Travel with Taransay Mhor

In 2015 we have cruised slowly from North Brittany down to South Brittany and beyond.

16 September 2015 | South Brittany
23 August 2015 | South Brittany, France
20 August 2015 | South Brittany, France
18 August 2015 | River Etel, South Brittany, France
16 August 2015 | South Brittany, France
12 August 2015 | River Laita, South Brittany, France
04 August 2015 | Brittany, France
13 July 2015 | Vannes, Gulfe de Morbihan Brittany
13 July 2015 | Ile aux moines, Gulfe de Morbihan, Brittany
13 July 2015 | Ile d'Arz, Gulfe de Morbihan, Brittany
13 July 2015 | Anse de Pencastel
05 July 2015 | La Roche Bernard, Villaine River, Brittany
04 July 2015 | River Villaine, Brittany, France
04 July 2015 | Penerf River
03 July 2015 | Piric Sur Mer, Loire Atlantique, France
03 July 2015 | Les Sables d'Olonne, Quai Garnier
03 July 2015 | La Rochelle, Charante Maritime, France

Winter lay up

16 September 2015 | South Brittany
Colin finds a new way to buy a baguette

The end of the cruising year is fast approaching, in fact we fly back to the UK next week. Summer has given way to autumn gales and rain although it is still lovely and warm here.

Taransay will be safe in her berth for an indefinite period as Colin will be looking for permanent work, he still has a passion for construction and is finding it too hard to give up his career.

Have a fantastic winter season yourself and we hope see you again sometime.

Port Haliguen, Quiberon Peninsula

23 August 2015 | South Brittany, France
Stormy weather at sea

A few days of windy and wet weather were in the forecast. Port Haliguen fitted the bill for shelter so we installed ourselves here for a while. Later in the week we will go and anchor in the Gulfe de Morbihan, taking advantage of the warm weather while it lasts.

Must be able to use our BBQ a few more times before the end of the season.

Sauzon, Belle Ile

20 August 2015 | South Brittany, France
Sauzon, the anchorage is beyond the harbour wall

From the River Etel it was a light wind passage of 20 miles to Sauzon on another of Brittany's Islands, Belle Ile. Mooring options were rafted 'a couple' on two trots, midwater inside the harbour or tucked in a cove outside on an individual buoy or anchored. There seemed little difference in comfort between the Buoys (€23) and anchoring for free.

We took the dinghy ashore next morning and bumped into the crew of Beryl Grey who we first met on Noirmoutier in June. That evening we enjoyed a glass of wine aboard their ketch swapping tales of the last two months.

More photos of Etel, and our time on Ile de Groix and Belle Ile in the gallery

River Etel

18 August 2015 | River Etel, South Brittany, France
The Etel has a reputation for fast flowing currents and sandbars, however it was less heart stopping than Guidel on the River laita

For a guide to the River Etel's entrance we contacted the only female pilot in France. The Etel pilot role has stayed in the family for many years, Madame Pene took over from her husband 30 years ago and today we heard her daughter directing boats over the VHF.

An hour before High Water we presented ourselves to seaward of the bar behind a French flagged boat that was entering. On VHF Chanel 13 we identified ourselves. So far so good we thought following behind.

Shortly after the French boat stopped to drop their sails, making us the leading boat. Fortunately we could understand Madame and she could understand us. The river was flowing fast but the channel was straight and it was not difficult to follow Madam's instructions, which were mostly "toujours tout droit, comme ca".

When we arrived off the marina a rib came out and directed us to a berth on the long visitor's pontoon outside the marina. Our two night stay was very enjoyable, the town was small with several cafes, restaurants and a small Carrefour. We didn't get to visit the museum that celebrates the tuna fishing heritage of Etel. Another time perhaps.

Ile de Groix Port Tudy

16 August 2015 | South Brittany, France
Room for one more in front and I am not joking!

There was no wind for the 10 mile hop over to Ile de Groix, we had deliberately chosen quiet weather for our first visit as, reportedly, it can be subject to swell. In the outer harbour are three rows of trots, the harbour rib directed us through a gap in the front row of boats the size of a postage stamp to raft on the back row. By the time dusk fell there were 22 yachts stretching across the harbour on the back row and the same again on the front row. We were jam packed in like sardines in a tin, which was a lot of fun on a calm night.

Fellow OCC members from S/V Ruffian stopped to say hello and came by later for a sundowner. Next day we convened ashore and hired bicycles to go exploring. The weather was beautiful, Ian & Fiona had remembered to bring lunch and kindly shared it after our plan to pick up lunch failed. Groix is not over developed in this respect which added to our enjoyment but could have left us hungry. I know Colin would not have persuaded me to cycle the whole island in one day but I thoroughly enjoyed myself even though by the end of the day my dodgy toe was playing up.

Miraculously the toe was perfectly ok to take a trip over to Ruffian that evening where we had another fabulous evening and were introduced to Canned Duck Thighs, delicious and noted to go in the ships stores

Guidel and the disappearing channel

12 August 2015 | River Laita, South Brittany, France
The access to Guidel is mostly sand at low water

Guidel is a lovely quiet marina on the River Laita, we came to check out the recently completed marina extension. So recently completed was it that the electricity was not connected and the piles are bare of signage. The channel up to the marina changes regularly but you can call the capitanerie for a pilot to show the way.
Heart in mouth and less than 0.5m under the keel at times we felt it wise to follow the capitan's orange rib. Our reward was a peaceful stay in the small and charming marina.
Briefly info on the port; Max in marina 5 berths 12m long, draft 1.8m. Depth at CM between D and E pontoon 1m. Super U 5km on No. 60 bus from the port. 2 cycles available free, 1 shower 1 wc, no wifi yet but we did pick up the free Pays de Quimperle connection from Le Pouldu with our wifi extender. Several restaurants, a sandy beach and shady walks along the river banks.
More photos in the gallery

Baie de Quiberon to Lorient

04 August 2015 | Brittany, France
Colin in La Trinite

Over the last three weeks we have anchored some more and used the Latitude Morbihan pass for some free berths in Crouesty, La Trinite and Port Haliguen, just outside the Gulfe de Morbihan, in the Baie de Quiberon area. Then we sailed a massive 30 miles north to Lorient to visit the fab pizza in Il Pirata at Port Louis, Lorient City Centre Marina and Locmequelic.

After a contretemps between my little toe and the saloon table leg I thought I had fractured a little bone in there. But after 4 days of me limping about dramatically we think it might have been a dislocation. After a big popping noise from the foot when the boat rocked me off balance it all felt dramatically better and I was walking as normal as I ever will.

Later this week we are off to explore The Blavet River and maybe we will see some of the Interceltique Festival. This sounds like a big event and we are not sure about berthing, nothing ventured as they say.

Anchored in the Gulfe de Morbihan

18 July 2015
A quiet night at anchor

After the bustle of Vannes, the Tour de France and Fetes Historique we headed off to the Inland sea that is the Morbihan. First picking up a buoy in Anse de Pencastel (€15 or free on the Passport Escales as Port Navalo/Arzon mouillages) Then on to anchor between Ile Longue and Ile Gavrinis which was well sheltered from the forecast west winds.

Fete Historique, Vannes

14 July 2015
Part of the cortage during the Fete

What an amazing fete, Processions twice a day, Fireworks and street entertainers all on the theme of Jean the 4th Duke of Bretagne. Known as the moyen age.

Christian our friend from Binic also came to visit for two days before we left.

Vannes, Morbihan, Brittany

13 July 2015 | Vannes, Gulfe de Morbihan Brittany
Tour de France time trial in Vannes on Sunday

Vannes had been our intended destination for the fete national on the 13th/14th July. Reports of the swing bridge being closed on the 12th and of a Rally of 30 boats encouraged us to arrive a few days early. As it transpired there were plenty of spaces available.

Taransay was moored next to the floating passerelle on the side next to the Tourist info Office. On our first night we were disturbed by a young man walking on deck, thank goodness for those noisy genoa cars, Colin leapt up and shouted while banging on the washboards, which frightened him off. Not sure if it was the lack of jim jams or the noise that worked! I found the intrusion rather disturbing even though we always lock our washboards in place at night.

Later next day we were given a finger berth in the more secure part of the marina and found out that the boat behind us had had the same problem that night.

To our delight we also discovered that a stage of the famous Tour de France was in town
Vessel Name: Taransay Mhor
Vessel Make/Model: Westerly Conway, 36ft, fin keel, ketch. Designed by The Laurent Giles Partnership she was first registered at Lloyds of London in 1979. Find her on facebook,
Hailing Port: Portsmouth, England
Crew: Sandi and Colin
We took on Taransay Mhor several years ago as a project and refitted her. Eventually Taransay was as ready as any boat ever can be and it was time we committed to sailing more. During 2016 work will become a priority for both of us and that means the sailing will have to wait a while. [...]
Extra: Taransay is an island on the wild atlantic side of the Outer Hebrides, found off the west coast of Scotland. In the Celtic language, the attachment of the word 'mhor' to a name was often used to indicate that a person or place was considered great or honoured.
Taransay Mhor's Photos - 2010
1 Photo | Main
Autumn Cruise 2010
6 Photos
Created 15 November 2010
Autumn 2010
5 Photos
Created 10 October 2010
Autumn Cruise 2010
11 Photos
Created 29 September 2010
Autumn Cruise 2010
5 Photos
Created 18 September 2010
Photos from our autumn cruise 2010
4 Photos
Created 4 September 2010
Osmosis treatment under way, the cleaning and drying of the hull. 2009/2010
12 Photos
Created 21 April 2010
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