Monday 17 July 2023

Falmouth to Salcombe

The best sail of our trip! Downwind with the stingray (double headsail) in rolling seas, Tintin surfing at 10-12 knots, it didn't take long to cover the 50 miles back home to mooring 262.

Dinner with Mum at Ferry Hill after the men's singles final. A good end to the most relaxing cruising holiday ever. 

Saturday 15 July 2023

Gales one and two

After Friday morning's gale abated we shot across to Falmouth under genoa only, making 7 knots (not bad for Tintin). Boat saucepan bread made expertly by Richard enjoyed by us all.

Saturday, gale no 2. Gail and Richard headed home by train and we had a great catch up with Simon and Trudy Loveridge in Falmouth.

Tomorrow,  to Salcombe

Over the channel, Thursday 13th

A steady westerly gave us a great reach north from Camaret, through the Chenal du Four and on over the channel to Cornwall.  19 hours for 118 miles. We needed to keep a minimum speed of 6 knots to make it across before the imminent southerly gale, and with the help of the engine, we did.

Dolphins playing at the bow in the red and green of the navigation lights welcomed us past the Lizard and on into the Helford. We crept up river in the dark and anchored off Tremayne Quay.

This morning it's doing what it said. Blowing old boots and wet, but we are snug and very sheltered.

Thursday 13 July 2023

New crew

Gail and Richard arrived in Brest to join us. We beat west through the Goulet de Brest in a lovely fresh breeze, and eased off down to Camaret. Out for crepes for dinner!

An early start tomorrow,  to catch the tide north through the Chenal du Four, and then across the channel to Cornwall.

Tuesday 11 July 2023

Progress back up the Brittany coast

Plans for crossing the channel in the next few days are evolving as the weather forecast changes 


Sailing all the way today, perfect wind - out of Douarnenez Bay, around Cap de la Chevre, past Camaret and up the Ras de Brest.

Today's picture a painting from Brest Museum of Fine Arts, a scene from Brest in the 1920s

Monday 10 July 2023

A day in Douarnenez

A coast path run, and old sardine fishing boats seen in action. Did you know Douarnanez suffered from several sardine crises? 

Sunday 9 July 2023

Further north

The best day of sailing we have had yet, with the wind on our beam - first NW to Raz de Sein then NE to Douarnenez. It was a joy

Saturday 8 July 2023

Saint Cadou to Sainte Evette

From the peaceful river anchorage of St Cadou, to Ste Evette, anchored off the beach. It's a bit rolly here due to big swell from a distant storm. A (rainy) front passed through first thing with the pressure rising since. Not quite enough wind to sail today, and big swell of 3-4m off Pt du Penmarch. Lots of busy dolphins out and about, and a basking shark looking so so lazy.

Friday 7 July 2023

Quimper delivery, then Anse de St Cadou

We almost missed the narrow entrance to this creek, but squeaked in shortly before low water. It's like our own little private pool

North to the River Odet

A gentle southerly in the morning, perfect for the cruising chute, gybing our way back to Benodet and up river to the Anse du Combrit. Bridget's last evening on Tintin.

Wednesday 5 July 2023

Back to the Glenan Islands

Settled weather = go to the Glenans

To Baie de la Foret

Under a grey sky today, 30 miles close hauled to the NW to Baie de La Foret. We had a close encounter (but not too close!) with one of the foiling 40s en route.

The weather front passed to give a beautiful still evening at anchor 

Monday 3 July 2023

English conversation class and the submarine pens of L'Orient

A knock on the hull yesterday afternoon,  Eric introduced himself
He teaches English and asked if we'd be happy to have conversation with some of his students in the morning at the port's cafe.

Here we are: Philippe (magician and hynotist) Danny (retired weights and measures man) and Corinne (dog trainer). We had a very happy hour chatting. New friends!

Eric kindly gave us a lift into L'Orient. We spent the day exploring the massive 2nd WW submarine pens, a tour of a 1956 sub, and looking at more super fast fancy round the world racing yachts

Upwind to Port Louis

We left peaceful Etel under the guidance of the pilot, back out safely over the bar. Had a great sail up to L'Orient and tucked in at the marina behind Port Louis' impressive citadel.

Bridget made friends with a lovely old labrador in Etel, reminding us of Rhum

Saturday 1 July 2023

View out towards Etel Semaphore Station

Heading west

Soon after dawn we left Houat behind and sailed for Etel, a town on the River Etel just north of Quiberon peninsula. 

It was the best sail we have had yet, with a good breeze and dolphins on the bow once more. 
Time for a reef in the main and oilies on when it freshened further and the skies turned grey.

To cross the Barre d'Etel, a sandbar that notoriously changes day by day, you have to get the tide right, have the wind in the right direction,  have clear visibility and a working VHF radio to make contact with the Etel pilot. The pilot is stationed at Etel's semaphore station. With a combination of verbal directions and indications from the arrow on the semaphore tower if needed, you are guided in over the shallows.

It was great to hear the pilot's voice who gave us clear directions: steer for the 10 degrees to for the red post....and we flew in with the flood tide!

All peace and tranquility once in the estuary. Etel is a cheerful little town that once was a major tuna fishing port. Now it farms oysters, and is a perfect place for wing foiling, kite surfing and wind surfing.