How deep is the night or a very long trip to Cherbourg

Our next stop should be Cherbourg in the very north of France. Since the time frame for the weather was not optimal to get to Cherbourg the next days we decided to do our next move on the 6th of September. The weather forecast supposed wind with 11-14 knots from the side and at the end of our trip it should be wind from the front.

We started our trip at 7:30 because it should take us 13 hours. The waves were short (every 3-4 sec with 0,8 mtrs) but with wind from the side it was not too bad.

We set all of our 3 sails and let the motors run too so that we had enough speed to move forward. In the afternoon we heard a sudden "beep" from one engine. Dieter saw on the display for the right engine that the loading of the battery had stopped.  What has happened? The next sign was the light of the cooling water went red. We stopped the engine because that was no good sign. Since Dieter didn't feel comfortable inside with the  movements of the waves Claudi had to check what was wrong with the motor.

When she looked at the engine it was very obvious that the V-belt was broken! The good thing was we had a second V-belt but how to repair it while the boat was swinging? We made several tries and in the end Dieter was the Mc Guywer who managed to put the V-belt in its right position.


With the tide turning against us and the procedure with the V-belt we lost 3 hours...

Nevertheless, we didn't give up and moved forward against the wind and the waves that came from the front and we moved with only 3 knots. We saw a beautiful sunset.

Overall it went slowly dark and it became night. We put our navigation lights on and had our first night trip which we hadn't planned like that. The wind freshed up to 24 knots against us. After 2 more hours the tide turned and was again on our side. Whitebird bumped over the waves like a speed boat with 8 knots. The water sometimes splashed over the upper deck to our cockpit. The lights of the lighthouse and the harbour of Cherbourg came closer very quickly. But in the end we were very lucky when the trip ended after 17,5 hours at 1 o'clock!!


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