|Vessel Make/Model:||Beneteau Oceanis 411|
|Crew:||John and Barbara Sumner|
We couldn’t start too early as it doesn’t start getting light till 6am. Left at 6.40am. Shortly after leaving we saw the Brittany Ferry coming in the other direction. Fortunately it stayed dry except for a rain squall at lunch time, and although it was overcast till mid-afternoon it was warm. We had 14-18 knots of wind just aft of the beam, and put the cruising chute up, and roared along averaging 7-8 knots. The sea was quite rough. The wind dropped in the middle of the day so we put the engine on for a bit but then it built again in the afternoon so we were very pleased to sail for 13 hours of the 15.5 it took us to reach Brixham. We had a couple of brief sightings of dolphins, the second one just as we were coming up Start Bay, but they were very camera shy! We got into Brixham just before 10pm French time, 107 miles in 15.5 hours. What a great feeling to arrive back home after nearly 3 months away. Total distance covered 2,157 miles, 216 engine hours. And now I want to thank you if you have persevered with my blog for the whole journey - well done! And thank you those who have commented. The photo is of our plotter when our speed hit 9 knots. It shows that we were 30 miles into the crossing with 73.4 miles to go to Berry Head, and was taken at 10.34am. Great ending the cruise on a high with such a good sail.
Pressing on as it looks like we have a decent wind to cross the Channel on Saturday. At least it wasn't an early start as we have to wait for the tide to take us up the Chenal du Four, so we left at 11.15. We had expected rain and indeed it had been raining overnight, and continued to rain quite a lot. Visibility was quite poor. We put a reef in the main sail straight away and several rolls in the genoa as we expecting quite a lot of wind, but the wind was quite far behind the beam so we shook out the reefs after a couple of hours, and had to put the engine on. The wind increased from 13 to 18 knots but then in the evening decreased to 11 knots and we had to motor some of the way. We got extremely wet and quite cold, and were very glad to get in to Roscoff at 20.20 after 65 miles and get down below to dry out.
Another early start, as there are only about 4 buses a day to Brest and we had to get the 8.30 one (number 34 from the Rue de la Gare). It is only €2 each but takes 1 ½ hours! It was a grey morning and had rained in the night, but it was a very pretty ride all around the Crozon peninsula and the Rade de Brest. We then got the number 3 bus to Oceanopolis. We were glad we had pre-paid for the tickets (€21 each online) as there were a lot of people queueing to buy tickets, and we were able to go straight in. It was very busy but it was a fantastic experience, with 3 different sections – one was Brittany, one was polar waters, and the other one was tropical waters. We particularly loved the seals – you could see them under the water then go up on the roof and see them coming to the surface to breathe. We also went to the temporary exhibition which was a 3D experience of the abyss – getting to know some of the creatures that live 6000m below the surface of the sea! It made a change seeing what goes on under the surface of the ocean rather than being above it.
An early start to get through the Raz de Sein at low water. Set off at 0645 when it was only just light. It was very tight getting out of the berth but hopefully we didn’t disturb anyone! There was only 5-6 knots of wind on the stern so we had to motor (again!) until after we went through the Raz and then we were able to sail for the final 3 hours. We had a couple of sightings of dolphins but not very exciting ones. We had 2 knots of tide underneath us going through the Raz and it carried us through for quite a way. The wind was quite cool but the sun kept us warm. We got to Camaret at 3pm and decided to try going into the inner harbour (Port Notic) as the outer harbour looked very full, and we plan to go out for the day tomorrow and prefer not to be rafted. There was some room on pontoon A so we tied up there with the help of some British people and a young man from the Capitainerie who was very welcoming. We went into town and found the Tourist Information Office which is a brand new building with a commanding view over the harbour. We got some information about Oceanopolis in Brest and bus times. Then we went to the small supermarket but found everything very expensive so decided to leave the shopping till we have time and energy to go to the bigger Super U. John found some nice English people to talk to while I caught up with my photos and blog!
Another hot sunny day! We need to get some more fuel before heading on north so we decided to go into Loctudy. There was barely a breath of wind so we motored the 11 miles and filled up with diesel at €1.59 a litre. We had planned to get a bit of a head start for our trip through the Raz de Sein tomorrow by moving on to nearby Lesconil but when we rang they were full so we stayed in Loctudy where it was very pleasant. The photo is of the sunrise the next day over the marina.
Another sunny day but it was quite cool when we got up. We left at 8am and roared out of the Gulf at 12 knots with the tide underneath us, then made for the Glenan Islands. Motor-sailed for most of the way except for the last hour or so when we were able to sail. Dropped the anchor off Ile Cigogne at 5 o’clock, after 60 miles. It was lovely and peaceful and the water is so clear here you can see the sand on the bottom. The islands are very low-lying and mostly just sand and dunes, just a few miles out from the mainland so a great favourite for people to come out for the day.