After properly celebrating our first long sail, I wasn’t so sure that I was ready to strap on my foul weather overalls and sail for another 10~12 hours the very next day. So we decided to stay a few days at Boulogne-sur-Mer. Unfortunately, or should I rather say, typically, rain decided to grace us with her presence…nonstop. Ugh. But, in spite of the rainy conditions, we set out to discover the “old town”. We previously visited Boulogne-sur-Mer two years ago with friends but only saw the Nausicaa museum. Overall, the old town was quaint and interesting with an impressive fortified wall. However, I’m afraid that I won’t be able to give you much more details since I was completely preoccupied by how hungry I was during our sightseeing.
After some badly needed rest, we needed to prepare for our next destination…Dieppe which would take about 12 hours or the Bay of Somme where Yves had read that it was considered as a World Heritage place…a beautiful natural reserve? a charming little port? seals? SEALS?!? There are seals here?!? Uhm….this is why we are doing this trip, pretty easy decision, no? This is where Yves shook his head…”No no Joanna, not that easy, we have to be careful about the tides and tide currents. In order for us to leave, we need to leave early…like REALLY early in the morning!” Woohoo!! Our first night sail! (ok…an hour’s worth of night sailing).
Of course, knowing that one has to get up so early, one can NOT possibly fall asleep at 9:00pm. I mean, that is when we eat! We tried our best to get a reasonable amount of rest in order to be in shape for our sail. It was not easy and we probably only got about 4 hours of sleep at best. But at 3:20 am, we managed to get our sleepy heads up and prepare our best for our 6 hrs sail. It was strange to be hustling about the boat when you could feel that the city was still asleep.
We left around 4:00 am and, to my surprise, we encountered quite a bit of swells when we sailed out of the port. Yves encountered difficulties after difficulties in trying to raise the sails in spite of the boat rolling all about. It was very impressive to be on La Nomade with waves moving in all directions and nothing but the lights on our boat to give us a little insight of the big black sea.
Thankfully, Yves prevailed and the sails were set up and we set course for the Bay of Somme. There was not much wind but constant drizzle. It was cold and rainy…I was cold and tired…definitely not a happy camper. And much to my dismay, Yves wasn’t feeling too great either…he almost got seasick!
But with a nice hot water bottle, some hot tea and a little rest, Yves recovered. I continued to navigate the tiller hoping I would not need to use my vomit bucket. After 2 hours of sailing with little to no wind, Yves decided that if we were to be on schedule to enter into the Bay of Somme, we would need a little help. Start the engine! Around 11:30 am, we finally arrived at the entrance of the Bay of Somme. I wondered if this bay was worth the night/morning that we had just endured. We were tired…we were cold…suddenly Yves cried out “Jo! Look!” I turned my head and poof! I saw a swarthy little head… and then another…the famous seals of the Bay of Somme! We looked at each other and thought “Yeah… this wasn’t so bad after all…”