Catamaran course to Southern Brittany 2011
17th – 24th July
Plymouth – west and south Brittany (Benodet) seven day cruise course.
A meal ashore ( Moule frites! ) and decent kip put us all back to rights though. Memory of the trip was fast, rough and a huge “ferry glide” into Le Conquet as we rounded Pt Kermorvan. Lost Bev and Jon ( Only came for hard stuff x channel experience and got it!)
Fouled stern anchor in the morning so some tricky manoeuvring for Maria. Holding us in the tide while we messed about on the sugar scoops with boat hooks. At least the water is “Gin Clear” so we could see the trouble and we were only in a meter of water
Then twin headsail practice over to Cameret sur Mare. No one had played with twins before so great fun and everyone learning. A practice little used these days but has great advantages. Hardly need to touch the wheel so easy on the auto pilot. Simply gybe and you have reefed by half the sail area. Most modern cats have no backstays and swept back shrouds making running a chafe problem. So if you have a long way to go? Don’t use the main.
Next day a fantastic ride down around the Raz du seine via the Rochers du Toulonguet. Winds behind us and its getting warmer! Roared around the Raz and broke out of the tide to have a lunch and swim in a tiny bay behind point de Feunteun Aod. I remember Eryl the intrepid! in his swimming hat, swimming a line to a buoy half way through lunch as the holding was suspect. Fast sailing and MOB drills down to Audierne. A good force 6, we were all a bit horrified to see how hard it is to keep an eye on that fender, POINT! and press the MOB button on the GPS to give you at least some reference
Tides again in Audierne. Maria piloted us in well, but we all had difficulty with the up side down leading marks. ( yes back transit Lower than the front one?. Never seen that before) fore and aft anchored over night on the sand bar where we dried out beautifully. Well I think we did? it was so peaceful that we all slept through it. Manoeuvring practice next morning onto tiny pontoon across the tidal stream to get our Paine and Crousants and water of course.
Motorsailing away until the sea breeze kicked in and then it was a kite up all the way to the Isle du Glenan. What a day! and those Islands are amazing. Hundreds of dinghy’s and yachts, its a sailing paradise. White sandy beaches abound, but so do the rocks. So be careful down there! You cant go there and charge about so a fair bit of resting, wandering around on deserted islands and beaches.
Found a great little lunch spot on the way to Benodet. Ilse du Mouton. Just a lighthouse on a rock, but at low tide the rocks dry and we had shelter.
Great last sail with a blast to Benodet. Mago was flying! Busy little place with a very fast tidal flow. ( Flat out with engines to spring off the marina pontoon) Beautiful river Odet all the way up to Quimper the regional capital, made a good place for dropping folks off for trains etc. Really buzzing here with a massive folk festival. Never seen so many bag pipes!
15th Aug – 24th Aug
Saw us heading back. Again a pick up in Quimper but thankfully Martin jumped on first down in Benodet to give me a hand getting off the pontoon and up the river. Joined by Jane and Andrew and an evening trip back down to Benodet entrance where we were given a wonderful fire work display to music. The French do this extremely well. hundreds of boats out afterwards, heading back to there moorings in the dark. All went smoothly till the life boat turned on its search light and blinded them all! arg! I dont think any crashed?
A quick ferry glide for Andrew onto the quay next morning so I could dash off to buy breakfast. Then away to the Glenans.
Not much wind in fact we ran out of it all together. So motored to the Ilse Mouton for a lunch stop.
Over lunch I was amused by half a dozen drunk Frenchmen who went dragging ( there anchor) past us towards and over the rocks! I alerted them but only received abuse in return. However having bumped about on the rocks a bit they proceeded in the laid back French way. To “sail” up to there anchor and away. More wind in the afternoon and a pleasant sail to “Ile du loc” in the Glenans ( apparently that where Shrek lives! according to my ten year old)
Martin took us on a long beat to Audierne the next day. Pretty slow going till we rounded the point de Penmark then a flat out reach to the north.
Next day fogged out around the Raz du sein to Ile du Sein. Scary stuff, but well done lads. A real treat this little Island of hardy old folk playing Ptonk! on the dusty quay.