Updated on 18 November 2020
Reading time: 4 minutes
With the click-clack of bobbing boat masts and the squawk of seagulls, the fishing harbour of Fécamp is the perfect departure point for a boat trip at sea. With my two boys, Marius and Octave, we embark on a tall ship sailing day aboard the Mil’Pat. Here’s the story of our wonderful outing.
Onboard the mil’pat
Ready to set sail on an incredible adventure, we spot the silhouette of the tall ship moored at the end of Quai Vauban, in Fécamp’s harbour. Overly excited, Octave’s eyes sparkle with awe “Wow, it looks like a pirate ship! “. Indeed, the sailing boat is impressive with it azure blue hull and its shining wooden masts. On board this former lobster fishing boat from Guilvinec in Brittany, we are greeted by Captain Asterix. With his moustache, his suspenders, his beret and his cheerful demeanour, he bears the perfect look of the mariner we had vaguely imagined.
Ready to cast off
On the deck, we get acquainted with the 3 professional sailors and the 8 other members of our ‘crew-for-a-day’. On our sailing tour, the experienced skippers Vincent, Lionel and Jean coordinate the guests crew with the intention that everybody works together to sail the ship. A few moments later, we feel the vessel in motion. The engine is running and the adventure into the big blue begins. Ahoy there!
a chance to steer the ship
Along the way, every member of the crew has a chance to try their hand at various onboard duties! Marius is called in the control cabin to take the helm after a few guidelines. What an amazing feeling it is for him to be at the helm, with his eyes fixed proudly on the horizon. From the cabin, the captain gathers us for the task of hoisting the mainsail to leave the harbour. At deck level, we start pulling away on the ropes and enjoy the sight of the sails propelling us through the water.
The cliffs of the Alabaster coast
Our sail out of the harbour gives us a beautiful panoramic view of the cliffs of the Alabaster Coast. What a dramatic landscape! We head towards Yport but the wind is a bit light. The training carries on in a very practical way: Captain Asterix requests Marius and Octave’s help to lift the brown sail located at the front of the boat to catch more of the wind’s awesome power and they start pulling the ropes together. All sails out!
Fishing from the boat
All the sails are out, the boat is slowly gliding through the water. The sea is calm and the conditions perfect for fishing! Vincent casts the fishing lines. After a few minutes, we detect a line movement. Vincent raises the rod in one continuous sweeping motion. It’s a catch! A set of three lively mackerels on the line at once, offered to Octave to take home with him. Exciting stuff for this little gourmet delighted to imagine these tasty, flavourful fish on his plate!
the charms of a traditional sailing boat
The sea is calm and we cruise under sail along the coast, feeling the wind in our hair and the spray of the sea on our skin, accompanied by the sound of water lapping the hull. This peaceful moment allows us to soak up the breathtaking views, relax on board, and immerse ourselves in the world of traditional sailing. The captain joins us on the deck and we all have a chance to really bond with the crew, sharing their passion for maritime heritage and telling shipboard life anecdotes as we head back smoothly to the harbour of Fécamp. An authentic experience of sailing that will definitely make this adventure an enduring memory!
Framed by the impressive white cliffs of the Alabaster Coast, this historic fishing town oozes authenticity and a way of life connected to the sea. Enjoy a sailing adventure onboard a tall ship from its lively harbour.
Tall ship sailing excursions
Quai Sadi Carnot, 76400 Fécamp
Duration: Excursions last two hours
Covid 19 information: Use of face masks is mandatory and all passengers must adhere tto onboard health and safety measures
All information subject to change
Available from April to the end of October
€16.50 (children aged 6-14)
Asterix is the captain of the Mil’Pat and knows the Alabaster Coast like the back of his hand! Embark on a two-hour boat excursion onboard this tall ship and travel back in time on an unforgettable sea adventure!