Resting for a while after a hard crossing

Published on 02.06.2011 - Avannaq 2011

Jacques Poumet at Avannaq's helm while landing on the Head of Kinsale.

Jacques Poumet at Avannaq's helm while landing on the Head of Kinsale.

© Pierre Auzias

Avannaq 2011's crew is resting in Kinsale and enjoys this sheltered place, its beautiful and varied scents.

01/05/2011 : 51° 33' N / 09° 07' W.

They left Kinsale this morning and have arrived in Glandore, our last stop until reaching the west coast. The scenery is amazing.

Anchored at the end of a well provisioned pontoon, they will be resting for another 24 hours, having easily reached the old head of Kinsale the previous day, the weather conditions had been trying nonetheless.

Poor weather and bad visbility

The weather had been rather poor when they departed the Isles of Scilly and the visibility was very limited. Pierre suggested eating prior to leaving for Ireland as the crossing, which was due to be 30% longer than the Channel was looking quite rough.

In the morining, stable winds of 20 knots were forecast for the next 48 hours with force 6 gusts. Avannaq had previously proven she was quite comfortable sail in strong winds. Jacques and Pierre were also comfortable with the prospect of crossing in these conditions and Bertrand was quite willing to go.

During the night, the wind increased to force 6 with gusts of 32 knots and they managed to maintain our speed at 5 to 6.5 knots. When Jacques took the watch, a series of waves proceeded to take on Avannaq. Jacques, that seasoned old salt, took all the elements without flinching. Thumbs up also to our "HPX Musto" jackets that are completely weather proof, not a drop of water reached them. However Pierre was concerned with Avannaq's watertightness. Sea water was rising in the toilet. "The" wave, that will be not be forgotten any time soon, found its way down into the boat and flooded our library as well as some of our navigation equipment, which thankfully continued to function.

The winds gradually receded as they made our way towards the Old head of Kinsale and they arrived in Kinsale on the 29th at 7pm on a flat sea ... 

Cows were grazing on the fields ahead, distant murmurs of a fiddle in the air, Charles Fort's fortifications commanding the entrance to Kinsale with the prospect of a Guinness and the unavoidable Fiddel.

The skipper had not slept during the night. However Jacques and Bertrand who had both managed to squeeze 4 hours of sleep were in great shape to completely clean the boat before dinner.

Above : Charles Fort / Below : Head of Kinsale's lighthouse

Above : Charles Fort / Below : Head of Kinsale's lighthouse

© Pierre Auzias

" This will constitute an ever lasting challenge to us..."

Excerpts from their logbook : "...The sound of a guitar in a pub, a ballad from Christy Moore sang in a full voice: we are such a long way from England. Indeed, such a long way from our partners too, with whom we can never share these intense experiences. This will constitute an ever lasting challenge to us.

Benjamin, our blog translator paid us a visit from Cork City, which was a moving encounter as he is a close friend of Bertrand. Jacques and Pierre had not met him previously. An old bottle of Calvados (1975 if you please !) offered by Victor and Geneviève was at long last open. What a nectar this was ...

Yesterday we discovered the origin of the leaks which were repaired, along with another few minor issues.

The morale remains just as high and this episode is certain to have fostered fond memories.

During the 145 nautic miles, 27 hours long crossing, not one boat was to be seen. This beautiful experience confirmed that our crew is now one fully functional and united body. ..."

See also our pictures galleries related to this voyage (already 4 galleries published)

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