Trip on Rude Knot 2 starting 2016-10-06 in BSAOct16

Late Season Cross Channel Trip October 6-10; Hamble - Cherbourg, report by Alan Howells

Given the time of year this was Solent to Cherbourg rather than the longer passages of the Western Channel. The Yacht was Rude Knot 2, a Bavaria 38 chartered from Hamble PointMap. The volunteers for this venture consisted of Alan Howells (skipper), Ian Collins, Jeff Woolmer, Neil Webber, Rich Trim and Stewart Menzies Days are rather short in October and a decision was taken to make use of the maximum amount of light by leaving in the dark from Hamble and arriving at Cherbourg in the dark but there was at least a full day of daylight in between.

We began by motoring but were soon able to sail in what was to become a mainly F5-6 ENE. The sea state was slight to moderate but quartering producing the corkscrew motion which is not conducive to happy bunnies. Other than that it was a fine broad reach.

As is not unusual the log needed to be removed and cleaned. It proved to be in an awkward position under the bunk in the forecabin and although there was a small access hatch my lack of multiple articulations and universal joints in my arms meant that it was necessary to hang partly upside down to undo it. Every other log I have encountered is fitted via a tube and sealed with an o ring. The screwed part at the top is a locking ring that holds it in place so that can be undone and nothing happens until the log is withdrawn to the point where the o ring appears and it is quickly taken out and replaced with a bung. Simple, but not so in this case as this one sealed at the top so began letting in water as soon as it began to be unscrewed. Many turns later and quite a lot of water it was possible to extract it and insert a bung, though this continued to let in water as there was no seal at the top. The log was quickly cleaned and replaced and water continued to flow in during the many turns of sealing ring. Then it proved impossible to get it to seal perfectly so it continued to leak slowly - about five gallons a day. The process of bailing was carried out first with a mug and a bucket (I think about seven buckets in all) and finally sponge and bucket all whilst hanging head and indeed torso down with water sloshing backwards and forwards. Astonishingly I did not suffer from any sea sickness which I attribute to Agyrax - a remedy available in France supposedly on prescription but…

Arrival in CherbourgMap gave good practice in identifying lights and night pilotage and was followed immediately by a hot meal made especially welcome by the fact that most crew had eaten little on the crossing.

This was followed by a day and night out in Cherbourg and a relaxed leaving time on Sunday morning dictated by the earliest we could arrive at the NeedlesMap. Two of the crew went to the maritime museum and learned more about submarines than they thought possible and realised that even then they had only scratched the surface so to speak.

A split in the headsail made it necessary to drop it and effect some temporary repairs at first. Unfortunately the wind had backed much further north and it was necessary to motor in order to meet the time schedule. The Western entrance to the Solent and passage back to the Hamble provided practice in night navigation and pilotage.

The mooring Mapwas the most difficult in the marina being at the end where it also narrowed requiring a tight turn with little margin for error. A further problem was the dazzling shore lights just behind the mooring and I couldn’t be sure that the slot was available so temporarily moored in another vacant slot and walked around to check before carrying out the manoeuvre successfully. It proved considerably easier in daylight the following morning after fuelling.

We returned the yacht after a successful trip.

Hamble Point Marina  50.8518,-1.3099
Cherbourg  49.6471,-1.6209
Needles  50.6612,-1.6032
Hamble Point Marina  50.8518,-1.3099