Marcita to the Morbihan

01 August 2016
01 August 2016
26 July 2016
26 July 2016
20 July 2016
17 July 2016
17 July 2016
17 July 2016
19 May 2013
19 May 2013
19 May 2013
19 May 2013
09 May 2013
08 May 2013
08 May 2013
08 May 2013
08 May 2013

Submarines and a change of plan

08 May 2013
Submarines and a change of plan.
We set off from Brest in a NE 3-4, and we were reaching, yes actually reaching, through the Goulet when a military boat came along and started gesticulating at us in French. He wanted us to get to the side of the Channel – and soon an old black submarine came along on the surface, with an escort of boats.
The we turned across Douarnenez Bay, still downwind, 7 kn with the tide, thinking life was grand, until we tried to put on the donkey to head to wind for a couple of reefs. Engine won't start. There's been a smell of diesel since we set off, and it looks as if there's air in the line. The primary filter is leaking diesel into the bilge. We try bleeding it, but no joy.
Meanwhile we're approaching the decision moment for the Raz de Sein. We were aiming for the last hour of the ebb, but the wind is dying, we're only a few hundred yards from La Vieille, the huge lighthouse on the corner, but we're afraid that we may not get round before it turns. If we don''t, the oncoming flood against wind could be turbulent. Nearest port of refuge Douarnenez, 20 miles close hauled along the coast. No sooner do we make the decision, and turn round, than the wind picks up to a brisk 5, and we storm all the way with a strong swell behind us. We might have made it. We'll never know.
We call the harbour and they send a launch out to tow us in the last hundred yards. Soon along comes Clement with his suction tube to purge the line. It's the problem we thought Frederic had cured in Cherbourg. He fixes it in short order, and then we spend a very turbulent night on a pontoon with an ocean-racing fleet preparing for a departure tomorrow, being bashed against the pontoon all night.
The next morning we check the bilge under the filter and it's still wet. Another call to Clement. New filter please. Ok, 6 pm tonight. So we spend a day at the Maritime Museum with examples of all the fishing boats that used to sail from here – sardines, cod from the Grand Banks, tuna, thousands of them filling the harbour. Huge industries that died overnight when the fish disappeared.

The next morning, with a brand new filter we set off for the Raz a second time, engine ok, but when we try to turn on the engine again for a reef the Morse is stuck. We try everything and after 3 hours effort it fixes itself, and we make Loctudy.

Comments
Vessel Name: Marcita
Vessel Make/Model: Buchanan 32 ft wooden-hull racer.
Hailing Port: Pin Mill
Crew: Brian Gascoigne and various Classic Sailing Club members
About: We're all members of the Classic Sailing Club, based in Pin Mill on the river Orwell, which is on the East Coast of England.
Marcita's Photos - Main
17 Photos
Created 25 January 2009

Sailing to Brittany

Who: Brian Gascoigne and various Classic Sailing Club members
Port: Pin Mill