Monthly Archives: June 2017

The Bridge, 23-25th June 2017

Ian had said from the start that we don’t want to be tied down to being in any one place at any particular time.  Ian likes to break the rules, even his own, so we planned to be in St Nazaire for “The Bridge”.  This was a race between the Queen Mary 2 and four trimarans, Macif (and yes it was massive), Sodebo, Actual and Indec, racing across to New York.  It is anticipated this it will take around 5/6 days so will let you know who won on the next  blog.   The race was part of the celebration of the centenary of the arrival of the first troop of 14,750 American soldiers who landed in Saint-Nazaire on 26th June 1917.  As allies, 2 million American soldiers fought alongside the French.

So we arrived in Pornichet on Friday morning (23rd June) as Saint-Nazaire doesn’t accept yachts in the port which is about 6 miles away. The Bridge Village opened on this day so we took the bus (two in fact) into Saint-Nazaire.  You buy a ticket for an hour’s duration rather than a fare for an A to B journey.  Ian spent quite a lot of time drawling over the trimarans.  We then had a look at some French naval ships, it was now Bob’s turn for drawling.  There were also four smaller trimarans, only 50ft long, that were competing in a 24 hour race which we watched the start of on the Friday.

Arrival of the Queen Mary 2 – Saturday 24th June 2017

Saturday morning and we went back into Saint-Nazaire to watch amongst other things the arrival of the Queen Mary which was due to arrive at 5pm.  She was escorted in by a French Destroyer.  She came into the river, was turned around by the tugs and then reversed into the Joburt dock where she would stay until her departure the following day at 6pm ready for the start of the race at 7pm.  We took our spot at 4pm to ensure we got a good view. Which we did.

The Race – Sunday 25th June 2017

The race started at 7pm so we decided to watch it from the boat, along with a lot of other boats who had the same idea.  We left the marina just before 4pm as it was about eight miles away. We turned into the Loire River, wondering what the yellow buoys were.  We soon found out when we were told that there was an exclusion zone and we had to go the long way round if we wanted to go on the other side of the river.  Ian did try to argue the point, as he would but they weren’t having it.  We went along the west side of the river and then were told we could only go part way down.  So 180 degrees back the other way, the long way round and over to the other side which a lot of other boats were also doing so we got a better view.

A 21 gun salute from the destroyer, followed by the firing of coloured flares above the Queen Mary and then they were off.

D1. And they're off 25.6.17.

The trimarans took off very quickly and so the boats watching, including us, followed them for as long as we could before they were specs in the distance.  The wash off so many power boats made the sea look like it was rough, which it wasn’t.

The Queen Mary 2 slowly moved off but my money is on her winning the race.


Once all the excitement was over we headed for L’Herbaudiere on the Ile De Noirmoutier for a quick stopover.  We didn’t arrive here until 9.30pm and we were off just after 8 the following morning.


As of this evening Wednesday 28th June 2017 the Queen Mary is nearly 500 nautical miles ahead of the first Trimaran, Macif.

Houat, Heodic and Piriac

18th to 22nd June 2017

We left the Golfe du Morbihan and took a very leisurely sail to the Port du Crouesty, a marina at the entrance to the Golfe du Morbihan, which is huge.   The tide stream is really strong here and we were going faster than the wind at 7.8 knots so we had a flappy genoa. We arrived at the marina at 5.30pm on Sunday 18th June and it was very busy with everyone returning after a glorious day.

The yacht club here was buzzing so we took in some refreshment and enjoyed the view across the bay.

We only stayed one night here basically to stock up before heading off the following day to one of two small islands. The first being Ile de Houat, which is just 3.3 km long and 1.5 km at the broadest part. We moored in the harbour here which cost us just €10 for the night. Ian has discovered that our boat is actually 10.98metres long and not 11m. Now you may well think it’s only 2cms, well no every centimetre counts as that 2cms brings us into a lower pricing bracket which when we sometimes get charged more being a multihull makes a difference. A very happy Ian. Bob wasn’t so pleased as he had to pay €15! A lovely quaint island which was surprisingly busy.

We then visited an even smaller island , Ile de Hoedic, which is  800 m wide by 2,500 long and situated just under 6 miles from Houat.  Gillian and I went ashore in the dinghy and sat on the beach for a while and had a dip. The water is very cold and there were large brown jellyfish, which don’t sting, Gilllian can vouch for this as one wrapped it’s tentacle around her leg.  We were going ashore for dinner at 7pm.  At 6.45pm a fog started to descend on us and by 7.00pm it was thick. Once we got ashore we couldn’t see the boats, luckily we were moored very closely to the shore.

The following day, Wednesday 21st  June, was overcast and we headed off to Piriac where we stayed for a couple of nights, which is another very picturesque village.

Friday 23rd June and we left for St Nazaire to go and see The Bridge.

Eco friendly

Living on a boat focuses you on the amount of water and electric you have. At home we take it for granted that water is on tap and electric is a flick of a switch. We have bought a solar shower which is basically a bag which when left in the sun the water heats up. So with 5 gallons (20 litres) sufficiently warmed we used our little washing machine. The solar panels (2 x 200 watts) gave us enough power, so no drain on the batteries, for the washing machine, so we were using totally renewable energy.  We are also recycling what rubbish we can as the marinas all have segregated waste.   We are trying to be as environmentally friendly as we possibly can.

28th June 2017




La Trinite Sur Mer – Golfe Du Morbihan

12th – 17th June 2017

Our next hop to La Trinite Sur Mer (Monday 12th June 2017) was only about six miles but we decided to go around the edge of Quiberon Bay rather than across it.  We passed Carnac, which some of you will be familiar with as this is the venue for a big dinghy catamaran regatta held every year.

La Trinite Sur Mer is almost like the “Cowes” of France, so it’s popular.  Here Ian was like a kid in a sweet shop as here we found a number of very big Trimarans including Spindrift, Sodebo, IDEC amongst others.  The latter two are competing in the transatlantic race against the Queen Mary, which I referred to in my previous blog.  Visit

We were close to Carnac where the Megaliths sites are.  These are similar to Stonehenge but the stones are not so big but there are lots more of them over a number of sites.  We took the road train which stopped at three different places along the way, the Megaliths, Carnac and the port at Trinite Sur Mer.

B3. Carnac by land 12.6.17.

We had a walk to the Carnac Yacht Club as we had passed it by sea and then had a very nice lunch over the road in the lovely sunshine before we caught the train back.


Golfe du Morbihan – 13th to 17th June 2017

Our next stop was the Golfe du Morbihan which is a large inland sea with two main rivers, the Auray and the Vannes together with many islands, some of which are inhabited and lots of anchorages.  The tides here are very strong and the stream can be up to 8knots.  Putting this in perspective for the non yatchies, most boats work on average of 6knts an hour so this is pretty fast!  So just before the anchorage we were whizzing along.  We watched Morning Star fly in.  Just a few meters from here we found a really sheltered anchorage Ile Longue, so calm and still.  We spent two nights here, as we didn’t arrive until 7pm the first night.  The first day we spent doing various jobs around the boat.  I cleaned one half of the decks, the disadvantages of a catamaran such a lot of deck, so plan to do the other side when we anchor up again.

We set off at 9.15am on Thursday 15th June 2017 for Vannes, which is a historical town at the end of the (yes you’ve guessed it) Vannes river. The journey here can only be made at certain times as there is a lock and bridge which have to be opened.  On the way down there were lots of children in rowing boats.  The channel is very narrow as you can see below.

Our stay in Vannes was rather short as when we visited the Capitainere we were told the mooring fee was €47 for one night and this was for the privilege of rafting up alongside another boat.  Another marina charging the 50% extra fee for being a multihull.  Anyway we decided that we would go back out and anchor.  It is such a lovely area so it was no hardship.  I think we have to expect this more and more the further we get into France and further into the season.

There are lots of little islands here so on Friday 16th June we took a short hop to the Ile D’arz and picked up a buoy.  We went ashore by dinghy and found four small restaurants which were really busy which was quite a surprise for a small place.  It is very much a holiday destination and the weather was hot so it brings people out.  Bob and Gillian joined us on Saturday so we spent a further night here along with seven other British boats that were moored here.

Ian changed the oil on the engines and thought his working environment had vastly improved.  We saw a couple of these water pumps around the island.

The Sunset and sunrise at Ile D’arz


We had a lovely five nights here as it was so nice and a big area to cover.  We left here for Port du Crouesty which is at the entrance to the Golfe du Morhiban, a pit stop, to catch up with shopping (we have to take advantage when there is a large supermarket) and wifi (it’s only when you don’t have internet access you realise how much you normally use it in your everyday life – bars and restaurants that have it draw us in lol) where we would stay overnight before leaving on Monday for a couple of small islands Ile de Hoedic and Ile de Houat.


18th June 2017

Belon to Lorient

Thursday 8th to Sunday 11th June 2017

We left Loctudy on Thursday 8th June for the Belon River just 18 miles along the coast. Another beautiful river but the Boats were packed in. There are lots of mooring buoys where you pick up a buoy for stern (back) and bow (front), these are four and half moorings. It was Election Day and we had no Wi-Fi but we managed to get Radio 4 and listened to this for a couple of hours. We gave up at 2am, (1am UK time) and decided to wait for morning for the result.

We left Belon for Lorient late afternoon and had a leisurely three hour sail with quite light winds and sunshine. They like catamarans in Lorient, there was a very long pontoon for catamarans to moor up. We had a wander up through the town and found the Societe Natique de Larmour-Plage. Well it’s Friday night and as I’ve said before you have to visit a yacht club. Ian and Bob went to the bar. Gillian and I went to sit down, barely had our bums on our seats when two ladies came bounding across and sat down.  They wanted to practice their English. Gillian has pretty good French (she doesn’t think she has but she has!) so she helped translate when we got stuck on words. We were made to feel so welcome.

Port Ludy, Ile de Groix

Saturday 10th June 2017

We only spent the one night in Lorient and then headed off to Port Ludy on the Ile de Groix which was just six miles away. It’s a popular place for people to take their boats and there were lots of boats about. We went into the marina, Morning Star was already there (I hasten to add they did leave before us and we had to go further up the river before making our way across to Port Tudy as we (I mean Ian of course) had to look at the boats. He was hoping some of the trimarans would be there ahead of the race starting in St Nazaire, later in June, who were racing the Queen Mary across the Atlantic. Check out And yes we are going to St Nazaire or nearby as there’s no marina there, it’s a large port but no facilities for yachts.

C1. Port Tudy, 9.45pm, 10.6.17.Anyway, I digressed! Morning Star was in the outer harbour not the marina, as the marina was full up.  We rafted up alongside then took the dinghy with the bikes ashore.

It was quite hot today and we had a lovely ride (very hilly – again so thankful for electrically assisted bikes) up to the Coastguard Station at Beg Melan which was a couple of miles along the coast. The view was fabulous and reminded us of the Solent with all the boats out on the water.   On our way back going through the village we bumped into Bob and Gillian soaking up the sun with a little glass of something, so we obviously joined them.

There are two ferries that come in and out of the harbour, quite scary when the larger one is coming towards you and when it turns round to go out. There’s not much space in the harbour. When we got back to the boat we were amazed at how many boats had packed into the outer harbour and even more arrived as the evening went on. The picture below is before all boats had arrived, more arrived as the evening went on.  If you were anywhere but the front line you would have to wait for others to go, it was rammed. It was a lovely atmosphere with all the boats together and in the background was the dulcet tones of the local rugby team in the shore bar who we assumed had won as they were definitely in good spirits.   We were glad we went into the outer harbour as a mooring in the marina was €58. We are finding the smaller marinas (with the exception of Loctudy) tend to be more expensive for us, some want to charge x 1.5 the standard rate, whereas the larger marinas don’t. Although we did get a good price in Port Tudy, I think it was the chorus of “how much?” From both of us that did it!

Bound for the Bai de Quiberon

We left Port Tudy just after midday (Sunday 11th June 2017) leaving Morning Star there for another day. When we left the blue sky was just starting to come through.  A 60ft trimaran appeared behind us and very very soon it was a speck in the distance. They did give us a wave as they sped past.

We passed La Teignouse, which even in calm weather the waves crash quite high against it.  We had our first night on the anchor (previously we’ve picked up a buoy) outside Port Haliguen harbour wall. A bit rolly to start with but settled down eventually.  This is a view of the bay with some gulls which only arrived when I threw some old bread in the water, much to Ian’s disgust as it encouraged one to sit on the boat and leave a deposit.  We set off the following morning to La Trinite Sur Mer which is on the Crac’h River.


12th June 2017



Biscay – Brest to Loctudy


On Monday 29th May we left L’aber-wrac’t at 10.00am, two hours after high tide. The difference in the landscape is quite something. Where the day before we could see lots of rock when we arrived at low water, you couldn’t see them just after high tide when we left.  We took the Grand Chenal which is a safer route at high water. We received a salute from Bob and Gillian, Morning Star, who have decided “to stay another day” (as E17 sung).  Yet again we were going to windward (this not going to windward is not happening) but winds are light and we have flat seas so it’s OK, this time.

I realise we’ve now gone some distance as when I refer to the almanac I discover we have completed the “France – North Coast and Channel Islands” section and we are now into the “France – West Coast” section.


As part of our marina booking we got one free ticket to Oceanopolis, which is similar to Seaworld.  So we thought we would take advantage of this, it was that or the (another) Maritime Museum. We were moored at the Chateau marina which is in the main part of town, we initially were going to the one a little way up the harbour, the Moulin Blanc marina, but decided it was too far out of the way.  Ironic that Oceanopolis was right next to the furthest marina. It was about three miles away too far too walk or should I say hobble so we got the bikes out. This was a breeze, particularly as they are electricly assisted which was a great help on the way back with the wind against us (we even get to go to windward on a bike).  We were glad we went it was very interesting albeit there were quite a few school parties who are always excitable.


The pictures below show one fish hanging onto the other’s tail. They are Blue Spotted Bamboo Sharks.  After five minutes or so another one came along and flicked the one holding the tail and then hung onto its fin and wouldn’t let go either. This shark tried its upmost to flick both sharks off.  The female would just stop for a while then she would have another go at trying to get the other shark off but couldn’t. Intrigued by this we “Googled” it (as you do) and discovered that this is the courtship. The male will hang onto the fin or tail, the female will try to resist but generally after an hour or so will relent and then the male does his stuff.


12. View from mooring on River Alune 1.6.17.

View from mooring on the Alune River

By the time we got back to the boat Morning Star had arrived. We found a restaurant and had a nice meal. The following day we decided to go up the Alune River to a small anchorage. There was very little wind but the sun was out so we had a slow gentle sail. Again another beautiful river so we were amazed when we turned the corner to the anchorage and saw these three great big war ships.


Thursday 1st June 2017

Breakfast on Morning Star then off to Audierne which is somewhere we’ve visited, albeit briefly, twice before. First time with the Turners (Kev and Sue) and Jessica (daughter for those that don’t know) on Moyistar bringing her home from Spain and the second time with the Linton’s (John and Prim) bringing home Cuffysark from La Rochelle where she was born!

It was another sunny day but no wind to start with so we motor sailed. After a while the wind got up to about 8 knots so out comes the code zero (an enormous sail for close reaching – a technical sailing term). It was lovely and warm so we sat at the front of the boat arriving at about 6.30pm


We passed the Rez de Sein with no fuss, nice and calm which are the best conditions to be going past.


We had just the one night in Audierne before we departed for Luctody which was about 35 miles along the coast arriving early evening.  We initially thought we would have just ktwo nights here but a storm with high winds was coming though so thought this was a good sheltered spot to stay so we were port bound for five days.  Wednesday 7th June was the first opportunity for us to leave.  We had a lovely bike ride around the area before the storm arrived.


Bob and Ian seemed to have a bit of trouble with riding their bikes.  We did tell them it would be better to have both wheels on the ground!


B3. Loctudy - calm before the storm 04.06.17.

Loctudy – calm before the storm

Now we picked to stay in Loctudy because we thought it would be nice and safe.  From the storm yes, other boats no.  On Sunday evening sitting minding our own business and Ian saw a small sailing  boat coming towards us the skipper not paying attention and smacked into the back of our  boat!  Took out some of the gel coat and scrapped along the transom.  He was very apologetic and we exchanged details.  The following day was bank holiday so nothing happening then. The boatyard “Uship” were really helpful and able to do the repair so we stayed another day so it was done and we didn’t have to worry about finding somewhere else to get it sorted.



We decided to take the bus into Quimper (pronounced Kemper).  The day before had been a bank holiday and this affected the bus timetable the following day, which is obviously something you would expect, NOT!  So after waiting half an hour and still no bus. Bob popped into the Tourist office who told him that the 11.30 bus wasn’t running that day and the next one wasn’t for another two hours.  So we came back later.  Quimper is a beautiful old city with a cathedral.  Bus travel is cheap here too, 4€ round trip, which was 40 minutes each way.

We finally said goodbye to Loctudy after six nights bound for the River Belon on Thursday lunchtime.


8th June 2017