I first made the trip to Port Chanteryne in 1978 having a long summer holiday after my ‘O’ Levels which my dad decided to fill with an overnight crossing from Lymington to Cherbourg in our 26 foot Snapdragon ‘Dark Sapphire’. Unfortunately dad had to stay in the local hospital due to housemaid’s knee which he probably brought on by kneeling on the pontoon. I was 16 and left in the marina alone but a kind man at the marina offered to take me home and I naively told my mother at which she went into panic mode and phoned my dad’s company who had an office in Cherbourg. Upshot was, a total stranger arrived at the boat saying he was taking me home!! The frenchman was a genuine family man and I am sure no harm would have befallen me. I apparently questioned the Lloyd’s surveyor for some time before I would leave with him. Poor mum!
The marina is very easy to access at all states of the tide and there are visitor’s pontoons to port as you enter. The pontoons are quite short but friends with 42 foot boats are able to slot in and larger boats use the hammerheads or raft up. We use the floating pontoon which is virtually in front of you as you enter the marina, as it is usually empty and it saves rafting. It costs the same as the attached pontoons though and the marina staff will visit in their dinghy for payment, saving the trip ashore. Power and water are included.
We joined the BOA Rally to Cherboug in June 2009 and had a peaceful crossing – no wind in fact on the outward trip. Last minute we had 4 extra crew from another rally boat which had technical issues. They were a joy to have onboard and we all had a great weekend.
We crossed the Channel twice more last summer just for the fun of it. Our friends Jan and Dave came along in August and again we had a wonderful time.
Just having a Friday evening and all day Saturday makes it feel like a holiday. On our return to Haslar we saw a beautiful ship with an equally lovely sunset behind her.
The last time we were in Cherbourg was just prior to crossing Biscay and it was a test run for our new crew followed by an overnight passage to Falmouth. We spent 2 nights there in June 2011 which cost 92 euros and had a lovely meal in the marina restaurant which overlooks the marina.