Port hopping along the north French coast

It feels like we’ve been on the move for ages already, but I’ve not found the time to sit and write anything. Now that we’re just about ready to set off on the longest leg of our trip this summer it feels right to mark the occasion with a blog update. Tomorrow we will spend our last night in France before setting off across Biscay for Spain. If the winds are kind to us, we will be there after three days, in time for the weekend.

After arriving at Boulogne last week, we’ve moved westward along the French coast stopping at Dieppe and Fecamp before arriving at our favourite stop: Honfleur.

Living in Kent, we are used to pretty medieval towns, but have never seen anywhere quite as well preserved as Honfleur. Street after street of pretty buildings and alleyways.

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We arrived on the 21st June, the summer solstice, and moored up alongside the town quay (that’s us there in the middle):



That night we joined our friends Robin and Claire, who have sailed along with us in their boat from Ramsgate, and enjoyed good food, live music (it turns out the French know how to play blues rock pretty well) and packed streets:

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We have spent the past few days exploring the Channel Islands, and are now in Jersey where we have picked up Maarten who will be crewing with us across Biscay.


Leaving England

We’re finally under way on our summer cruise to Portugal!

We set off at 7am from Ramsgate to catch the ebb tide in the English Channel, expecting strong wind and currents to take us south past Dover and Calais to our first destination: Boulogne Sur Mer.

And what a great day’s sailing we enjoyed. A solid F5 the whole way with wind speeds of around 20 kts and a current of almost 3 kts helping us along as we dodged the ferries outside of Dover harbour.

Our guests clearly enjoyed the trip. Patrice and his son, Ariel, were on board and at one point I though I might need a crow bar to get them off the helm. The autopilot didn’t get used at all but I expect this will change now that it’s just me and Helena on board again.

Patrice treated us all to some fabulous French cuisine at La Matelote which overlooks the beach in the evening. This morning he and Ariel left to catch a train back to Calais, and from there on to home in London.

Today, Helena and I have explored Boulogne. The heart of the town is a pretty medieval walled city with tight cobbled streets:


Some of the shops were of particular interest for Helena:


Tomorrow we will set off towards Dieppe where we hope to meet up with friends who are travelling towards the Channel Islands in their boat.