day 5 and 6

Mon 6 Nov 2017 11:32
45:25.89N 04:36.73W

At no expense to our followers, who may have noticed that we have been 1 day behind in our reporting, we have decided to catch up with ourselves and this reportage now comes to you in real time. (nearly)

With apologies to Lewis Carrol:
"The time has come the walrus said, to shrieks of joy and glee,
to leave the port of La Rochelle and sail upon the sea."

After a long relaxed Thursday morning of watching other people work (namely Don,Audrey,Richard - the new Dobbie and people from FP desperately trying to finish outstanding jobs), Don went and pulled a 'Harper'.

Up until that moment we were due to leave at high tide on Friday. Suddenly we were leaving today. A mad scramble to fill the boat with 2200 liters of diesel was initiated. First time NENNE leaves the dock with the new crew.

With instruction from the captain (assisted by first mate Audrey) all went like clockwork. We got to the diesel pumps to find a bit of a queue. When our turn arrived we once again moored with an air of ease that belied our lack of skills.

Then problem 1. The diesel pump will only take 300 Euro on the card. So after each load of 300 Euro we had to reset the pump and charge the card again. 300 Euro only got 215 liters of diesel. You do the maths......

And then problem 2. The first pump either expired or ran out of diesel! So we manually moved the boat to the next pump: By this time a number of boats were gathering waiting for their turn to get fuel. Imagine their shock when they saw us start to fill the 1000 liter tank!

The slow fueling process put Don's early departure plan on hold and once Nenne was again moored we finalized the packing at a more leisurely pace.

Departure time was set for 1 1/2 hours before high tide (that being 15:00 on Friday). All wearing our new life jackets we set sail at 13:00. After leaving port we toasted the start of our adventure with a glass of "Veuve Clicquot" and headed out into the Bay of Biscay.

The first 4 hours were relatively smooth and it was warm. However as the sun started to set the temperature plummeted and the waves got bigger.

The crew changed into foul weather gear and Jeremy and Duncan started the first watch shift of many.

Duncan and I had twinges of sea sickness due to the motion of the boat but if you stand on deck in the cold, breath deeply and watch the horizon it seems to help.

All the crew huddled in the fly bridge and tried to sleep while they awaited their shifts as going below into the boat brought on bouts of nausea. The sea seemed to get rougher as the evening progressed but as Don and Audrey took over it seemed to be settling.

At 6 am Duncan and Jeremy returned to duty and watched the moon set and the sun rise to a pleasant, if still cold, morning.

Only 200 miles to go to get out of the Bay of Biscay which the captain says we will do tomorrow.


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