La Rochelle, 13th June

Commentary from Glenis (also known as the teachers report !!)

When Johnny called and asked if Ronnie and I would like to crew Suckin Diesel from Dublin to La Rochelle, I jumped at the chance with no hesitation A couple of days later, it started to sink in what I had committed to!! I had never done such a long journey, would I be up to it? The day came and we arrived at Malalhide Marina and met up with Johnny on board. He straightaway put us at our ease with his friendly manner and my nervousness began to diminish. We greeted our other crew member for the trip, Derek, whom we had met last year, and Johnny's fiance, Ann arrived to sail with us for the first 2 days. After two days sailing to become familiar with Suckin Diesel and her skipper, we left Rosslare to cross to France hoping to make landfall in Brest. It was from Rosslare that Ann jumped ship due to work commitments. Maybe I'll get to sail with her again sometime. On our first night at sea, we each took a 2 hour watch starting at 11p.m. I took the first watch from 11.00 until 01.00 with some apprehension, but it soon passed, with no incident. On day 2 at sea we sailed past the Scillies, cat-napped played the alphabet game and delighted at the dolphins who accompanied us at times. Johnny decided our best course would be to go through the CHANEL D'HELLE to round the NW corner of Brittany. This was going to be in the early hours of the morning IN THE DARK through the CHENAL D'HELLE - we all thought he was MAD! We didnt have a proper watch system the 2nd night as we were all needed to navigate the CHENAL D'HELLE, but Ronnie managed to SLEEP THROUGH IT ALL, he had so much confidence in the Skipper!! Well Johnny did do a stirling job at the navigation and we arrived in Camaret at 06.15 - 46 hours after leaving Rosslare, very tired (except Ronnie) but happy to make landfall safe and sound and looking forward to the rest of the holiday.