Captains Blog 7, It’s getting serious!

26th June 2018

It’s 5 in the morning and time to ship anchor and head off to Guernsey. We leave Salcombe, waving and saluting the jeering cheering crowds assembled to witness the Grand Depart. In fairness the assembled crowds were not up to much although we did wave at a passing fishing boat. And they waved back!

It wasn’t long before we had both sails up and making great progress, watching the UK slowly disappear. We averaged 5 knots for just over 45 miles and then motor sailed increasingly into the wind. As we came around the top of Guernsey, we entered wet zorb world!! (imagine a cork bobbing about in the bowl of a flushed toilet). When things settled after about 30 minutes we were fighting an outgoing tide and if we were making 1 knot I’d be amazed.

Eventually we entered St Peter Port on Guernsey. Fab location but for the swell that left us pitching for around 2/3 hours either side of high tide. Guernsey has some stunning coastline and beaches and the first mate and I really enjoyed it. Maybe not a good place for cyclists though! The islands motorists were keen to offer advice as we cycled around the coast.  ‘Get off the muckin (they obviously meant mucky) road’, they cried ‘and ride on the pavement, that’s what it’s there for!!’ It’s nice when folk feel responsible for your health and welfare.

After 4 days we set out for Jersey. All good to start, but usual the wind built as we neared Jersey and we were hit with 30 mph winds for around 5 miles. We entered the marina in Jersey and immediately rafted against the most stunning Swedish Halberg Rasey. It was a beautiful boat with and wonderful crew who we had the pleasure of spending a couple of evenings with. Kalle, Johanne and David had sailed from Sweden to Sicily where they’d spent last winter and were in the process of making their way home. Have to say though, had a sod of a game getting Kalle to pronounce Skӧvde correctly! He never did grasp it.

We didn’t see as much of Jersey as we’d have liked although we did manage to break into impregnable fort that guards the approach. Disappointingly we didn’t see Bergerac. I guess he must have retired on a hefty Jersey Police pension and be somewhere on his mega yacht.

Anyhow, after 4 nights we set off and hit the French coast. Zut alors! We made it. We snuck into Lézardieux under the cover of daylight, then out the following day without being collared by the Capitainere for payment! This is gonna be a doddle first mate.

Next stop Trébeurden. We arrived early and had to moor on a bouy outside the marina until just gone 8 when we’d have enough clearance to get over the sill. We moored up next to a sporty looking number with a carbon fibre mast. Once we’d secured Gianti, Robert appeared from the companionway of the sporty yacht and said “terribly sorry, I’d have given you a hand with the ropes but unfortunately I was otherwise disposed”. He registered a 10 on the poshometer, reminding me of Leslie Philips or Terry Thomas playing a cad in an old black and white film. He was everything you’d expect the first mate to dislike in a fella, but she couldn’t help being charmed. Shame he didn’t say “ding dong” though. The surrounding coastline here was stunning, being made up of pink granite (much like home) with some great walking.

From there we moved to Roscoff. Small and charming, much like the first mate, other than the charming bit perhaps. We spent a couple of nights in the nearly new marina, leaving just before 7 in the morning on the third day and motored all the way to L’Aber Wrac’h. The journey would have been fairly dull, were it not for the two Dolphins that joined us for a play. They were incredible and there is some footage of them swimming alongside, so have a look if you’ve not already seen it.

Funny place L’Aber Wrac’h. Stacks of folk sailing but not much to the place itself. Anyway, we were waiting for the right conditions to sail through the Chanel du Four and a few days later passed through without incident, to arrive at Camaret. It was the very day that France were playing Croatia in the world cup final. Let’s hope they don’t win otherwise things could get messy!!

There was no room at the marina despite being told there was, so we unceremoniously imposed ourselves on the lovely couple that were in the process of mooring their boat Caerulea and rafted up alongside. They were a couple of tooled up lawyers from Kent, who helped get me out of a pickle a couple of days later by supplying me with an oil filter wrench (that worked). Shortly after we’d secured, another boat with an ensign pulled alongside. “do you mind, we’re only little” came the cry and so it was that we had the big boat from the south, next to the medium boat from the midlands and then the small (but mighty) boat from Yorkshire.

We all had a great night’s entertainment, courtesy of Pat and Deb, eating drinking and making merry, while France hammered Croatia at the world cup final, so everyone was happy.

After a couple of days it was time to face the mighty Raz de Sein. We weren’t the only ones ready to tackle it, Andrew and Gill from Allegress were also going on the same day. They left about 30 minutes before us and having said goodbye to Pat and Deb, we set off knowing that we needed to reach the Raz around low water. We passed through the Raz at exactly the same time as Andrew and Gill (nothing untoward to report) and both headed for the next stop, Audierne.

Audierne, now there’s a tight harbour to access. Nope, its not happening tonight so we’ll anchor and head in tomorrow near high water. Another very rolly night, while Allegress had a tranquil night moored up in the harbour. We moored just in front of Allegress the following morning and spent a lovely few days walking. When I say walking, it mainly consisted of going to the supermarket (500 French metres away, which is about 3 times as far as standard metres) buying 20 litres of diesel and carrying back on my shoulder x 2.

The evenings were spent with Andrew and Gill who we had a great time with and the next stage of our travels say us both head off to Bénodet. First mate had organised the delivery of batteries and a new solar panel, after one of the original ones caught fire in Tréburden. Slight scorch mark on the bimini but okay apart from that. So, we’d be in Bénodet until everything had been delivered.

It was a thriving little place with some lovely beaches and walking. To top it off, the lovely town of Quimper (Kemper) was only a 30 minute bus ride away and well worth a visit. The bonus was that after a night moored up on the river, Andrew and Gill came to stay at the same Marina. Even better, a few days later we were joined by Pat and Deb, so we started to feel that we’d all be heading south for the foreseeable. More great nights were had, but things came to an end when Andrew and Gill set off for La Trineté, followed by us a few days later after having received all items ordered.

Port Louis was next stop. Having fitted the two new leisure batteries it would be useful to see how they performed. Terrible, complete disaster. The navigational world fell apart with alarms going left right and centre shortly after we’d arrived. Batteries were showing all kinds of weird and freaky readings. It was a long night, much like this long blog so I’m going to stop before you’re bored completely rigid.

I’ll report back on the cause of the problem next time, when I’ll endeavour to get everything fully up to date.

Au revoir for now.

3 Replies to “Captains Blog 7, It’s getting serious!”

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