Not wanting to arrive at La Rochelle before dawn, sails were reduced to minimum, bringing speed down to some 3.8 kn.


21:00 Jackie on watch. Beautiful night, starlit sky. Wind NE 20 kn.


00:00 46:23.87N 2:14.39W. Jackie had to change bearing at 23:30 to 140° to avoid ship passing less than100 m away. Bootlegger is drifting south, 1 mile off intended bearing without mainsail support. Batteries being quite low, the next watch will have to use the engine which will help to get Bootlegger back on track against wind and current.


00:00 Sunday 13 May 2012 . Doug on watch. Engine started and Genny pulled in.


03:00 46:16.50N 1:56W Frank on watch. Pulled out genny to join mizzen already out. Wind picked up a lot NE27 to 35kts. Motoring at 2000 RPM, Genny finally put away as wind veers further ahead of us.


07:00 46:06.35N 01:23.49W Arrive off La Rochelle. Contact VHF Channel 9 with Port Authority of La Rochelle. Access to channel allowing for sufficient water depth for Bootlegger as from 09:30h, Bassin des chalutiers (and its 2 bridges) opens at 10:45h for 2 hours.


10:25 40:07.51N 01:13.48W Following waypoints entered in plotter, heading up channel to Bassin des Chalutiers.

Meeting of two flying objects
Tour de la Lanterne
Tours St-Nicolas et de la Chaîne


11:45 46:09.13N 01:09.12W After passing both bridges in the Bassin des Chalutiers, went alongside racing yacht « Project I » Racing harbour in readiness for lift out at nearby lift out bay.  Engine off.  After big clean and tidy up above and below decks we celebrate our arrival with a glass of wine following which we shower and spruce before taking a walk.                                                                                                                                                            

Below: Doug and Jackie ready to discover the lovely town of La Rochelle and its restaurants.

Trip distance done from Falmouth to La Rochelle: 345nm  Time taken from  Falmouth to La Rochelle: 52 Hours Ave. Speed: 6.63   Fuel Tank: 400 L.