Bordeaux to Pauillac - Tuesday, 12 August 2003, 20 miles

Set out at 08:00, theoretically slack water, and there was no current until we reached the centre of the river, when we found it was still flooding. No wind either.

By 09:40, the ebb was running properly at 2, increasing to 4 knots. At the junction with the Dordogne we were able to sail, though the wind was mainly tide-induced. We came up with a traditional gaff schooner being worked to windward, but very slowly off course.

At 12:30 we reached Pauillac. We looked in the harbour, where the pilot book suggested it might be possible to anchor. But we thought it looked a bit tight, and not all that attractive, so we anchored off the town, just North of the harbour.

For our first journey ashore, we took the dinghy into the harbour, which meant going outside it to the entrance on the South side. But later, the flood was running so hard, I thought we'd have a problem getting back, so we went to a ladder on the outside wall of the harbour on the North side, where it was bounced around a bit, but came to no harm.

In Pauillac, we visited the tourist office, which also functioned as an agent for all the nearby chateaux. We overheard the sales lady discussing what wine to buy with an American couple, and asking them what their budget was: around €20 to €30 a bottle - clearly we were in the wrong establishment!