From Hague to La Havre 24.06-03.07.2022

From Hague to Le Havre

Route: Sheveningen – Osdend – Boulogne sur mer – Dieppe – La Havre
Date: 24.06-03.07.2022
Miles / hours: 316Mm/70h

24-06-2022 Friday Schveningen
In the morning we go shopping by bike. We take the trailer (beach stroller) and attach it to the bike. It turns out that Lidl, where we want to do grocery shopping, is right next to the fruit and vegetable market. We do both things at once. After shopping and, of course, unpacking them on the yacht, we go for a fish dinner at a restaurant on the other side of the marina.
Dinner is tasty. Everyone takes something different. In the evening, Tomek also adds backlighting of the buttons to illuminate the deck and the compass. It’s long light, so we go to bed at midnight.

25-06-2022 Saturday to Ostend
We leave the port at ten. The weather is pretty good, cloudy, but reasonably warm. We put genoa and a mainsail. We go with the flow for the first 2 hours, so it’s OK, and the wind is also around 3B. We meet dolphins and a seal. Unfortunately, around 12 o’clock, the current changes its direction to the opposite, and the wind is dying down. We are eating a dinner that was prepared the previous day (very tasty). We try to sail on the sails in the wind of 5 kn and the opposite current, we fight for about 3 hours, but when we start to go back, we give up and turn on the engine.
We come to the approach to Rotterdam. There are huge container ships in the shipping route . They are 400m long and 60m wide. These will not fit in the Baltic Sea. Traffic Control calls us and tells us between which buoys we should cross the fairway. They calculated it in such a way that there were no ships in the vicinity at the time of crossing the track. After passing the fairway, Tom notices that something is chasing us – it is another seal with a head over the water. Unfortunately, when I bring the camera, it disappear and it does not show up again. It’s start raining. It rains until around 7:30 p.m., then it stops but it is still cloudy and chilly. After dark, we arrive at a huge windmill farm. There is a glow on the horizon from their lights. We change genoa for a seal for the night.

26-06-2022 Sunday to Ostend
In the morning we are still sailing along the huge field of windmills – it is about 20mm long and stretches from the Netherlands to Belgium. 5B blows so we reef the mainsail. We cross the approach lanes and approach the entrance to the lock to the marina. The entrance to the port has three lights, red, white and green, in different configurations. While waiting for the lock to open, we eat breakfast. The Merkator marina lock is 2-stage. First you enter the first lock, the lock has double gates, first the first one opens, then we go up and the second opens, behind the lock there is a drawbridge, behind the bridge there is another stop and one drawbridge closes and the other opens. In the lock, we get information on where to stand with the toilet codes, marina plan and other useful information. We moor at the A-01 site. The price for the marina is electricity, water, toilet, showers. The washing machines are coin-operated with instructions in Belgian.
Tom leads the antenna to the Navtex outside, finally the Navtex starts receiving messages, and connects the light to the switch for the ventilator in the galley.
Lunch is vegetable, but very tasty. After lunch, a little nap and we go for a walk around the city.

Ostend street Ostend street Ostend stand Ostend station

The center is not big and apart from two little ancient churches, the beach is impressive. We go to the pier, we see the “monument” made of bent and painted red sheet metal, the fish market is closed and we return to the yacht. For dinner, chorizo ​​casserole and salad with olives. Delicious.

27-06-2022 Monday Ostend
All museums are closed on Monday. No possibility to visit the Mercator sailing ship in the port, Fort Napoleon is also closed, as are the fortifications from the Second World War (they extend all the way to France). After breakfast, we see over the Mercator sailing vessel from the outside (it stands in the next marina basin), we find out that the fish market has only one stand open and it is bad, so we get on the ferry and went to Fort Napoleon (we already know that it is closed).

Ostend Marcator Ostend ferry Ostend Napoleona fort Ostend sculpture Ostend beach Ostend sea sign

The ferry is free and carries both dogs and bicycles. It’s starting to rain a bit, so I do my trip around the fort myself. Tomek is cycling to nautical shops in search of a broken bimini top and fender.
On the way, we eat Belgian fries. Tomek returns with new fittings for bimini, and the rest of crew goes to the store for Belgian chocolate and Belgian beer. In the evening we do a tasting of 4 types of beers.

28-06-2022 Tuesday to Boulogne sur mer
In the morning we get up before 7, eat breakfast and enter the lock at 8. The water in the lock drops from 7m to 3m, almost the entire length of the roop to hold on to. Apart from us, there are two more yachts.
We go out to sea. For 3 hours we have good current direction and good wind, so we sail 6-7kn. Then the current changes to the opposite wind and disappears, so when we start to go back, we turn on the engine. The weather is nice, so we do the laundry and put the dryer in the stern – it dries up by the evening.
As soon as the current weakens, we set the sails again, this time it blows from the stern, so we sail on the genoa. We sail through the entire field of deep sea nets – only colorful canisters can be seen on the surface. One of them is swimming unattached, so we catch it – throw it in port.

Calais cliffs Boulogne sur mer flow

We pass Dunkirk and Calais. There is a lot of ferry traffic, but they all go much faster than us.
We sail in the narrowest part of the English Channel – you can see both banks. There are beautiful cliffs on the French shore behind Calais. At 23:00 we enter Boulogne sur mer

29-06-2022 Wednesday Boulogne sur mer
In the morning we pay for the marina, the price included water, electricity, showers and WC. Washing machines for an additional fee of 5 €.

Boulogne sur mer fish market Boulogne sur mer street Boulogne sur mer sign Boulogne sur mer old town Boulogne sur mer mural Boulogne sur mer instruments Boulogne sur mer church Boulogne sur mer church

We get an access card and go to the city. We start by visiting the Nautica aquarium – it is quite large, with aquariums, descriptions, a show of training sea lions and penguins. There are sharks, rays and many colorful fish from coral reefs in the aquariums. Sightseeing takes us over 3 hours.

Boulogne sur mer fish Boulogne sur mer akwarium Penguins Boulogne sur mer akwarium hippocampus Boulogne sur mer akwarium seal Boulogne sur mer akwarium seal

We go back to the yacht for dinner (it’s already after 2 p.m., so everything has a siesta) and after coffee we go sightseeing in the old town. It’s starting to rain, so we go to the pub for a glass of wine.

30-06-2022 Thursday Dieppe
We leave at 5:30 before breakfast. It blows 4-5B and a compatible current is added to it – a fairy tale. We repair the sails when the list is above 20º. In the afternoon, as soon as the current turns to the opposite side, the wind disappears, so we start the engine. After the power is unscrewed, we set sails again. It starts to rain in front of Dieppe. We enter Dieppe in the rain at 5:30 pm. First we moor the longside, but the port staff comes and asks us to move to another place. We stand stern to the pier. After mooring, it stops raining so we go for a walk around the city. The water is low so the city is really high up. The city is beautiful.

Dieppe street Dieppe Dieppe marina Dieppe food

Old houses and churches, narrow streets. For the collection, we go to the pub selected in google according to the opinion. It is tasty and hudge.
We order various items, but the menu is the most popular – there are 3 groups and each group (starter, main course and dessert) can be washed one course (there are about 6 to choose from).

1-07-2022 Friday to Le Havre
We leave Dieppe at 9.30 am. Blows 4B, that’s it, but from the south-west, so exactly from where we want to go. Although the current is in the right direction. We make a long tack out to sea, all the way to the fairway. There is less traffic on the track than in Calais. After returning, we notice a white reflector. Of course, we’re heading towards it. We reach a distance of about 5 meters and at this point the fender unfolds its wings and flies away – complete surprise, it was a sleeping seagull.

To Le Havre

At 9 p.m., the wind weakens and the current changes to the opposite. We turn on the engine.
We dock in Le Havre at 4:30 in the morning. Instead of the 55Mm we sailed 87Mm (this is normal when you sail on the sails in the opposite wind).

2-07-2022 Le Havre
In the morning I pay for the marina, I get a card for everything (electricity, water, toilets, marina entrance gates). No the card is one hour of open the water valve – 4×15 minutes (regardless of whether the water is running or not), some amount of electricity – no one knows how much :-(, the lady in the office said that when it ends, she will refill it. After breakfast, we go to town.

Le Havre Le Havre Le Havre garden Le Havre Le Havre Le Havre Le Havre marina Le Havre sculpture Le Havre church inside Le Havre cathedral

We are visiting garden, which the guide translates as “Hanging Gardens” (Les Jardins Suspendus) and in fact it is a botanical garden mainly of tropical plants in greenhouses but not only and a large experimental center that studies plants all over the world. The garden is on a hill outside the city (approx. 25 min). Then we go down through the garden of St. Roch and visit the church of St. Joseph – a concrete building from the outside, and inside the interior is sparkling with colors – the light coming through the stained glass windows in the walls and ceiling is reflected throughout the church, the pews for the faithful are set around the altar. A completely different church than the ones we are used to. The next stop is the market hall, but more like our Polna than an ordinary bazaar. Permanent built-up stands, and the prices are rather high. We go further – the next point of the route is the Notre-Dame Cathedral. The historic cathedral from the 16th century is on the UNESCO World Heritage List, but both the facade and the interior are not impressive. After that, only the MuMa Museum of Modern Art – there is a painting exhibition devoted to the wind right now – worth seeing. We have 20 minutes for that (they close at 19).
We visit the gas station (fuel in the station costs as much as in the marina) and return to the yacht.

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