On this page

A straightforward, day to day account of what we have done during the current year's cruise. What we found may help others. I hope that anyone interested in the area will cherry pick rather than trying to read from start to finish.

Our boat is a Hallberg Rassy 34, Anhinga. This year it is crewed by Frank and Jennifer Singleton, Home port is Darthaven, Kingswear opposite Dartmouth

Plans for 2017

With advancing age we have decided that La Rochelle/Ile d’Oléron is our limit. Much as we love Northern Spain and the Rias we think that these are really beyond our comfort zone. This year will be similar to the previous three years so I will try to say little and keep this log more as a note of where we have been rather than detailed descriptions.

Our daughter, Jayne and family hope to come out to see us at some stage. We may see other family members.

Ports of call

A shakedown sail
St Peter Port

The Yealm and back. 20 April/1 May. 60 miles.

Two very windy sails with winds up to F7 intended to give son-in-law Andy some sailing experience. Also to test the new auto-helm. Being on medication for a health problem the poor las was sick on the way out so Jayne came on return.

To St Peter Port. 7/8 May. 70 miles.

As ever an interesting trip. Andy came with us to get more experience. Timing of departure was determined partly by his flight booking back to Exeter and his need to get 4 hours’ night experience. We managed both. Departure from the berth was 2315.

Getting off was a problem as the first reef jammed and the main would not go up. That delayed us as we circled in the river for ½ hour or so. I was getting twitchy thinking about tides and flight times although we had plenty of leeway. We finally left the river with a nice wind and clear skies under a full moon. Then the wind dropped and we had to motor for 1 ½ hours. Then it came in as expected from the NE but soon increased to an unexpected 2 reef job as we approached to shipping lanes.

We saw several dolphins and could still see Start Point light from mid-Chanel and ships many miles off. Several fishing boats were quite close but no problems. The west bound lane was OK. All fairly well separated, only one close encounter. The second lane was more congested and needed careful watching on the AIS display. The final ship was likely to be so close that I called him up and assured him that we would pass astern.

Unfortunately, winds were a couple of forces stronger than expected and he did not enjoy the second half. A great pity as he is very keen and did learn a great deal. He recovered when north of Guernsey and watched all the various marks as they flashed by.

Today is Liberation Day and there are market stalls with the awful smell of food being cooked en masse. There is even a small RN patrol boat in the marina.

Briefly we met Denny, off Misty Blue on his way to Lézardrieux. Another pleasure was to meet John and Chris Twigg on Goshawk.

Wisely Denny decided to leave early on the 11th. We chickened out because of the risk of thunderstorms. A bad mistake.

To Lézardrieux, 11 May, 58 miles

This was a Hobson’s choice as the next possible window was some days off and doubtful at that. Winds were very uncertain. There were two possibilities: St Cast about 50 miles SSE or Lézardrieux about the same to SSW. We hoped for the latter.

Leaving St Peter Port at about 10.00 , it looked like St Cart. Then, about three hours out, Jersey Radio issued a strong wind warning – SF F6 later. I guessed that was to be after midnight butt could not be sure. It suggested a strengthening SE’ly. At 1345 we heard the full Jersey forecast. Variable but becoming SE 1-3, stronger after midnight. Definitely not good for St Cast.

Four options. Back to St PP; head for St Helier, neither attractive. Bash on hoping for not too strong winds to St Cast or head off about the same distance to Lézardrieux. A S’ly would help and it was the same distance as St Cast. A no brainier. It was a long motor sail. We berthed on the mid river pontoon for the night.

Moral – if you have the chance take it.

At Lézardrieux.

The marina gave us a berth in the bassin a flot, always nice and quiet if a little remote from other sailors. Again briefly we met up with Denny – this time with Julie. No doubt our wakes will cross later.

Not sure when we will leave. We like it here and favourable winds seem in short supply.

May 20th. Watching forecasts, GRIB and Météo France it has become obvious that the 21st is a one day window. We moved out of the wet basin for an early start at daybreak. We will have to buck the tide across the baises de lannion and Morlaix but hope for enough wind and that the not too strong tide will help. tide. The alternative is to descend the Trieux in the dark.

To Roscoff. 21st May. 45 miles

Left the berth at first light, 0545, got to La Moisie with only 4 hours of west going tide instead of our usual 6 for this passage but it worked well. It was a neap tide but we had the strongest tide just where we wanted it – around Les Heaux de Bréhat. The wind was a F3-4 SE which gave us enough speed to round Bar ar Gall westerly cardinal into the baie de Lannion still with the ebb tide. Currents are not strong across this bay. Even across the baie de Morlaix we only had ½ knot foul tide. We arrived at Roscoff at 1345. 8 hours is about par for this passage.

For the third time this year we arrived just as Misty Blue was about to depart. One day we will get lucky and be able to have a drink with Denny and Julie.

At Roscoff

We have decided to wait here to meet up with our old friends Ross and wei Wei with their two delightful girls. Near catastrophe when we had a blockage in the heads sea water intake. After much fiddling around – even considering asking a dicer to go down to clear the seacock, we eventually managed to poke a flexible tube down to loosen the problem and the blew it away with the dinghy pump. A day’s work but it saved a lot of money.

Work on the seacock prevented a visit to Morlaix on the Tuesday. Wednesday is market day in Roscoff so Thursday was the day - until the bus never arrived. We had overlooked some very small print in the timetable. It was Ascension Day!

Return to Home Page