A little boat and a big ocean.

19 July 2020
18 September 2015 | Beaulieu River, UK 50’27.32N 2’32.09W – Hayling Yacht Company, Hayling Island, UK 50 48.27’N 0’58.24W via Wicor Marine, UK
14 September 2015 | St Anne, Alderney 49’43.47N 2’11.35W – Beaulei River, UK 50’27.32N 2’32.09W via Studland Bay, UK
12 September 2015 | Gosselin, Sark 49’25.78N 2’22.70W – St Anne, Alderney 49’43.47N 2’11.35W
07 September 2015 | St Peter Port, Guernsey 49’27.32N 2’32.09W – Harve Gosselin, Sark 49’25.78N 2’22.70W
01 September 2015 | Tregarvan, Aulne River, France 48’15.16N 4’14.00W – St Peter Port, Guernsey 49’27.32N 2’32.09W via Cameret Sur Mer, France & Herm, Guernsey
23 August 2015 | Ile de Penfret, Iles de Glenan, France 47’43.05N 3’57.04W – Tregarvan, Aulne River, France 48’15.16N 4’14.00W via Anse de Kerautret, River Odet, France, Englishmans Cove, River Odet, France & Camerat sur Mer, France
19 August 2015 | Treac’h er Gourhed, Ile Houat, France 47’22.99N 2’56.85W - Ile de Penfret, Iles de Glenan, France 47’43.05N 3’57.04W via Port Kerel, Belle Ile, France & Port Tudy, Groix, France
14 August 2015 | La Rochelle, France 46’08.60N 1’10.09W – Treac’h er Gourhed, Ile Houat, France 47’22.99N 2’56.85W via Anse des Vieilles, Ile d’Yeu, France & Trebezy, St Nazaire, France
08 August 2015 | Anse l’Oubye, Ile de Re, France 46 09.2455 N 1’15.50W – La Rochelle, France 46’08.60N 1’10.09W
04 August 2015 | Ribadesella, Spain 43’27.81N 5’03.71W – Anse l’Oubye, Ile de Re, France 46 09.2455 N 1’15.50W
01 August 2015 | Ribadesella, Spain 43’27.81N 5’03.71W
28 July 2015 | Luarco, Spain 43’32.87N 6’32.08W – Ribadesella, Spain 43’27.81N 5’03.71W via Laurno
24 July 2015 | Ria Vivero, Spain 43’40.55N 7‘36.16W – Luarco, Spain 43’32.87N 6’32.08W via Ribadeo, Spain
21 July 2015 | Ria de Cedeira, Spain 43’39.26N 8’03.74W – Ria Vivero, Spain 43’40.55N 7‘36.16W
16 July 2015 | Vila Franca do Campo, Sao Miguel, Azores 37’43.01N 25’25.75W – Ria de Cedeira, Spain 43’39.26N 8’03.74W, via Ponta Delgada, Sao Miguel, Azores
06 July 2015 | Ponta Delgada, Sao Miguel, Azores 37’44.29N 25’39.94W – Vila Franca do Campo, Sao Miguel, Azores 37’43.01N 25’25.75W
30 June 2015 | Angra do Heroismo, Terceira, Azores 38’39.15N 27’12.97W – Ponta Delgada, Sao Migual, Azores 37’44.29N 25’39.94W
25 June 2015 | Velas, Sao Jorge, Azores 38’40.82N 28’12.16W – Angra do Heroismo, Terceira, Azores 38’39.15N 27’12.97W
19 June 2015 | Horta, Faial, Azores 38’31.99N 28’37.50W – Velas, Sao Jorge, Azores 38’40.82N 28’12.16W via Cais do Pico, Pico Azores

La Sandwich

08 August 2015 | Anse l’Oubye, Ile de Re, France 46 09.2455 N 1’15.50W – La Rochelle, France 46’08.60N 1’10.09W
France is sandwiched between many countries all with their own cultural identities. To the north in Britain we are outstanding at queuing, to the west everyone in Spain is nearly nocturnal, heading east to Switzerland there is ruthless efficiency and to the south there are the Balearics which party from dusk till dawn. As we ventured ashore in La Rochelle none of these cultures seem to have diluted the quintessential Frenchness of France.

La Rochelle seemed to be the most French of French places. Whenever we saw a Frenchman tucking into some food there was also a bottle of wine, Frenchman don’t seem to park their cars they simply abandon them, the busiest place is the Patisserie at dawn and every product any self respecting Frenchman buys is endorsed by Asterix and his overweight friend Obelix. All this activity is completed with a slight underlying air of anarchy that is asked to be let loose. France was different, France was good.

Apart from wanting to sample the Frenchness of La Rochelle there was anther significant draw. In the marina, with 3500 other boats, was an Amel 54 called Peregrinus. We’d last seen Peregrinus exactly 1 year ago, 1 continent ago and 1 ocean crossing ago. While we’d arrived in Europe via the southern ‘milk run’ route, they’d been much braver, been at sea for much longer, been as far north as Newfoundland and battled storms as they had arrived via the ‘Northern route’.

Peregrinus regaled us with tales of daring do and took us under their wing. Their washing machine was put to full effect, as would you believe in a marina with 3500 boats, there isn’t one anywhere and following meal after meal their dishwasher was loaded to the max. Well doesn’t every boat have a dishwasher? Seeing Peregrinus again after all these miles and in such different circumstances was a joy.

Under a blue sky which wasn’t graced with a single cloud the tourist hub of downtown La Rochelle was beckoning. Along with what seemed to be the whole of the tourist populace of northern Europe we wandered the parks, marvelled at the ancient towers that graced every corner and window shopped around boutiques where the prices were inversely proportional to the size of garments offered.

As afternoon turned to dusk so the street entertainment came out. The coolest of cool bass players graced bands that sported wind sections including didgeridoo’s and they whipped the assembled crowds into applauding masses. With the backdrop of live music break dancers then spun their funky stuff and when they got bored of that they started doing handstands while skateboarding about. La Rochelle rocked in more sense than one.

As we had been sailing toward France a package had been winging its way from England. Getting post on a sailboat is always a challenge and we were set to get some. We tracked down the post office, borrowed some bikes and braved the bonkers French drivers. What we hadn’t figured on were the French customs officials.

The phrase ‘open European borders’ hadn’t filtered down to these guys. They were clearly too busy drinking wine, buying bread, abandoning their cars or trying to get Astrix or Obelix to sign another commercial endorsement, to read the European policy on tax exemptions. Our package was stuck and no-one knew when it would ever be released. It looked like anarchy would be the only thing to get it delivered in a timely manner, and that as we all know only ever bubbles gently under the covers.

With no sign of anarchy about to happen in La Rochelle and the off lying islands calling, goodbyes were said, tears were shed and we’ll probably be back in England before our package gets returned.

Sunsets look the same in France as they do in the Caribbean.


OMG. There are a lot of boats in there.


The infamous towers at La Rochelle.


Errr. More towers in La Rochelle.


And yet more still.


Only looked down on by the church.


Classically French. Now where is the baguette and pastry.


We find peace in the park.


Entertainment is everywhere and the bass player is always the coolest dude.


Crowds covered every surface of the inner port.


We could be in London.


Look no hands.


Our thoughts turn to Pip Hare and her MiniTransat campaigns.


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Vessel Name: Ruffian
Vessel Make/Model: Sadler 34
Hailing Port: Newcastle
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Created 29 January 2016

Who we are.

Port: Newcastle