a travel log
From France to Scotland by sea.

Monday, September 16, 2002

I've crossed! I'm in Newlyn, Cornwall. "Slightly tired". Only numbers for now, I'm going to put my hourly log here tomorrow.

  • Distance: 150 nautical miles. (277KM)
  • Time: 34 hours
  • Sleep: about 4 to 5 hours, no more than 45 minutes at a time (usually 30 minutes)
  • Average speed: 4.4 knots
  • Max wind: 27 knots... (F7), average wind speed was probably 18-20
  • Percentage of the night accompanied by dophins: about 50%!

As you can imagine, complete exhausted, so will complete this entry tomorrow. A german sailing boat that accompanied me for the last couple of hours has just moored next to me, and offered me a beer. I took a few pictures of their boat, about to show them. They managed to go up to Scotland this summer...

added on the 17th The following from the ship's log book:

10:15 Leaving Kinsale; misty morning, very little wind so far

10:40 Out of Kinsale river; 5 knots of wind, from the north-east
11:00 Current position: 51 deg 40.026 N, 8 deg 29.463 W
12:00 No more land. Short nap on deck; hands are cold. A few minutes ago heard a series of deep foghorns to starboard. No ship in sight. Still a little misty. 10 knots of wind, from the NE. Slight seas
14:00 Doing 5 knots; 15 knots of wind, from the NE. Sea slight. Just had a steak and canned peas for lunch. Able to read a little more of "The Corrections"
14:35 Reduced the mainsail by 1 reef. Winds gusting to 17 knots.
15:00 Have covered about 20 miles so far. Current speed 5.2 knots. Winds 14-17 knots, NE. Current position 51 deg 26.85 N, 8 deg 05.75 W.
15:10 Winds increasing to 19 knots. Rolled in the genoa to first reef mark
15:40 Just spotted Kinsale Gas field platforms ahead. Changing course to go around them, to the North

17:00 Passed Kinsale Gas Field. Still cloudy, slowed down a little because of having to avoid the gas fields
18:20 I'm off the chart! (I don't have a chart that has the entire crossing, just one of Ireland and one of England. I know for a fact that there is nothing between the 2, but still feels a little strange). Still 106 miles to Longship lighthouse; just heard on the news that the Rainbow Warrior is not far, waiting for the ships carrying the MOX back to England. May cross them later!
19:00 Sky clearing a little, mist mostly gone, but still overcast. Doing 5 knots, 17 knots of wind. Passed a fishing boat to starboard. About to get weather report, then it's dinner (Cassoulet!) Current Position: 51 deg 15.074 N, 7 deg 42.802 W.
19:40 Slowly getting darker. Winds at 20-23 knots, reduced the mainsail by 2 reefs, the genoa by 2 as well. Still doing 4.5 to 5 knots. I just put the nav lights on; hands and feet cold
20:00 98 miles left!
21:00 Winds shifting from NE to E-NE. Sea now moderate, with waves about 1.5 meters in height. Occasional slamming.

21:30 Nearly dark; napping on deck. Moon is bright behind clouds. Moon rays coming down through the clouds. Very beautiful, but strong winds make contemplations short!
22:00 Speed 5.2 knots. Winds steady at 20-22 knots. Had to undo one reef on the mainsail, because can't get the boat to go enough into the wind, due to sail shape. But the engine on as well because the autopilot doesn't have enough control. No change in speed observed, but the boat is keeping it's course
23:00 Nothing special. Listening to a little music on the iPod; caught myself whistling... must not do that!!!
23:30 Dolphins! Hard to say how many, but probably 2-3. Quite beautiful playing under the green nav lights. Just when I was feeling a little tired and down. Good to have companions. Very dark now; can still see the horizon line but sea is pitch black.
00:00 Nothing special. Doing 5.5 knots. 20 knots of wind. Dolphins still with me
01:00 Sky clearing
01:45 Left clouds behing me. Stars very bright! Passed a boat on startboard. More lights ahead. Looks like a shipping lane from here.
02:00 Winds down to 15 knots. Sea easing a little. Still some ships around; having a 2nd wind, had a cereal bar
03:00 Getting colder outside. Going to try a short sleep inside. Speed down to 4.6 knots
04:30 Winds at 17 knots. N-NE. Few clouds. Few ships on port side. Now 4-5 dolphins. Managed to sleep 2 x 1/2 hour. Was very hard getting up, but feel better for having slept. Figured out why the dolphins like me so much: The forward nav light are helping them see fish in the dark water, so they are having a meal on me!
5:45 First signs of day approaching. Horizon getting very slightly lighter.
07:00 Winds up to 18-22 knots. Imminent sun rise. Too tired and too much wind for this to be a big relief. Have stopped the engine, autopilot working fine on it's own. Still doing 5.1 knots.
10:55 LAND! Wind really picking up, now 22-25 knots. Managed to sleep about 2 hours in the last 4, by small naps. Very tired, but excited I can know see my destination (if still many hours away).
11:50. Winds reaching 27 knots. 2 reefs in the main sail, 3 reefs in the genoa. Still doing 5.1 knots. forecast called for 3-4, occasionally 5. I've had 5-6, with now gusts at 7. Hope it does not get much higher.
13:00 Wind down to 22 knots. 14.5 miles to Longships (lighthouse at Land's End)
14:40 Weather Forecastfrom Falmouth Coast Guard: E to NE 4 or 5. Slight to moderate seas.
Passed Longships lighthouse

19:30 Arrived in Newlyn, Cornwall. Last 5 hours were slow; had to put engine on to go up-wind, E, to Newlyn. Was accompanied by a German sailboat for the last few hours. They are sailing quite beautifully, and going the same speed as I am. Last few hours felt endless; felt so close, but took so long!

8:44:46 PM    
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© Copyright 2003 Thomas Degremont.

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