Ouistreham to Fécamp - Tuesday, 9 September 2003, 42 miles

We needed to leave on the lock out at 10:00, so we got out the bikes to shop in the town of Ouistreham. Nice little place, with all the shops needed, about a mile from the canal.

Once we were outside, we made sail in a Northerly F3, with seas pretty messed up from yesterday's wind. The issue was whether we could lay Cap Antifer, because, by the time we got there we'd have a strong adverse current.

As the day progressed, the wind backed slightly and strengthened F4 and the sun came out. By the time we rounded Cap d'Antifer, we were making a good 8 knots through the water, but only 6 over the ground. We'd had a lot of shipping across the entrance to le Havre, and had had to heave to briefly. But there was nothing, as usual, at the Port d'Antifer. We wondered if it was still in use.

As we came up to Fécamp, there were several helicopters and boats buzzing around. We thought that maybe there was some kind of lifeboat exercise going on, but a guy came up in a RIB to say that they were filming, and he thought he'd agreed with the local club that no boats would enter or leave the harbour. Before we had a chance to argue, he looked at the line of yachts following us, shrugged and said he'd tell his team to knock off for the day.

In Fécamp, at 17:35, le capitain had also knocked off. But this time, when we'd found someone to give us the code, we were rewarded with showers that didn't require tokens or money.

Excellent dinner at the Café Maritime

Forecast promised plenty of wind, so we doubled up the lines and fenders.