After embarkation had been completed, the armada aimed to concentrate in Balchik Bay, 15 miles (24km) north of Varna, but 'a strong breeze for several days' disrupted the programme. When Raglan arrived at Balchik on 5 September, St Arnaud had already left. Not until three days later did the two vessels carrying the French and British commanders meet at sea. By then the invasion fleet was strung out over an alarming distance.
That afternoon, an allied conference on board Ville de France, St Arnaud's ship, learnt that the French now favoured landing on the south coast of the Crimea at Kaffa, 100 miles (160km) east of Sevastopol and separated from it by mountainous terrain. Reconvened the following day on Caradoc, Raglan's steamer, the conference rejected Kaffa, but expressed unease about the proximity of the Katcha to Sevastopol, from which the enemy could quickly bring up troops and artillery.