Fecamp – June 11

St. Valery en Caux – Fecamp – 17 miles

Boaters would deny it, but the reason so many sit in their cockpits at any time of the day is to watch other boaters, especially other boaters making silly mistakes. Witnessing such events gives them an anecdote with which to entertain their friends and by ridiculing the said boater’s behaviour, serves to enhance their own reputation as a safe and reliable pair of hands. Today it was my turn to provide anecdote fodder. It had all been going so well. A calm sunny morning, a civilized 0900 start and a gentle chug along the coast, between the piers marking the entrance to the harbour and a starboard turn into the ‘avant port’. We were allocated a whole pontoon to choose our own berth from. We viewed from afar the possibilities. So much choice! We changed our minds several times but eventually our mind was made up. I had a strategy. The wind had increased to a gentle breeze and because it was blowing onshore, the harbour had become a bit wavy. My mistake was to reverse into a wide slot with the wind blowing me off the chosen pontoon. We narrowly missed the bow of our neighbours yacht who jumped off to come to our assistance. Second mistake was not to give clear instructions to our helpers, like ‘tie that line onto that cleat there (s’il vous plait)’. But out of a lot of chaos we were soon moored up, calm was restored and no harm was done.

Once the nerves had settled and lunch consumed, I prepared the bikes and we went in search of the local attractions. The Benedictine Monastery for one, Carrefour City for supplies, another. Then a restful evening waiting and watching for other boater’s mistakes over wine and dinner.

Leaving St Valery en Caux with a Dutch Najad
Ah memories! Passing a Nauticat 331.
Another hazard to avoid on the way into Fecamp
Relaxing lunch reading a very good book
Benedictine Monastery and distillery

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