Friday 30 June 2023

Back to Houat

After a gentle afternoon day of geriatric sailing on Wednesday (genoa only- very relaxing) in the Morbihan, we moored overnight tucked in by the SE tip of Isle aux Moines (sea temperature for our swim 20°! in the relative shallows of the Gulf of Morbihan).

Up with the tide this morning to exit the gulf and return to the island of Houat, one of our favourite places. 

Wednesday 28 June 2023

Tuesday 27 June 2023

Ancient Vannes

Vannes Marina Capitaine

The Vannes Capitainear seemed to love Tintin, and asked where is Milou? We introduced Snowy. Then he called us up on the VHF just as we were about to enter through the swing bridge, "Look, look, a boat called Captain 'Addock is just coming past! Amazing!!" He joined us for a smiley selfie.

Bridget has joined us as planned, off the train from London, fab to have her here

Into the Gulf of Morbihan

Swirly waters at the narrow entrance  to this inland sea shot us through with the flood tide at a rate of knots.
The Gulf is dotted with numerous islands, plenty to explore anon. But today's aim is to lock in to Vannes where the swing bridge and tidal gate only open for a couple of hours either side of high tide.

Turn left at the pink house, through the swing bridge when the lights go green, and up the narrow canal into the centre of Vannes.

A day ashore

Using Komoot we found cycling and running routes to explore, I headed on foot up river and Rob on wheels to Le Bono on the Gulf of Morbihan.

This is a place where the top racing skippers vye it out to get a super fast boat and the sponsorship that goes with it, then prove their mettle in the big global sailing races.

The pier alongside the huge trimarans is dedicated to their achievements.

There are also simpler traditional craft moored up by the sea wall.

Sunday 25 June 2023

Remembering Dad

Today would have been Dad's birthday.  He taught me how to sail, and love of the sea.
Here he is on his 80th birthday when he was here, on board Halcyon of Hebe,  in S Brittany 8 years ago.
Thanks for the photo Steve!

La Trinite sur Mer

Last night, anchored off Treac'h Salus, Houat, there were such bright stars and equally brilliant phosphorescence in the water. A very calm night, with a bright morning to follow. 

The westerly wind picked up to give us a wonderful reach in flat water across Quiberon Bay to La Trinite sur Mer. Here a forest of masts in the large marina confirms that sailing is very big here. Tintin is moored up next to some very fancy racing boats.

We have waved goodbye to Benj, it was great fun having him with us.

Saturday 24 June 2023

Benj's progress

In the space of just a few days Benj has learnt the ropes, and many new nautical terms, mastered key knots, helmed both upwind and down, and proved himself to be a dab deck hand and bottle washer. 
Thanks for joining us Benj!

Houat revisited

From one beautiful island to another.  Sailing upwind in calm seas and a gentle breeze to Houat was lovely. 

Friday 23 June 2023

Belle Isle by bike

A Welsh monk came to Belle Isle a long time ago. This well named little island, 10 by 5 miles, has a few Welsh place names. Today we cycled to Bangor, of all places!  It was a perfect expediton for a hot day with little wind, stopping to swim at a cove en route.
We came across a few huge menhirs which have stood for centuries. 

Thursday 22 June 2023

Goose winged

Mum, this one's for you xxx

Goose winged

Mum. This one's for you xxx

Downwind with dolphins

From Glenan to Belle Isle. A beautiful day, a gentle breeze,  the cruising chute up, and dolphins on the bow

Wednesday 21 June 2023

To the Glenans

PS and a wonderful red subnset for the longest day of the year

Out to the Isles de Glenan

Late last night we were joined by Benjamin Chesser. It is great to have him with us.
Tintin was carried back down the Odet with the powerful morning ebb tide, from sunshine through a drenching rain shower then sun again. 
Out in the bay we had a gentle sail 10 miles south to the Glenan Islands. 
Low lying, with white sandy beaches, there's a similar feel to the Scillies. As the tide comes up many beaches and sand spits disappear and it feels much more watery.
Today there was hardly any wind for the sailing school kids so a lot of beach Olympics went on.

Tuesday 20 June 2023

Up the River Odet

Last night's anchorage a mile upstream from Benodet in Englishman's Cove was beautiful. Very calm and peaceful with trees crowding to the water's edge at high tide and birdsong echoing around.

We topped up the food supplies in Benodet and enjoyed meeting up with Little Dove from Salcombe. On the afternoon's flood tide we crept up the River Odet past several grand châteaux, through a steep sided wooded gorge and an open lake, up to Quimper.

Onwards to South Brittany

On Monday we made the 60 mile trip from Camaret to Benodet. There was a little breeze, but on the nose - so we had help from the engine again so that we reached the notorious Raz du Sein at slack water, midday. 

All very easy, some dolphins to say hi to, then round the corner towards Pointe du Penmarch. Tintin's log showed 25,000 nautical miles since she was launched in 2016. Some distance!

Some amazing clouds, patches of sun and rain, and eventually a fair breeze for the final few miles into Benodet. 

Boat maintenance in exotic locations

...One definition of cruising!

Camaret proved no exception. We had repaired a hole in one of the water tanks when we arrived in Roscoff. Filling the tank in Camaret, once our epoxy repair work had hardened off, we were dismayed to discover another new hole and yet another soon to be hole! Approx 1cm round holes in the water tank all along the same horizontal level, 4 in all. Maybe a faulty weld?

We had a chance to finesse the repair technique,  making a little iced gem out of epoxy on a rubber disc, and pushing it into the hole. 

I hope next time we fill the tank it will hold up well!

Sunday 18 June 2023

Chenal du Four to Camaret

Today's treat was that we could see where we were going! A straightforward motor through the Chenal du Four with the tide brought us to Camaret, just south of Brest on the Western edge of Brittany.
Rain that annouced our arrival cleared in the afternoon. The colours changed from grey sky and grey sea and dull land to bright blue skies and sparling blue water, green fields and trees, and a colourful waterfront at Camaret like Tobermory.

It was proper summer holiday weather, a swim at the beach and ice cream : )
And a happy Father's Day for Rob.

Finally this evening the promise of some sailing arrived, a breeze from the south setting ensigns and courtesy flags fluttering and halyards tinging on neighbouring boats.

A foggy quiet day

Thick fog again this morning and not a breath of wind. We crept out of our  anchorage dodging fishing pot buoys and turned west to follow the coast round to L'Aber Benoit, 30 miles away. 

Under motor we went slowly as the visibility was down to just a boat- length. We used the fog horn to let anyone out there know we were coming! And heard a reply from a yacht just 1/4 mile away, who we picked up with radar and AIS but never saw. Luckily we saw no more fishing pots in our path.

A glimpse of the French coast after 3 hours was reassuring. As we made our way in to L'Aber Benoit the fog lifted and we could breathe more easily, able to see both the scattered rocky islets and the beacons, then the channel markers, the sandy beaches and a welcoming mooring buoy.

A sunny and beautiful evening again, followed an afternoon spent messing about on the river. 

Saturday 17 June 2023

Roscoff and Isle de Batz

Customs formalities done (notwithstanding slightly bemused comment from the Douanes gendarmes re the yellow duster being used as our Q flag) and boat maintenance done (leak in water tank addressed) and chatting to friendly marina neighbours done (who had sailed with Boreal Coyote, with Parisienne hotelier Michel who we met in a Norwegian fjord 5 years ago) it was time for birthday lunch in Roscoff. 
The most delicious onion tart ever at Le Local followed by a visit to a chocolaterie, a real treat!
We then slipped away bound for Port Retter, Isle De Batz. Fog made for an interesting arrival but once our nose was in the bay, it cleared. We had a very peaceful evening, swim, supper and then ashore at 10:30pm for a stunning sunset over the western of the island. 
The Isle de Batz lighthouse swept its beam round above us all night.

Friday 16 June 2023

Off to Brittany

It was a quiet crossing yesterday from Salcombe to Roscoff, with blue skies almost all the way. Isle de Batz, off Roscoff, only revealed itself through the haze when we were a few miles off. Then the solid friendly beacons of the French coast fell into place and led us in past rocky islets to the marina. Arriving at low tide (the range here is several metres) the harbour walls look colossal.

Tintin's engine had a good warm up to start the season and didn't miss a beat. We hope for more wind in due course but the settled calm weather will allow us to explore the islands along this coast more.

Today, birthday lunch in Roscoff