Stay at La Rochelle for a break back home

CR and KN Williams
Sun 30 Jun 2019 12:27

46.08.7N 1.10.1W

30th June, 2019 La Rochelle

Arrived here after exactly 48hrs for 250nm using 170 litres diesel, only managed 4 hrs sailing before the wind either died or went back on the nose. Journey’s end for the time being, back to Blighty on Saturday 6th.

Gijon was most productive. Clare & I between us mended both the Eberspächer and the ‘fridge/freezer. The former had a fuel block in a filter that clearly hadn’t been opened for 16 years and the latter a broken ‘fridge thermostat (which we have bypassed for the moment) and a grossly over-filled freezer compressor which C took all day very slowly, 5-10 seconds at a time, to bleed until it worked correctly. Our only failure was the Satellite Phone SIM card which didn’t arrive from England in 7 days despite EU 1st Class stamps (perhaps they think we’ve already left).

It turns out that the replacement thermostat hasn’t even left Havant after 5 days. Clare spent ages talking to the freezer engineer from Penguin who was incredibly patient, knowledgeable and helpful but he was badly let down by his front-of-house staff who, perhaps not unreasonably, demanded payment before despatch, but then refused to make the effort to ensure it got sent off promptly (she was “busy”). Hence we are waiting yet again.

Weather still overcast but warm and no rain or howling gale (yet).


I am glad we have got across Biscay. Going from N to S 13 years ago was the first time we had encountered nasty swell and even with not much wind and no storms out at sea the motion was horrid, and still is.

We are in a huge (3000 berth) marina at les Minimes and they have a new self service visa card system for diesel. Nightmare with no attendants; not just for us foreigners but most of the locals were having problems too. We were told to park on pontoon 3 but it was not signposted so we have gone to the wrong place! We are moving into the locked basin at the Vieux Port tomorrow so are allowed to stay where we are.

I am looking forward to a few days not worrying about the weather forecast.