Cherbourg Rally (and St Martin's bay BBQ),16-19 June 2017

Cherbourg in the sunshine from the top of my pontoonAnglo-French relations were less cordial at the time the frigate Minerve ran aground on the new breakwater!

The format for this year’s rally will be familiar to those enthusiasts who have joined us before, except that this year we still can’t do the music festival, unless you can stay till Wednesday!

There is, however, another chance to join YCC members for their annual BBQ in the lovely surroundings of St Martin's bay near La Hague on the Sunday, to which WSC members are as usual cordially invited. For the extra-keen there is also the option of a double-hander on Saturday, which usually involves some coastal navigation.

The fixed point as ever will be the wine-tasting at Normandie Wine, thanks to the hospitality of Denis and Arthur, at 1300 local time on the Saturday. Before that there is the chance to enjoy the pleasures of the weekly market, wander through the beautiful garden of the Musee Emmanuel Liais, or just have a coffee in the sunshine.

In the afternoon I propose a bus trip to either the Chateau des Ravalets at Tourlaville, or to the little port of Le Becquet just along the coast to the east, from which much of the stone for the breakwater was transported.

On Sunday for those not needing to hurry back, or who don't wish to take up the invitation to the BBQ, there is always the walk up to the Fort du Roule, with its breathtaking views over the town and rade, or you might stroll along the road to visit the old Maritime Hospital and have a look at the Abbaye du Voeu, founded by Matilda, granddaughter of William the Conqueror. The name Chantereyne, for the port where the marina is, comes supposedly from a time when the queen, returning from one of her many visits to England, was caught in a storm; a sailor who climbed the mast was able to reassure the queen in the following words – ‘Chante, reine, car je vois la terre’!

Get the crew sorted (or just get the autohelm out) or find a boat to join, and be sure to be among those who see the Cotentin peninsula ahead of them next weekend! Contact Nick Munson for further details about who’s leaving when, etc., as I’m already (t)here.

Steve Fraser

Submitted on 9th June 2017