Fécamp to Dieppe - Wednesday, 10 September 2003, 24 miles

Horrendous seas coming out of Fécamp, even though the wind, South West F5, was offshore. We set the main alone with a single reef, and charged off along the coast.

We wanted to keep close inshore, because the wind further out was certainly a true F6, with big seas running. This required some tricky steering, with the wind up our tail on Starboard. If we had to gybe, we'd have to go offshore. In the event we managed to keep about 1/2 mile out all the way to Pointe d'Ailly, where we kept inshore of the rocks, in never less than 6m.

Then we had to decide whether to continue or stop in Dieppe. We had enough tide to enter le Treport or the Somme. But both are a bit useless as passage ports, as you can only get out again at HW. And we'd have lost the tide before Boulogne, and have a nasty ride with wind against tide. So, we wimped out into Dieppe, and were tied up at noon.

A Dutchman from a steel Colin Archer joined us for drinks, and said he'd had nothing but storms for the last week. We'd obviously been lucky.