Sail on the Seine

This was my first time out this year, and I have wanted for some time to try the tidal part of the Seine. I launched from the slipway next to the sailing club of Hénouville. The tide was going out, and I had little time for a sail, so it meant going out against the current to make sure I could get back in with the current. The Seine is not to be underestimated, especially the tidal part downstream from the lock of Poses, even though the present engineered banks of the great river have done away with Le Mascaret. Upstream from Poses, the Seine is controlled by locks and is slow flowing, and it meanders its way to Paris and beyond. It is still navigable to river barges. On the tidal stretch, there is the current (fluvial and tidal), so you need a good wind to beat it or an engine. Secondly, big ships sail up the Seine between Le Havre and Rouen. One needs to be careful and be ready to face the bow wave wash from the ship. Here I had just finished rigging Sarum.

seine_tidal01Today is a beautiful sunny day, but the north-east wind is still quite cold. I was OK with my wellies and my sailor’s vareuse over my life jacket.

Here’s my trusty Sarum, launched and ready to go.

seine_tidal02Looking south in the direction of where I was going.

seine_tidal03One very big cargo ship, going slowly but still not to be underestimated.

seine_tidal04One of the port channel buoys with a south cardinal marker. I don’t need much depth but the ships do.

seine_tidal05You can just about pick out the ship on its way to Le Havre.


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