Travel with Taransay Mhor

Sailing around the UK and cruising Brittany and beyond from 2009 to today

31 December 2018 | Exmouth, Devon, UK
16 September 2015 | South Brittany
23 August 2015 | South Brittany, France
20 August 2015 | South Brittany, France
18 August 2015 | River Etel, South Brittany, France
16 August 2015 | South Brittany, France
12 August 2015 | River Laita, South Brittany, France
04 August 2015 | Brittany, France
13 July 2015 | Vannes, Gulfe de Morbihan Brittany
13 July 2015 | Ile aux moines, Gulfe de Morbihan, Brittany
13 July 2015 | Ile d'Arz, Gulfe de Morbihan, Brittany
13 July 2015 | Anse de Pencastel
05 July 2015 | La Roche Bernard, Villaine River, Brittany
04 July 2015 | River Villaine, Brittany, France
04 July 2015 | Penerf River
03 July 2015 | Piric Sur Mer, Loire Atlantique, France
03 July 2015 | Les Sables d'Olonne, Quai Garnier

Summer of 2018

31 December 2018 | Exmouth, Devon, UK
Sandi & Colin
Just a short update to let you know we were sailing in France during the summer of 2018. The summer weather was both hot and settled enabling us to explore more in the Gulf de Morbihan and further south towards La Rochelle. Taransay Mhor is currently berthed on the river Villaine in Southern Brittany and we have no plans to move on.

See The Gallery for more photos.

Our time spent in the UK while Colin worked was productive and resulted in our settling in Exmouth, Devon. The house we bought here needed a small amount of updating but now that is complete, and we have both retired, we are free to enjoy sailing each summer.

Wishing you all a Happy New Year and successful 2019

Winter lay up

16 September 2015 | South Brittany
Colin finds a new way to buy a baguette

The end of the cruising year is fast approaching, in fact we fly back to the UK next week. Summer has given way to autumn gales and rain although it is still lovely and warm here.

Taransay will be safe in her berth for an indefinite period as Colin will be looking for permanent work, he still has a passion for construction and is finding it too hard to give up his career.

Have a fantastic winter season yourself and we hope see you again sometime.

Port Haliguen, Quiberon Peninsula

23 August 2015 | South Brittany, France
Stormy weather at sea

A few days of windy and wet weather were in the forecast. Port Haliguen fitted the bill for shelter so we installed ourselves here for a while. Later in the week we will go and anchor in the Gulfe de Morbihan, taking advantage of the warm weather while it lasts.

Must be able to use our BBQ a few more times before the end of the season.

Sauzon, Belle Ile

20 August 2015 | South Brittany, France
Sauzon, the anchorage is beyond the harbour wall

From the River Etel it was a light wind passage of 20 miles to Sauzon on another of Brittany's Islands, Belle Ile. Mooring options were rafted 'a couple' on two trots, midwater inside the harbour or tucked in a cove outside on an individual buoy or anchored. There seemed little difference in comfort between the Buoys (€23) and anchoring for free.

We took the dinghy ashore next morning and bumped into the crew of Beryl Grey who we first met on Noirmoutier in June. That evening we enjoyed a glass of wine aboard their ketch swapping tales of the last two months.

More photos of Etel, and our time on Ile de Groix and Belle Ile in the gallery

River Etel

18 August 2015 | River Etel, South Brittany, France
The Etel has a reputation for fast flowing currents and sandbars, however it was less heart stopping than Guidel on the River laita

For a guide to the River Etel's entrance we contacted the only female pilot in France. The Etel pilot role has stayed in the family for many years, Madame Pene took over from her husband 30 years ago and today we heard her daughter directing boats over the VHF.

An hour before High Water we presented ourselves to seaward of the bar behind a French flagged boat that was entering. On VHF Chanel 13 we identified ourselves. So far so good we thought following behind.

Shortly after the French boat stopped to drop their sails, making us the leading boat. Fortunately we could understand Madame and she could understand us. The river was flowing fast but the channel was straight and it was not difficult to follow Madam's instructions, which were mostly "toujours tout droit, comme ca".

When we arrived off the marina a rib came out and directed us to a berth on the long visitor's pontoon outside the marina. Our two night stay was very enjoyable, the town was small with several cafes, restaurants and a small Carrefour. We didn't get to visit the museum that celebrates the tuna fishing heritage of Etel. Another time perhaps.

Ile de Groix Port Tudy

16 August 2015 | South Brittany, France
Room for one more in front and I am not joking!

There was no wind for the 10 mile hop over to Ile de Groix, we had deliberately chosen quiet weather for our first visit as, reportedly, it can be subject to swell. In the outer harbour are three rows of trots, the harbour rib directed us through a gap in the front row of boats the size of a postage stamp to raft on the back row. By the time dusk fell there were 22 yachts stretching across the harbour on the back row and the same again on the front row. We were jam packed in like sardines in a tin, which was a lot of fun on a calm night.

Fellow OCC members from S/V Ruffian stopped to say hello and came by later for a sundowner. Next day we convened ashore and hired bicycles to go exploring. The weather was beautiful, Ian & Fiona had remembered to bring lunch and kindly shared it after our plan to pick up lunch failed. Groix is not over developed in this respect which added to our enjoyment but could have left us hungry. I know Colin would not have persuaded me to cycle the whole island in one day but I thoroughly enjoyed myself even though by the end of the day my dodgy toe was playing up.

Miraculously the toe was perfectly ok to take a trip over to Ruffian that evening where we had another fabulous evening and were introduced to Canned Duck Thighs, delicious and noted to go in the ships stores

Guidel and the disappearing channel

12 August 2015 | River Laita, South Brittany, France
The access to Guidel is mostly sand at low water

Guidel is a lovely quiet marina on the River Laita, we came to check out the recently completed marina extension. So recently completed was it that the electricity was not connected and the piles are bare of signage. The channel up to the marina changes regularly but you can call the capitanerie for a pilot to show the way.
Heart in mouth and less than 0.5m under the keel at times we felt it wise to follow the capitan's orange rib. Our reward was a peaceful stay in the small and charming marina.
Briefly info on the port; Max in marina 5 berths 12m long, draft 1.8m. Depth at CM between D and E pontoon 1m. Super U 5km on No. 60 bus from the port. 2 cycles available free, 1 shower 1 wc, no wifi yet but we did pick up the free Pays de Quimperle connection from Le Pouldu with our wifi extender. Several restaurants, a sandy beach and shady walks along the river banks.
More photos in the gallery

Baie de Quiberon to Lorient

04 August 2015 | Brittany, France
Colin in La Trinite

Over the last three weeks we have anchored some more and used the Latitude Morbihan pass for some free berths in Crouesty, La Trinite and Port Haliguen, just outside the Gulfe de Morbihan, in the Baie de Quiberon area. Then we sailed a massive 30 miles north to Lorient to visit the fab pizza in Il Pirata at Port Louis, Lorient City Centre Marina and Locmequelic.

After a contretemps between my little toe and the saloon table leg I thought I had fractured a little bone in there. But after 4 days of me limping about dramatically we think it might have been a dislocation. After a big popping noise from the foot when the boat rocked me off balance it all felt dramatically better and I was walking as normal as I ever will.

Later this week we are off to explore The Blavet River and maybe we will see some of the Interceltique Festival. This sounds like a big event and we are not sure about berthing, nothing ventured as they say.

Anchored in the Gulfe de Morbihan

18 July 2015
A quiet night at anchor

After the bustle of Vannes, the Tour de France and Fetes Historique we headed off to the Inland sea that is the Morbihan. First picking up a buoy in Anse de Pencastel (€15 or free on the Passport Escales as Port Navalo/Arzon mouillages) Then on to anchor between Ile Longue and Ile Gavrinis which was well sheltered from the forecast west winds.

Fete Historique, Vannes

14 July 2015
Part of the cortage during the Fete

What an amazing fete, Processions twice a day, Fireworks and street entertainers all on the theme of Jean the 4th Duke of Bretagne. Known as the moyen age.

Christian our friend from Binic also came to visit for two days before we left.
Vessel Name: Taransay Mhor
Vessel Make/Model: Westerly Conway, 36ft, fin keel, ketch. Designed by The Laurent Giles Partnership she was first registered at Lloyds of London in 1979. Find her on facebook,
Hailing Port: Portsmouth, England
Crew: Sandi and Colin
We took on Taransay Mhor several years ago as a project and refitted her. Eventually Taransay was as ready as any boat ever can be and it was time we committed to sailing more. During 2016 work will become a priority for both of us and that means the sailing will have to wait a while. [...]
Extra: Taransay is an island on the wild atlantic side of the Outer Hebrides, found off the west coast of Scotland. In the Celtic language, the attachment of the word 'mhor' to a name was often used to indicate that a person or place was considered great or honoured.
Taransay Mhor's Photos - Autumn Cruise 2010
Photos 1 to 40 of 40 | Main
Our summer cruise promised either Champagne or Sunshine or rain and Tea, which was it to be?
Before we could leave there were a few jobs still to be completed. Colin starting to apply the epoxy coatings at the end of the osmosis treatment
Sandi getting ready to apply more epoxy coatings, all part of the osmosis treatment
In June we took a break from boat work and reminded ourselves of why we were doing it. Our friends boat
Pauline and Gordon showed us how to live aboard in style
Moonrise, viewed from our anchorage off the island of Patmos, Greece
It took 10 months to get back in the water, the refit took us far longer than we ever imagined
Gales kept us in Yarmouth for 3 days, we walked out to see The Needles and caught the bus back to Freshwater, finding a big co-op on the way.
Leaving Yarmouth for Portland, on our way out of The Solent at last, not great weather and a 6 hour sail to fit in to a 3 hour weather window ahead
It rained on the way to Portland, then a cold front passed over us and the wind kicked up a touch.
Then it really started to rain and blow hard flattening the sea
After drying out in portland marina we walked to the top of Portland, Colin is looking out over Chesil Beach and Lyme Bay
Taransay at Dittisham on the River Dart, Dartmouth
Sailing on a beautiful day, Dartmouth to Salcombe
Frogmore point our first anchorage of the cruise
View from the River Yealm Yacht Club, where we received a very friendly welcome
Fowey viewed from the mid-river pontoon
The anchorage at Falmouth Yacht Haven where we were able to leave the dinghy and use a washing machine
Malpas on The Fal River, above Falmouth. This is where we saw the seal sleeping on the bouy, see The Fal River blog entry
Helford River where we stayed for 4 nights
The small anchoring allowed area in Helford where no charge was made. We waited here for a fair passage to The Scillies or Brittany
A not so sunny day in Helford, we appreciated variety in the weather!
Our wagtail that took shelter with us during the bad weather in Helford, it would chirp to let us know it was ready for more biscuits.
Exploring the countryside was one of the pleasures we cherished, blackberries & damsons were in season
Falmouth, going back to the boat in our little dinghy
Arriving in Brittany, time for the French courtesy flag
You know its rocky when even the marks are disguised as rocks. Or is it the other way around, LAberwrach, Brittany
Idyllic beaches near LAber-Wrach
Penze River catching fish for supper, unlikely these were the only ones we caught
In Morlaix the town was a lot prettier than the yacht bassin
Trebuerden Marina was full of residents boats but we were the only visitors in September
We cycled from Trebeurden to Perrous Guirrec taking in this superb view of Les Sept Iles on the way
Tregastel beach, Brittany, next time we will go ashore
Exploring from Paimpol, Ile de Brehat on the right
Cycling through the narrow streets of Paimpol
Tuesday is market day in Paimpol
£1 on the bus took us to the west coast of Guernsey
Sailing home, Sandi had a severe cold, Colin did most of the work
A squall reminds us it is time to go home. last sailof the cruise
Tranquil Newtown Creek where we spent our last nights.
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