Farewell and Au Revoir

Noon Position: 48 28.0 N 005 15.0 W
Course: Southwest Speed: 5 knots
Wind: South sou' east, fresh
Weather: Partly cloudy, mild.
Day's run: 91 nm

This afternoon we rounded Ile D'Oeussant and are now clear of the English
Channel, and are just getting out into to the Bay of Biscay. Next stop
Spain, 360 miles to the south sou' east, about four days sailing give or
take.

Yester-afternoon we were becalmed for a short while again, but by then the
seas had abated considerably so was nowhere near as trying on the nerves.
Then headwinds, headwinds, headwinds. I must have planned this trip the
wrong way around, should have gone around the British Isles anti-clockwise.
Last night was interesting, playing the tidal streams, instead of scribing
an ellipse on the chart this time we did a figure eight. At one point we
were stemming the tide doing an easy four knots through the water and only
just creeping ahead, then the wind eased a little and we started gong
backwards. It can be a little frustrating but the object of the game is to
minimise the losses during the flood tides and maximise the gains during the
ebbs. Rounding the Ile D'Oeussant we had the tide with us, we certainly
would have gone nowhere if we hadn't, the wind was against us but we were
still doing eight knots into a short steep sea kicked up with the wind
against tide.

Now I hope we will make enough ground to the south to leave that behind us, and not get swept back into the Channel when the tide turns. The Bay of Biscay has a bad reputation
for gales but at this time of year we should be fine, and my weather faxes
for the next few days look good, we might even get a close reach instead of
a headwind tomorrow, that would make a nice change.

We didn't get to see much of France, Dieppe only, disappointing, and too
much of Alderney, though a nice little stop. Still this is now about
finishing my circumnavigation, not visiting the places, though of course I
enjoy that when I can. Not many Australian sailors in this part of the world
and people are generally impressed that Sylph and I have come all this way,
though when I tell them we left seven years ago the response is invariably,
a chuckle and an "Ahhh!", so perhaps they are not so impressed when they
realize how long it is taking us.

All is well.

Bob Cat:

As a bona fide cruising cat I reckon tell them all to go and get stuffed,
bloody POMs, that is what Australians call them I believe. As Ms Gwenda
Cornell so aptly said, "The only record I would cherish would be for the
longest circumnavigation, the most dilly-dallying on the way." Though I
would say sleeping instead of dilly-dallying, nonetheless it captures the
essence of my philosophy. My memoirs will be entitled, "Interesting Places I
have Slept", now back to work, I have a lot more material to collect .... Zzzzzzz.