Friday 5 August 2016
We had visited the old city centre and found it interesting and quite lovely, maybe it was the contrast with the other parts of town or the sunny weather. The basilica was extraordinary and it was quite breathtaking looking up into the dome from behind the altar, some frescoes were in poor repair and some beautifully restored. Outside a garden of the senses was beautifully conceived and maintained, the only blight being accosted by an aggressive beggar.
Promptly at 0800 we had untied from our cats cradle of warps and freed ourselves from the marina at Boulogne. The weather patterns were dominated by the Azores high pressure developing across the continent and the resulting squeezed isobars gave us the wind we had shied away from for several days now but there was a gap when the lows to the north moved away and we were taking the opportunity.
A lot of thought went into our plan and options discussed and computed but finally we decide to go west as fast as possible, turn north at the westbound traffic lane and once across make course for Eastbourne. This we did and it worked to perfection.
We motored out of the huge outer harbour into a rough patch which eased as the water got deeper a few miles out. The wind was NW 2 and, as predicted, it backed to West then SW and freshened, by which time we were on our way North. By midday the tide had changed against us but with the increasing wind thankfully the sea remained moderate Having crossed the westbound lane it increased to a five from the SW and we had a wet punch down to Eastbourne, however it was sunny all day and it was warm.
We arrived in the lock at Sovereign Harbour at 14:30 well pleased to have made our escape and completed the penultimate leg of our trip.