From St. Peter Port (on the Island of Guernsey to Morlaix (in Brittany, France) it is only 72 nautical miles as the crow flies. Unfortunately we are in a boat so have to sail around rocks and islands so that increase the distance to about 78 nm. Even more unfortunately we were in a sailing boat and had the wind against us almost all the way and a tide against us six hours in 12. The result was that we sailed 136 nm!
Leaving the marina, we had to sail almost back to Sark (1) against the tide before we could tack back south of Guernsey. A friendly tide took us well out to the west (2) and would have been perfect – if we had of been heading for England. But we were heading for France so we turned south (3). The tide was pushing us back East and when the wind dropped we just began to float back to where we had come from – and towards a reef. Some time in the night we switched the motor on and motored across the becalmed, black sea (4). In the early hours of the morning we felt a breath of wind so switched the motor off and started to sail (5). We were heading out to sea again but we were sailing and bad sailing is always better than good motoring.
Then things got crazy. Boat sailed, Wind dropped or changed direction. Boat stopped or went backwards. Try new tack and do it all again (6). At least by now we had a full moon to see that we were going nowhere. And on Max’s watch we had a “close encounter” with a racing yacht.
In the early morning we tacked again turning south east and suddenly everything worked magically (7). The wind slowly veered west and the current picked up moving us west. With a tiny bit of sail trimming we sailed past the sand banks, through the reefs and directly in to Morlaix Bay and the river mouth where we anchored after an adventurous 30 hour passage.