Surfing in the channel (by Wiebe Radstake)

The 28th of April I woke up the Fo’c’sle at 5 o’clock in the morning.

Good Morning everyone: time to pump up some anchor! Half an hour later the anchor was up and with a very small wind we moved up and down in the bay of Douarnenez. We stopped over here because we were already 5 weeks at sea and the wind in the channel was not that good (tacking with light winds) and we were running out of food. Our good friends Remi and Liz did the provisioning for us (thanks!) and the Tres Hombres crew could sleep for a few days.

A few hours after pumping up the anchor the current was going out of the bay and the wind started to increase slowly. Also, the rains were getting heavier and heavier. Eight hours later we were out of the bay tacking with a Westerly wind up and down Cap du Raz and Ile d’Ouessant. Heavy currents made it very special navigation. Another 10 hours later the wind increased and backed from West to South West. With this wind, we could reach the south side of Ile D’Ouessant but the currents were coming from North to South so we could not get around. This night around 4 o’clock the tidal current changed and we could get around the island open the sails and finally sail into the channel .

I knew this was the perfect timing because a small low was just coming over one watch later. Rain, Rain, Rain and 30 knots of wind backing from one to the other moment. So we had to brace around and wear ship (Gybe).

Now we are sailing or better surfing in the channel, doing in between 6.5 and 10 knots (depending on current again) in the right direction. As we say in the Netherlands: Het paard ruikt de stal! (The horse smells the stable!)
We are looking so much forward to see our families and friends even we have to act differently with the 1.5 m rule.

Still a few days at sea, all the best.

Wiebe Radstake

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