29 July 2012 | Bassin d'Arcachon
We are anchored in this beautiful bassin overlooking oysters growing and the beautiful views that surround us.
The journey today was long and fortunately uneventful. It took us 11 hours to cover the 70 mile journey, which included the navigation in and out of the river and bassin. Except for the 1st hour when we were in low water the swell was minimal today and the temperature comfortable (I did have 3 layers on though).
The coastline for the journey was featureless with a long straight sandy coast with dunes. Thisdid become a little boring as the journey continued. We had no choice though - the French coast line here has few marinas or anchorages due to the shallow waters. Most boats cut across to Spain earlier than we have and do a 30+ hour crossing. We were going to do this a few days ago and changed our minds due to the swell. Following our journey today we think we are the exception answer did not pass any boats after the first hour until we were within an hour from here. There are also an absence of British boats.
Tomorrow we will leave at 5.30am at 1st light to do the final journey to North Spain, hopefully arriving in or close to San Sebastian. The charts predict this to be about 84 miles which at 6 miles an hour will take about 14 hours so we hope to arrive before nightfall ( which is 10.15pm here). We are planning to stay there 2/3 nights to chill out before continuing along the coast.
We got up as planned this morning, I hadn't checked the time of the sunrise. I had expected this to be at 5.30am as previously however it wasn't until 6.45am. If we had waited until then the tide would have gone too far out for us to get out of Bassin safely. So we decided to go. We pulled anchor and set on our way reaching 9 knots over the ground. After 10 minutes though we couldn't see the marker buoys to sign post us out. Maurice headed the wrong side of a south cardinal buoy and the depth dropped quickly to 3m ( this is worrying when the boat must always have 2m due to the fin keel.) We quickly reversed back to higher water, and as there was still no light decided to go back to where had anchored which we knew was safe. This took a while as we were going against a very strong tide. We returned just as the sun started to rise and we returned to bed for a nap until 10am.
This afternoon we left an hour before high tide and are just emerging from the Bassin. Our journey will now be overnight hoping I reach San Sebatian around 8am local time tomorrow