Today, Friday 14th September, Aft Starboard Watch are doing the blog. To introduce ourselves, our watch leader is Sarah T, well-known wine connoisseur, and the rest of the team are John R, Sarah G, Marcin S, Anne O, Lewis W and Sue W. Since the last blog we have been ashore in Caen, and are now back at sea, after a busy 24 hours. Our berth in Caen was about 2 kms walk from the city centre, but it was a hot sunny afternoon, so wet weather gear was abandoned and shorts and teeshirts were donned, and off we all went. Needless to say while some enjoyed the sights of Caen, others headed for a bar in the sunshine - and remained there, reserving a table for the evening meal. A few beers later, an amazing array of French food was sampled snails, scallops, moules avec curry or Roquefort sauce, and desserts such as iles flottantes.
All back aboard, safely, by 9pm (boat time, 10 pm French time), and a quiet night followed. Brandy proved to be an excellent nightcap for many!
Today less sun, indeed some cloud cover,but undeterred an assisted climb took place, watched by a few somewhat bemused French dock-workers. Then it was time to cast off, and head back towards Ouistreham ferry port, collecting our pilot en route. He was not so much bemused as impressed by the ethos of JST, and the sense of happiness and camaraderie on board - not to mention the soup and home-made bread. He even expressed a desire to stay aboard for our sail across the channel - but his employers apparently required his services for an incoming Brittany ferry.
And now we are, indeed, sailing with wind speeds of around 25 knots giving us a boat speed of up to 4.5 knots. A brief flurry of rain made everyone grab wet weather gear - which we then regretted as we undertook a busy 45 minutes of sail hoisting and rope heaving. Blue skies have returned, the engines are off, and we are merrily heading on with the next stage of the adventure, at a slightly steep angle to starboard. But hey - we are the Aft Starboard Watch!