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By Pete and Jan Halliday on Kasara

Our first HROA rally experience onboard Kasara (our new – to us “old” HR 36) was arriving in Fecamp at the start of this years rally.

Hot foot from Deauville, where we had just partaken in a sailing / golf event with our home yacht club (RSYC Hamble), we were greeted on the dock by none other than the Commodore himself to take our lines and offered a welcome cup of tea onboard Mingarry by Margie. One thing led to another and there followed a very jolly pontoon party in the sunshine where we met the six other HR boat owners and crews who had arrived before us.

The following day some of the hardy souls walked the fabulous Normandy coastline however, we decided to follow a tip off and set our sites on Etratat with Julian and Janet (HR342 – Hera) to visit Les Jardin D’Etretat.

We had all sorts of fun trying to get a bus or a train to Etretat, but finally hailed the only taxi in town for the 20 minute journey along the scenic coast.

The Jardin is a magical place on the Amont Cliffs, with an exceptional view over the famous “Needle” rock, which has been a favourite subject, painted on many occasions by famous artists including Monet. The gardens were developed by Madame Thebault, a close friend of Monet, and combine modern art and sculpture with topiary and creative planting – it is well worth a visit (photo attached).

After the gardens we walked down the cliffs to the town of Etratat for a delightful seafood lunch on the seafront in the warm sunshine, followed by some browsing in the shops for Normandy specialties such as Foie Gras, Calvados, Pate and other chocolate naughtiness whilst waiting for our lone taxi back to the marina.

That evening we were delighted to be presented with bottles of local cider by the harbour master, who could not do enough to welcome us to his home port. Fecamp offers a great marina facility for visiting yachts, accessible at all stages of tide, and a genuine safe haven.

A stroll along the promenade brought us nicely to a most enjoyable evening, first with drinks on the lovely terrace in the setting sunlight and then a 3 course dinner in the restaurant at Fecamp Casino.

Day 3 saw the fleet moving on to new horizons. An 07.00 start presented us with unexpected mist, but a fair tide to guide us in the direction of our next destination which was Ouistreham, arriving at around 14.00 in glorious sunshine (but very little wind).

Altogether Fecamp like many parts of coastal Normandy offered a delightful sailing destination with lots of lovely surprises. HROA received a very warm welcome from local dignitaries just as Kasara and her crew did from our new friends at HROA.

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