Brindabella

Vessel Name: Brindabella
Vessel Make/Model: Najad 405
Hailing Port: Suffolk Yacht Harbour, UK
Crew: Simon, Fiona and Bella the dog!
About: Simon and Fiona had Brindabella built in Sweden before she was launched in 2009. They sailed her from Sweden back to Suffolk in the UK.
Recent Blog Posts
11 July 2016

La Trinite to Port Louis

We had a fairly fast sail from La Trinite to Port Louis, past Ile de Groix which we stopped at on the way down. Port Louis is in the same harbour as Lorient.

09 July 2016

River Auray to La Trinite

On Saturday we made the short trip back down the River Auray and out through the entrance of the Golfe du Morbihan.

08 July 2016

Ile Aux Moines to River Auray

We left the anchorage at Ile Aux Moines to motor around to the River Auray.

07 July 2016

Houat to Ile Aux Moines

The wind got up in the night on Houat so we decided to move on early in the morning. After a quick walk ashore for Bella, we got the anchor up and were bound for the Golfe du Morbihan.

05 July 2016

Trehiguier to Houat

We left early in the morning bound for the island of Houat. With the tide ebbing fast, we needed to get over the shallow entrance to the River Vilaine before the depth got too low.

04 July 2016

Arzal to Trehiguier

We had stayed at Arzal marina to take on more water and restock the boat. We were hoping to get out through the lock at 12pm. However, we had forgotten the unwritten law in France that everything stops for lunch. The next opening was in fact at 2pm.

03 July 2016

River Vilaine

The River Vilaine is a non-tidal river. You lock in at Arzal and then you are in a fresh water river. With no tides or commercial traffic, you can anchor anywhere. We spent 9 days at 7 locations. Apart from Arzal all nights were at anchor, on a buoy or at the small wooden pontoon at Rieux. A brief description [...]

25 June 2016

Belle Ile to River Vilaine

The sun was up and there was a strong wind blowing on Saturday morning. We went ashore in the dinghy to the local market to take on supplies.

24 June 2016

Ile de Groix to Belle Ile

Port Tudy on Ile de Groix is always an interesting location. It's very small with a marina, mooring buoys and a small ferry from the mainland.

22 June 2016

Benodet to Ile de Groix

There was thick fog on Wednesday morning. We left the mooring buoy and motored around to the fuel berth. Unfortunately they had an electrical fault yesterday and it was out of order. We still had quite a bit of fuel so decided to carry on. We were heading to the Ile de Groix.

La Trinite to Port Louis

11 July 2016
We had a fairly fast sail from La Trinite to Port Louis, past Ile de Groix which we stopped at on the way down. Port Louis is in the same harbour as Lorient.

We plan to be in Port Louis for a few days including Bastille Day. There is a night market on Tuesday, fireworks on Wednesday and Bastille Day on Thursday. We will be moving on to Benodet on Friday to hopefully meet up with Shades of Blue.

The photo above is of the night market in Port Louis.

Time: 5:00 hours Miles: 33nm Total Time: 121:00 hours Total Miles: 724nm

River Auray to La Trinite

09 July 2016
On Saturday we made the short trip back down the River Auray and out through the entrance of the Golfe du Morbihan.

It was a very quick trip out to sea and back in the next river that runs up to La Trinite. It's good to be in the marina as we have only been in a proper marina for 1 night out of the last 14. All other nights have been at anchor, on a mooring buoy or at the small pontoon at Rieux.

We will be here for a couple of days and then plan to move North on Monday.

Time: 2:45 hours Miles: 13nm Total Time: 116:00 hours Total Miles: 691nm

Ile Aux Moines to River Auray

08 July 2016
We left the anchorage at Ile Aux Moines to motor around to the River Auray.

All along the river there are oyster beds. We went as far up the river to the bridge. Our mast will not fit under the bridge so we turned around and found a mooring buoy to pick up.

The wind died and we had another BBQ for dinner.

Tomorrow we plan to go to La Trinite.

Time: 2:00 hours Miles: 9nm Total Time: 113:15 hours Total Miles: 678nm

Houat to Ile Aux Moines

07 July 2016
The wind got up in the night on Houat so we decided to move on early in the morning. After a quick walk ashore for Bella, we got the anchor up and were bound for the Golfe du Morbihan.

The Golfe du Morbihan has 50 square miles of sheltered water and 60 islands. We have a favourite anchorage of the south east tip of Ile Aux Moines so we headed straight to there.

Lovely evening so had another BBQ off the back of the boat. We have a gas BBQ that attaches to the back of the boat and hangs over the water. It's really good and something we use a lot on these cruises. When the weather is good, there's nothing better!

The photo above is entering the Golfe du Morbihan.

Time: 3:00 hours Miles: 15nm Total Time: 111:15 hours Total Miles: 669nm

Trehiguier to Houat

05 July 2016
We left early in the morning bound for the island of Houat. With the tide ebbing fast, we needed to get over the shallow entrance to the River Vilaine before the depth got too low.

It took as a few hours to get out to the island.

Houat has an amazing beach. The pilot book calls it the best beach in Brittany. The beach is a one-mile stretch of perfect golden sand. We took Bella for a walk along the beach in the afternoon.

We woke to a perfect day. Wall to wall sunshine from dawn to dusk and a pristine beach. We spent the day on the beach with the first swim of the holiday. Later in the afternoon, we walked into the small town. Just two shops and a small port. BBQ for evening dinner.

Time: 2:00 hours Miles: 3nm Total Time: 108:15 hours Total Miles: 654nm

Arzal to Trehiguier

04 July 2016
We had stayed at Arzal marina to take on more water and restock the boat. We were hoping to get out through the lock at 12pm. However, we had forgotten the unwritten law in France that everything stops for lunch. The next opening was in fact at 2pm.

We tied on to the waiting buoy outside the lock and had some lunch.

Getting through the lock at Arzal is an extremely slow process. In all it took us over the hour. The photo above is of the yachts in the lock. It was completely full!

Once through the lock we motored out into the tidal part of the Vilaine. We were aiming for the islands but liked the look of the port at Trehiguier. Given that it was late in the afternoon, we decided to stay so picked up a mooring for the night.

We went ashore for a walk and ended up in the disused lighthouse which had an exhibition of mussel farming in the area. All very interesting.

The photo above is of Arzal lock.

Time: 2:00 hours Miles: 3nm Total Time: 108:15 hours Total Miles: 654nm

River Vilaine

03 July 2016
The River Vilaine is a non-tidal river. You lock in at Arzal and then you are in a fresh water river. With no tides or commercial traffic, you can anchor anywhere. We spent 9 days at 7 locations. Apart from Arzal all nights were at anchor, on a buoy or at the small wooden pontoon at Rieux. A brief description of what we got up to:

Sat - Anchored next to a farm. Nice and quiet except for a cow mowing all night!

Sun - Beautiful morning, moved slightly up river and over to the other side to get out of the wind. We went for a walk and had a BBQ that night.

Mon - Moved up to a Buoy at La Roche Bernard. Had another BBQ in the evening.

Tue - Had lunch in town at La Roche Bernard and then got some more supplies.

Wed - Moved up river to Foleux. Went ashore and walked on both sides of the river.

Thu - Left Foleux early and motored up to Cran bridge for the 10:30 opening. Once through the bridge we carried on up to Rieux. We plan to meet Margaret and Raphael on Saturday. Margaret moved to France from the UK Raphael has a house in Rieux.

Fri - Meal out at Rieux for our wedding anniversary and met some people of 2 other British yachts.

Sat - Margaret and Raphael came on board for drinks. We then visited the small night market and went for a meal at Raphael's house in Rieux. A very pleasant evening.

Sun - Motored down the river and through Cran Bridge. We saw Margaret and Raphael walking along the river! We finally got back to Arzal marina and stayed there for the night. Good meal out at the local brasserie. Best moules so far this cruise!

Time: 6:00 hours Miles: 18nm Total Time: 106:15 hours Total Miles: 651nm

Belle Ile to River Vilaine

25 June 2016
The sun was up and there was a strong wind blowing on Saturday morning. We went ashore in the dinghy to the local market to take on supplies.

Once back on the boat we stowed away and left. We had a really good sail away from Belle Ile, past the northern tip of Houat, which is a small island with an amazing sandy beach and on to the River Vilaine. We would have liked to have anchored off Houat but it was not the right conditions.

As you enter the River Vilaine, the very wide channel narrows to a small river. At the top of the seaward section is a lock. Being a Saturday evening the lock was very busy. The first lock at 6pm was full, so we waited for the second at 8pm. The lock keeper is a real character and enjoys telling everyone EXACTLY what to do.

Once through the lock, you enter an amazing river. There is no tide, no commercial traffic and you can anchor almost anywhere. We plan to spend just over a week in the river slowly moving inland each day. Later in the week as we get towards the top of the river we are meeting some friends that live in this part of France.

Time: 6:00 hours Miles: 34nm Total Time: 100:15 hours Total Miles: 633nm

Ile de Groix to Belle Ile

24 June 2016
Port Tudy on Ile de Groix is always an interesting location. It's very small with a marina, mooring buoys and a small ferry from the mainland.

We had taken a mooring for two nights. The second night we had a Fruit De Mer from the shellfish shed at the port. You order the Fruit De Mer from a shed on the quay and pick it up in the evening from the local cafe then back out to the boat in the dinghy. It's great to eat the Fruit De Mer while watching the comings and goings of the port. See photo above.

There was a large catamaran moored beside us. On Friday morning, we saw a Japanese chap with one arm go up the mast. Once he arrived at the top a bag was hauled up the mast with us thinking there were urgent repairs to be made. No... out comes a camera and he starts taking pictures of the boat from the top of the mast. He then puts the camera away and gets out an iPhone on a selfie stick and takes pictures of himself.

Anyway, after this we took Bella for a walk and got underway to Belle Ile.

There was no wind, so we motored all of the way. We have been to Belle Ile once before but at Port Suzan. This time, we were going to the main port of Le Palais. Mooring here is not easy. You attach the bow to a normal mooring, ease out the line while motoring backwards to the quay and then attach a rope to chains on the quay. Luckily, someone from the port was on hand in a dingy to help.

We stayed one night in Belle Ile and were off to the River Vilaine on Saturday.

Time: 5:00 hours Miles: 22nm Total Time: 94:15 hours Total Miles: 599n

Benodet to Ile de Groix

22 June 2016
There was thick fog on Wednesday morning. We left the mooring buoy and motored around to the fuel berth. Unfortunately they had an electrical fault yesterday and it was out of order. We still had quite a bit of fuel so decided to carry on. We were heading to the Ile de Groix.

There was little wind so we motored all of the way. Eventually the fog lifted and the island came into view.

The only port on Ile de Groix is Port Tudy. There is a very small marina and a number of buoys in Port Tudy. We decided to go on the buoys which is always interesting. Port Tudy is very popular and after 3pm, yachts just keep on coming in and filling every available space within the port. It was extremely hot and there was a real party atmosphere.

They do great Fruit de Mer here but we were too late to order it. Hopefully we can order one for tomorrow night's dinner!

We have also added two new videos. Fast sail to Dieppe: Click Here...

and sailing with the Gennaker: Click Here...

Time: 5:30 hours Miles: 31nm Total Time: 89:15 hours Total Miles: 577nm
Current Location
Brindabella's Photos - Main
46 Photos
Created 31 May 2016
66 Photos
Created 28 May 2015
50 Photos
Created 18 June 2014
Mini cruise to London for the week
7 Photos
Created 10 May 2013
3 month cruise from Suffolk Yacht Harbour to Golfe Du Morbihan in South Brittany
89 Photos
Created 7 April 2012
2012 cruise to the Atlantic Coast of France
77 Photos
Created 6 April 2012
2 month cruise from Suffolk Yacht Harbour to Brest
21 Photos
Created 18 May 2011

About & Links

Favorites
Photo Albums
31 May 2016
46 Photos
28 May 2015
66 Photos