Arzal to Ile d’Yeu
27 May 2014
Kim crashed out the night he arrived, understandable after the long haul from Aussie. We both worked on Songbird the following day, continuing to prepare her for the crossing of Biscay. We went through the lock at the barrage on the night of the 26th and sat on the waiting pontoon, so we could catch the high tide early in the morning. This was essential as the shallows of the estuary leaving the Vilaine River didn't allow a passage except at a couple of hours either side of high water. We left on what was a very cold morning with nil wind and a light mist sitting over the river, with full wet weather kit and boots to stay warm. As we motored out past the Ile de Dumet a light WSW wind set in, we set up and flew the new asymmetric for the first time. We had a great sail down the coast in about 8-10 knots of breeze arriving late afternoon onto the Ile d'Yeu. We were escorted into harbour by French customs 'the douanne', tied up and explained where Songbird had been laid up over the winter and that we were on our first leg of this year's trip. We offered to show them paperwork and passports, but they said it was not necessary and bid us 'bon voyage'. (I think the AIS gave us away, that's why they knew we were coming). One thing to note.....on retrieving the asymmetric the spinnaker halyard outer casing was stripped.... this shouldn't have happened on a 4 hour run....why, what's it been chafing on ?...., more investigation is needed....... Ile d'Yeu was a great place, relaxed, very popular with the locals as a holiday island and would have been a good place to spend some more time ....Kim and I continued with our evening meal consisting of low priced (10-15 euros) for a three course meal and coffee...more on this later.