Havana - Rørvig




                                                             Holland 2006       

England 2006

To Good Friends

La Belle France-the canals

The Seine Paris & Rouen

The Countryside

Champagne & Beer Money

Indland - how it works

Wrapping up






La Belle France.....towards the canals

50 metres from disaster and the end of a dream...


After 5 days anchored outside Cherbourg, waiting for gales to pass so we could move on to Le Havre, we had a sharp reminder from Mother Nature that the difference between happiness and disaster is a matter of seconds...it is something we will never forget again.  We had been anchored perfectly through 5 days of heavy winds and pounding seas with no problems, dinghying in and out and enjoying the town.

Day 6 we decided to visit the maritime centre and French nuclear submarine at the nearby quayside. Cherbourg has a massive, heavily fortified granite- walled harbour built by Napoleon. Half way through the visit while outside, I jokingly said that I couldn´t see Havana out in the bay. At first we thought she was simply behind the building and out of our line of sight. It became less funny as we began to look in earnest!

The picture was all wrong. And then we spotted her. The anchor had apparently dragged finally after holding so well for so long. Havana was loose and heading in strong winds over towards the stone walls. 50 metres from smashing into the quayside, where she would have been pounded to bits helplessly in front of our eyes, a heavy Dutch yacht managed to get a rope on her at the second attempt, at not inconsiderable risk to their own yacht (and safety). In that weather, they could have been sitting inside, or they could have gone ashore and Havana would have been lost. Our dreams, our work, everything gone. Guardian angels come in many guises, eh? We ran in total panic along the quay to the dinghy and out to them.

We were lucky their boat was strong enough to drag her off and that they were experienced enough to pull it off. It is hard to say what else we could have done- the anchor has been extremely good but after too many days pounding and twisting, we should probably have reset it. We were in total shock for many hours afterwards. Numb at the thought of how close we had come to disaster on a normal sunny day out. It can happen that fast. It was a bad scare.

We ate out that night in stunned silence- exhausted and shaken. We took Havana into harbour that night. No damage to her.... (a few more dozen grey hairs for us). We can never thank those people enough. But all is OK and we look forward to new adventures through the canals of France ...

Spot the difference ?! Here you can see we´ve recovered and Havana lies in Le Havre, ready to demast. It took 3 days though.

First we had to remove all the sails and bits and pieces, then we had to sail around through a lock to the workshop area and then the crane didn´t come as promised, the next day they couldn´t get a crane driver and finally on day 3, in 40 knots of wind, after almost blowing over, they got the mast off (they could have listened to our instructions as we´ve done it 5 times now but they knew better.....however,

Havana is ready at last for the canals...all we need now is a spot of calm weather to get around the point and up the extremely tidal River Seine ....very tricky here and much commercial traffic so we will have to keep a sharp look-out till Rouen.



But while waiting for the rain and thunderstorms to pass (day 3 now!), there is plenty to do. One of the absolute highlights of Normandy is the medieval town of Honfleur- one of the loveliest in the province.

So we jumped on a bus and had a great day out. Honfleur was jam-packed with tourists in the narrow streets but extremely charming nonetheless.

 We even watched them film a religoius programme in the ancient wooden church! and yes, persuaded the captain to try the local mussels. Naturally, we felt obliged to support the local economy  with the purchase of a bottle of their famous calvados...The cider is also famous. Butter, cheese, pate, crepes, all the good fattening stuff....




Leaving Le Havre.



So now we await good weather to sneak around the point and begin our canal adventure....


We´ll be back soon with more.....




Senest opdateret: 14. February 2007