In Guernsey we caught up with David and Ann Marie who kindly greeted us ashore and took us to the GYC for a drink. Next day they were kind enough to invite us to their home for a roast lamb dinner. We have carried a load of mint sauce for 9,000 miles in search of lamb (eventually we had the red current jelly on toast) but it was not to be found so this was terrific. It was also our first time in 14 months of sitting on a sofa, of the environment around us being quiet without having to keep an eye out, and of being completely still for an extended period. Oh and a ride in a car which was always a special treat (we have been in we think three cars over the last 14 months).
And in Cherbourg we caught up with fellow ARC’ists Phil and his wife Julie. We took them to our favourite French cafe in Cherbourg and of course they just happened to have a bad day on that occasion. The service was fun but the food was awful.
Our final run to Brighton was uneventful in a SW F5/6 although again the tidal effects were staggering. We were hammering along at all of 4.5kn SOG until the tide changed when we completed the last 20nm in just two hours. Landfall wasn’t so easy even on the clear night. The tide was so high that the usual harbour wall was difficult to make out. Then having routed our way into the marina we found that a new development had been taking place reducing our holding area to very little. On a windy and wet night it could have been a problem. The marina is no longer suited to large yachts, a draft of 2m is a problem and all the local chandleries seem to have gone bust.
On Sunday evening we watched one yacht get stuck in the marina grounded for over and hour. Then another jammed in the mud alongside. Eventually they moved off and a third got firmly wedged in place whilst a Sunseeker powerboat held station at the entrance for a further 45 minutes before proceeding down the fairway to his berth. With spring tides on the way we have vacated our berth and moved to the visitors pontoon which is the only place where we can sit out this week’s spring tide.