On the move at last
30 August 2010 | Port Louis
Yippee progress at last! We left Lezardrieux on Saturday morning in the dark at about 0530 intending on reaching L'Aberwrach later that evening which would of meant crossing off another 80 miles and then being ready from there to enter the Chenal du Four which is another fearsome stretch of fast water between the mainland and the outlying rocks and islands. As it happened we reached L'Aberwrach by 2100 and after checking the tides realised we were right on time to let the tide sweep us through the Chenal du four, so the decision was made...... we watched the sun go down before entering this treacherous passage - we hoped it wouldn't be quite so scary in the dark as we wouldn't be able to see the rocks that we were only just missing !
All I can say is thank God for our trusty chart plotter.....it took us through safe and sound at about 8-9 knots .......so now we're feeling quite chuffed about our prowess as circumnavigators so we have a little think about where we go now, Brest seems like the obvious answer but by the time we've had a think and look in the pilot guide Brest is in the distance behind us - too late the tide is taking us onwards. The next challenge (bear in mind its still the middle of the night) is the Raz de Sein, another similar turbulent passage through the pointiest rocks in the world, but we're not so lucky with the tide this time and we are definitely entering the Raz when the pilot books say is the worst time to do so - not such good circumnavigators after all !! Well it was certainly a brown trouser time for us, at best doing 3 knots and at worst stemming the tide (just). But through it we came - again safe but very tired as neither of us had any sleep for 24 hours. We watched the sun rise and continued on our way and made for Port Louis on the River Scorff opposite the large town of Lorient. We arrived here in the entrance to the river amid absolute chaos - I have never seen so many boats, ribs, windsurfers, ferries, fishing vessels all trying to come and go through such a small river entrance, we were surfing in under our main sail with the tide and wind behind us doing 7 or 8 knots and wondering how the hell we were going to turn up into the wind to drop sail and then swing a right into the marina. Narrowly missing two enormous cats under sail, a ferry and various other smaller stuff we made a quick turn in the river, dropped the sail into a messy billowing heap on deck then the wheel fell off - f**k was the only word that came to mind !! Luckily it was only the nut that had worked loose so Aid was able to make a quick repair and then head into the marina aided by a very nice looking young French man in a rib (shame i looked a pile of shit after 36 hours awake and no make-up and scarecrow hair - must remember to make an effort before entering our next port!).
So here we are all moored up in a lovely marina with really helpful (and quite good looking) staff in a very pretty small historical town with a great little beach and a huge impressive citadel to explore. The only downside was Aid discovered a water leak on the heat exchanger end cap so he had to take the ferry over to Lorient today to order a new one from the Volvo man. Looks like we'll be here till Friday so we're trying to rally some crew to help us cross over the Bay of Biscay from here.......... any offers ?