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Cruise 06 La Rochelle to Pornic

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Crew: Bob Williams (skipper), Hilary Williams, Stephen Avery, Gordon Piggott, Jason Austin, Kate (Two Drinks) Rozik

So this is how I remember our trip…

We arrived at Southampton Airport where we met up with the rest of the crew.

Having a welcome drink we waited for the delayed flight which gave us some time to discuss the general plan for the week ahead.

After a short flight to France we landed in La Rochelle, the weather was great, very sunny with nice breeze, what else could we want. After a quick wave through terminal window to Howard, who was a skipper during the week 5 cruise and was on his way back to UK we collected luggages and got taxis to La Rochelle marina.

As we walked down onto the pontoon, up ahead was Brighton Belle, beautiful as always, waiting for us and our week of sailing. Awww I missed her Smile.

After checking in at the marina office and of course the safety briefing at the boat, we went for a walk and searched for a suitable venue for our first night dinner. We were lucky to get a table at a very nice restaurant overlooking the harbour. Food, wine and service were very agreeable.

Day 2

In the morning after what seemed to be mission impossible we managed to get to the supermarche where we stocked up on provisions for the coming days. All essential tasks completed, off we went. Well not that fast, it was a precision controlled challenge to turn the boat around, as we didn't have much room for manoeuvre at all. With Bob giving a well explained and drawn up action plan we completed the mission successfully, so we could be held for a while going in a circle waiting for the harbour master to let us out through the lock.

The weather was on our side, full sunshine and half decent wind, the sails went up just as we left the marina. We headed towards the Saint-Martin de Re island where we planned our first stopover. It was very impressive to sail under the bridge joining the mainland with the island. As the marking on the bridge for the passage was very poor, I was very careful counting pillars to find the middle of the bridge so we could safely sail underneath it. Being closer to what I thought was the correct spot we noticed this tiny marking which from the distance was impossible to see.

We were all quite tense watching the top of the main mast and the construction of the bridge, it seemed like it was not much room for error at all. Having the monstrous bridge and La Rochelle behind us, we settled into the rest of the cruising and began relaxing.




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