Guess what ! We are not there yet. After spending 3 hours in Grand Russell, we finally cleared Serk and headed for the infamous "Raz Blanchard" between Cape of La Hague and Alderney. We had to go motoring with head wind but tail current. We ended up in a very turbulent area with waves more than 12 feet high and seas throwing us all over the place. Since morning, I had been fearing that all this very brutal movements will stir up the fuel tank to the point that some algae of other solid material will block the intake of the fuel lines. And that's exactly what happened, and I was not going to go into the engine room and clean the filters with the way the boat was moving. So I switched on the pump that Mike had installed as an inboard fuel polishing system, but with the added advantage that the pump could help push the fuel to the engine. And the engine restarted and was able to keep running at 1500 rpm. What happened next was of course that the wind would disappear to 4 knots from 20. At that point we had 6 miles to go the the entrance of Cherbourg, and we started watching nervously the distance left. As we were almost there, we heard on the VHF a strong wind advisory from the french Coast Guard.
We eventually made it to the fuel dock around midnight and the weather forecast made it obvious that we were not going to be able to leave on Saturday but only on Sunday.
On Saturday, I made a trip in the engine room to change the fuel filters, found out that the valve to the 1/2 inch line was half closed and the 1/4 inch line was blocked. We cleared all that and were able to move to a regular slip after fuelling.
At this point, we hope to leave today Sunday June 10th at 7:00 p.m., which is the earliest that the tide will allow us. It alo mean that we will be late going up the river Seine and will probably not arrive in Rouen before 7 or 8 p.m. on Monday.
Therefore there will be another blog.