THE SCUTTLEBUTT CHERBOURG CRUISE 2012 WILL TAKE PLACE ON THE WEEKEND 8/9th SEPT.
I thought I would post this as a reminder as it’s a bit earlier than usual this year to ensure it’s the best weekend in September with Neap Tides. I am sure many are currently finalising their 2012 sailing plans so now's the time to put these dates in your diary if you are interested.
For many its an annual event but a few words for those that have never attended one especially the X channel virgins that may be tempted.
We always pick a weekend with Neap tides so that the effect of the tide and the risk of wind over tide creating bigger waves is minimalized.
The Scuttlebutt Cherbourg trip has been going for some 11yrs. It has developed from a Saturday evening meal and wine at the Cherbourg YC to also include a Saturday afternoon boat/pontoon gathering for drinks and nibbles, I usually start the bar with a selection of wines/beers and nibbles which most also kindly bring further contributions. We bring labels on which you write your forum name so you can put a face to a poster and introduce yourselves.
I introduced the afternoon gathering to ensure the event became more inclusive and welcomed strangers otherwise there was a risk of just a few gatherings on individual boats for just the people that knew each other. I think this part has now become a great success and an essential part of the event as over the last 4 years we have been blessed by the Sun God with great weather. Last year we were joined by Magali Hamon from Cherbourg Marina and for 2012 she has offered to arrange for the local sailing/rowing club hall to be available for the afternoon get together if the weather gods are naughty this year.
After the evening meal a few do collect on a few boats and drink well into and for some through the night!! Let me here give my apologies to my hosts of last year for my quick departure when I realised at midnight that I was spouting/slurring even more rubbish than normal and combined with hiccups quickly decided it was time for my bed!!
Most go on the Friday and return on the Sunday but a few do extended stays. I have negotiated discounted berthing at Cherbourg that would also include any extended stay. In previous years a few have gone to St Vaast for Friday night but with inconvenient lock gate times my understanding is that those that went last year would have preferred an extra night in Cherbourg.
Just before the sailing date I collate a spreasdsheet and distribute it to participants but only to their personal e mails. This includes such info as you are happy to give but usually includes mobile number, departure port and likely time so that participants, especially newbees, can contact others and sail in company. The spreadsheet also enables some last minute ship jumpers if anyone has problems with their own boat before departure. Before my time I believe there was also a weekend where most gravitated to and sailed only on the bigger boats due to the weather.
We also run a thread for “crew available” and “crew wanted” as we try to fit in everyone who wants to go – this is also good if you want to do your 1st X channel with someone more experienced.
Fergus helps and he has already booked Cherbourg YC. We go for the Captains Menu. There are Vegi options. For the last few years there has been about 40-50 people.
For many it is also a final opportunity to stock up with cheap wine for the winter months. Normandy wines has a good selection of mainly French wines and many countries beers but there is also a branch of Majestic Wines in Cherbourg that has their normal new world selection (see Majestic France website). If you preorder (don't pay until you collect!) you can get a further discount from Majestic - we usually get another £90 off!! Last year I discovered a further advantage of pre-ordering when the cheap plonk was sold out they kindly let me have a much better and dearer wine at the cheaper price!
Final decision whether to sail is up to each skipper, no deposit so no loss if weather does turn bad and you cancel.
Final point in spite of some confusing advice spouted by some that want to exercise their rights as a UK citizen with the French Authorities I recommend following the RYA advice and take orginal ships registration document and passports. In 14 yrs of Xing channel I have only ever required them once by UK border agency just S of I of W but better to be safe IMHO!
Feel free to add your comments if I have missed anything or not properly described the flavour of the event. Your comments will also help keep this thread live. You never know we may get Richard Shead or Snooks to turn up one year.