After some more ‘parking practice’ we set off from Lês Sables at just before 2 pm. The weather was beautifully sunny but with little wind so we motored for the first 3 hours. Unfortunately we had to keep a speed of at least 5 knots to get to La Rochelle before dark. Finally the wind picked up and I got the sails up as we made our way south passed the Ile de Re with the wind right behind us, which we can’t do so had to gybe 2 or 3 times to make the right span of the bridge which joins Ile de Re to the rest of France. We arrived in La Rochelle at 8.30 and I even managed enough French to get ourselves booked in with the Capitanerie.
All in all an uneventful first day out. Uneventful but busy keeping an eye on everything and sailing a cat is unlike any monohull I’ve sailed. The main sheet is more of a Vang and the Traveller does most of the work of the main sheet. I was so busy I completely forgot to take any photos or even turn on the GoPro I had set up before leaving Sables. We really need an official photograher …….
Getting used to having Otto around and am still impressed with how easy Windependent is to handle. The electronics make the sailing ‘tactics’, navigation and passage planning a doddle. Having said that I still felt the need to check the echo sounder using a good old fashioned hand lead line!
We now have 2 day in Port de Minims Marina before moving into Basin de Chautiers for the rest of the fitting out.