After way to long at one place we decided to leave Blankenberge and head over to France. The plan was perfect, get the boat ready to sail, set the alarm early, make breakfast and prepare lunch at the same time, head out with the tides and make the most of the west bound current to make the 32 nm a breeze. We should arrive right after lunch. It was a great plan!
But as Mike Tyson said “Everybody Has a Plan Until They Get Punched in the Mouth”…
Log date: 24 aug. 2020
Route: Blankenberge –
Time: 08:13 ( 12h 01min )
Distance: 55,3 nm
Average speed: 4,6 knots (Max: 10,2 knots)
Wind: 20 knots
Weather: [ ] Rain, [ ] Fog, [X] Sunshine, [X] Cloudy
Temperature: 20 C
Our “punch in the mouth” was a narrow part just past the French border, when we got there in the late afternoon the current had turned agains us with quite a lot of dark clouds at the horizon heading towards us way faster than we expected and liked. The current and the head wind made it literally impossible for us to tack our way towards Dunkirk. We had sandbanks on both sides of the fairway and our speed over ground was close to none.
When we had about 6 nm to go (we could almost smell the french cuisine) we decided to turn around and head back to the previous harbour, Nieuwpoort, that we passed. It’s not easy to make the decision to turn back especially not that close to the destination but it’s always better to turn around to safety than fighting against the sea that is a fight that you always will loose.
As soon as we turned around we had 10 nm of sailing back to Nieuwpoort and that went fast. We had the wind with us as well as the current. The log parked itself just above 8 knots for the trip back and when we got hit by some big waves from the rear we reached 10 knots and above. It was super fun and crazy at the same time.
When we reached the marina we sailed to the jetty to spare the engine and the cooling system that we still got some issues with. The grand master plan for the engine is now to get a Yanmar impeller and have the aftermarket one from Biltema replaced before we head out and try to reach Dunkirk again later this week.