As a part of preparation for the next year’s cruise Luigi and me set out to the Northern France, to seek the best wintering marina.
12 – 13 October 2013
After arrival in Paris Beauvais we rented a car and traveled few hours to the Boulogne-sur-Mer. First place was very cheap. Aside the fact it was a big fishing and commercial harbor, we found more important reason later – the drydock (area for storing boats on ground) looked completely abandoned. We really saw ourselves returning to a looted hull in the spring, so we quickly rejected Boulogne and started a southward route along the coast.
Next place to see was a famous port of Dieppe. This place was exceptionally beautiful. A big tidal marina in the bay enclosed by town and white cliffs with church on top. If we were choosing by heart, we would take this place. But the price was high, ambience was not so quiet (well, it’s in the city center) and finally, we agreed that for a long term stay it’s better to stay behind a lock.
We took a coffee and moved to Ouisterham, where we stayed for night. In the evening we took a taster how French cuisine looks like, and discussed what we have seen.
Early in the morning we set out to see the local marina. Between the town and marina were two narrow car bridges over the channel. We waited a while for lock to close, and then proceeded to a very quiet, tidy and safe marina. We fell in love to this place immediately.
But we hadn’t stopped and followed the channel from Ouisterham to Caen, to see local town marina. It was exactly what we expected – town marina with all the town rush going around.. No way. We even didn’t look for the office and continued towards Cherbourg. On the way we stopped in a nice place in the middle of Parc Naturel Régional des Marais du Cotentin et du Bessin, in marina of Carentan.
Carentan was also very quiet, but little more problematic than Ouistreham. There was a poor security, because all piers were open to public. The sea was reachable after 1 hour of navigation through the channel, possible to go just 5 hrs twice a day around the high water. And it was in the middle of marches.
The last port we managed to visit was Cherbourg. Its enormous marina haven’t engaged our attention at all. We took a dinner and returned back to Paris to catch flight in the next morning. In two days we made more than 1 000 km, we saw various types of ports and tasted the flavour of Northern France.
Now we must check out if we can get up to there – there’s quite a bit of water ahead of us.