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Roscoff

27 May 2017
Current Position
48°42'.99N
003°57'.90W
Roscoff, Finistere
First of all, a big thank you to my sister Sarah who informs us that a gaggle of owls is known as a "Parliament".
We left Morlaix lock on free flow at 7.58 am and retraced our steps back down the river oooohing and aaahhhing at the beautiful architecture on the way and wondering who owned such properties. We had a 9 mile passage with winds of F3-4 coming from the West that took us into Roscoff. The marina has no locks or sills, and is accessible 24 hours and with the two high tides of that day having a coefficient of 107 and 108 (which means some of the highest spring tides of the year) we knew it would be a reasonably quick passage. Roscoff has been nicknamed Clapham Junction by Andreas as it is the prefect place to change crews, pick up passengers and is the perfect stop over for yachts on their way to Southern Brittany. We saw more British ensigns in Roscoff Marina than we had anywhere else on our passage and couldn't help wondering where all these boats had come from as we certainly hadn't seen them out on the water. As we were approaching our berth, Andreas commented that the boat two berths along looked ............................. but I am saving this story for a separate post. Next day started with a spectacular thunder and lightening storm accompanied by heavy rain. I wanted to make use of the laundry as the machines looked both well maintained and clean and whilst the washing was on the go we decided to have a beer in the nearby bar while we waited. To Andreas' joy, it had a TV with a sports channel and after a brief exchange the barman very kindly switched from the tennis to the Monaco Grand Prix which by pure chance was just about to start. Not a very exciting race, but good to watch. So, 3 beers and a plate of frites later we collected the laundry and headed back to Stiletto. The next morning we woke to thick fog and decided to stay put and not leave for L'aber Wrac'h as originally planned. In the afternoon when it had cleared we walked into the town. As Roscoff is a main ferry port connecting France with the UK and Ireland I had expected it to be very noisy, not particularly attractive and very busy especially as the marina was right next door to the ferry terminal . In actual fact I was very pleasantly surprised as the ferries came and went without us noticing and the port was quiet. Admittedly we are not in the high season so things could be very different in a month or so, but for now I was happy. We walked into town which I totally fell in love with. Lovely old buildings, small narrow streets and a calm ambience. We did the Petite Train ride, as we have done at each big port we have visited because it is a brilliant way to see the interior of the town and learn some of the history all in one hit. We had no idea that Roscoff was home to health spas and recovery institutions for sufferers of TB including one purely for children and young women. A lot of research into Cystic Fibrosis is being carried out here today. Many of the very old houses have basements with connecting tunnels that run down to the sea. These were for the quick and easy entry of pirates bringing ashore their booty - of which there were many, or the gentry who needed to escape their enemies. We took a walk along the very long pier where a small passenger ferry docks to pick up those visiting the Ile de Batz. Built in 1963, it allows the ferry to run even at the lowest tide, and we were staggered at just how much the tide drops here. It really did look like someone had pulled the plug!! The speed with which tides rise and fall along this coastline is mind blowing. The massive drop in tide revealed lots and lots of rocks and we were able to get a very clear view of the route we would be taking through the Canal Ile de Batz on our departure next day. It looked very scary but we could see all the channel markers and when we were due to leave at the very top of the tide, it would look very different and we shouldn't have any problems.
Song for this post :The Chain by Fleetwood Mac ( the F1 theme tune)
Thought for this post : Never judge a book by its cover.
Highlight for this post: There are 2 today - primarily the story that follows this post. Secondly being able to watch the Grand Prix. There's nothing better than a happy Skipper!!! And what does a happy Skipper make ? A happy crew. And a happy crew makes for a happy boat.
Comments
Vessel Name: Stiletto
Vessel Make/Model: Bavaria 33 Cruiser
Hailing Port: Gosport, UK
Crew: Andreas Giles & Jane Paulson
About:
We have been sailing together for 18 years and have owned Stiletto for 16 of them. We have exhausted the Solent and the UK South Coast and all the other usual passages: West Country, France, Channel Islands etc. that are available from our home port of Gosport. [...]