The morning watch ... (getting woken at 0330hrs and having to say “thank you” is a strange way to start the day) but up to the bridge we went. Whatever wind there was on board had nothing to do with the weather so we were under motor, the sails having been taken in at about 2130hrs the previous evening.
After only an hour we were helmed through the outer breakwater at Cherbourg by Aoife who took us to anchor ... a fantastic way to start her birthday, not that we knew that at the time ... but that did not go unnoticed by Nursie Rachel (let’s be honest she doesn’t miss anything) ... so a bit of anchor watch (Kim getting very cold but managing to sneak a quick fag with Captain Clare).
Then the best bit of the morning watch – waking everyone else up!!!! Although the thunderous clattering of the anchor being let go at 0515hrs, probably did that even more effectively.
After breakfast it was assisted climbs and Ken was the first to go ... and up he went like a rocket and a great big smile and cheer as he reached the top. Nick (AP) was the first up the main mast and loud cheers kept going for more climbers including Terry (AP) who had his son Andy on the safety line and immensely proud when Terry got to the top.
Smoko included the most gooey “chocolatey” chocolate birthday cake, Aoife’s secret was well and truly out and Ollie and others guzzled through the cake.
Then into harbour through the swing bridge, Ian’s turn in the doti boat and alongside where Cook and Rosie provided a feast, laid out on the decks and then time off to bimble into the town (and yes we even got away with no “happy hour”).
Keith, Steve and Fran (AP) (now jokingly referred to as “monkey” for the speed of her climb) and later Alex, managed to climb to the button on the main mast which according to 2nd mate Alex is only a hundred feet .. it felt a lot more than that!
Vipin was on time (yes really!) for the 1800hrs muster for a joint meal out with Aft Port watch (with their gorgeous watch-leader Barb who has to get a mention). Times are a bit weird as we are sticking to UK time on board but France is an hour ahead.
A great atmosphere and meal out at La Cale restaurant (we had walked into town earlier for a look around and booked a table for 17, which they had set out for us) ... it was a good job we had booked as Bryan and the Forward port watch were also there and then the permanent crew turned up but had to be turned away as the restaurant was too busy. Food included moules, crevettes, steaks and crème brulee with the odd glass of vin rouge et vin blanc.
Then back to Nellie where Marco was on the fizzy to celebrate being an uncle (it would have been rude not to join in the celebrations) ... and then the 0645hrs wake up with a smile for an early breakfast .. what a fabulous day ... thank you all.
Steve ... Aft Port watch
P.S. does anyone know why they are called dog watches?