Category Archives: 2017 – France

France – the Final Chapter

6th to 15th July 2017

We left Royan at 5am on Thursday 6th July heading down through the North firing ranges on the West Coast of France. It was a long trip of 11.5 hours. We had to slow down a little as we could only enter Cap Ferrat one hour before high tide as there is a sandbar at the entrance and there can be quite a lot of swell. It wasn’t too bad, coming out three days later was a different story! There is a very large sand dune here called the Dune de Pilat on the way into the bay.

We left Cap Ferrat on Sunday 9th July at 6am, there was no firing as it was a weekend. We spoke to the port who advised that the swell was 1.5m however, with wind over tide (ie going in opposite directions) it was choppy and the swell at the bar was 2m (wave height) so it wasn’t particularly nice, in fact it was horrible (it’s not all great). The trip was just over 10 hours to Anglet, which was about three miles from Bayonne and the wind was gusting quite hard at times. It was only about an hour or so from our destination that the wind dropped and the sun came out.
Our first full day and we had to go in search of an opticians who could provide some glasses for Ian. (I mentioned in my last blog how he managed to knock them off his head and they dropped into the water with no chance of retrieving them). So déjà vu as we had this same issue in Thailand. Just one of the challenges we have to overcome. It rained quite a lot here too, so off we went to Bayonne (which is quite a big town) in our identical pac a macs, identical bikes, both in jeans and sailing shoes, we did look like Howard and Hilda although I didn’t wear the sunglasses.

Luckily Ian has prescription sunglasses and the third optician could produce glasses from the sunglasses in two days. We spent the rest of the time here doing chores. On Tuesday 11th July we had a stowaway Julia. The following day we sailed about 12 miles down the coast to a lovely bay which had St Jean De Luz to port, Ciboure ahead and Socoa to starboard. The bay was a hive of activity with various watersports – dinghies, paddle boarders, surf boards, areas for swimming and anchorages with beaches all around the bay.

C1. Cemetery at Socoa 12.7.17.On arriving in the bay, what stood out was the cemetery in Socoa on the hillside. Now Julia is a Taphophile, “what?” I hear you cry, it is a fascination with cemeteries. I can actually understand this! So we had a wander up to it, it was quite something else. Most of it was made up of family tombs.

There are three breakwaters here. As the tide gets higher the waves crash against this. Some people walk along them hoping they won’t get wet as some of the waves crash over the wall. Someone had to give it a go!

We had night on a buoy in the bay and then moved into the marina. We had to moor up stern to (which means the back of the boat is against the jetty). This meant that we could use our pasarelle (gang plank) for the first time but before we could do that Ian had to drill a hole in the engine room hatch door so it would fix into it so it didn’t slide about when you stood on it and also make up a pulley so it didn’t bang on the jetty. It is quite amazing how quickly things get done when it involves a boat!

That evening we went into St Jean de Luz for a nice meal and the place was buzzing. Walking back to the boat a large bar caught our eye, it was bar and street food all in one. So we popped in for a drink.


Bastille Day 14th July 2017

This is a big celebration in France so we had made sure we were still in France for this. It started at 9.30am with swimming across the bay from Socoa beach to St Jean de Luz beach. It’s quite difficult to see how many people were taking part from the photo. There was a memorial ceremony and then a group playing big band music in the market place. In the market place artists set up their stalls with easels and were painting and displaying their work. This was done each day.

Sadly we had to say goodbye to Julia at lunchtime as she had a train and plane to catch so wasn’t able to stay for the celebrations that evening. So we waved her off on the train.
In the evening there was a band playing by the Renauld bar we’d been into the night before that attracted a large audience. We decided to go back to near where the marina was to watch the fireworks on the beach, which was crowded.

Our time in France has come to a close.  So on Saturday 15th July we headed south for the border. We’ve had a great time in France and are now looking forward to our time in Spain.

16th July 2017

Au revior to our Cruising Companions

6th July 2017

Two months ago in May we set sail on an overcast day from the Island Yacht Club.  Bob and Gillian on Morning star were planning on a trip which took them in the same direction.  So we set off together with no fixed plan as to where we would go or even if we wanted to go to the same places.  Well we’ve been cruising companions for 90% of the time and we’ve had a lot of fun along the way.

We finally reached that time when we had the parting of the ways.  Royan on the Gironde was to be our last port of call with Bob and Gillian.

We arrived in Royan on Tuesday afternoon (4th July) and were planning on staying for just two nights (even though it was three nights for the price of two – we had to move on).  So we thought it would be best that we had our “last supper” together that evening rather than the night before we leave, as we’d played that game a couple of times before when we were off the following day with an early start and it’s not good when you have “one more and no more” and you lose count of how many times that is said, I’m not sure who led who astray.  So we had dinner and then went back to Cuffysark for a few glasses of wine on the penultimate evening.  It was a very warm evening so we sat in the cockpit listening to music (very sophisticated this time – we were randomly choosing classical, then theme tunes – I started this as I don’t know that many classical tunes although my theme tune was classical!) It was also on this same evening that Ian, who likes to wear his glasses on his head when he doesn’t need them, managed to knock them off, which then promptly bounced on the deck and plopped into the water.  So here we go again, for those of you who have been following us, yes it’s deja vue, as we had this challenge in Thailand, when he lost the last his glasses in Myanmar.

We’ve had a lot of fun over the last two months and we are going to really miss our cruising companions.  They even got up and saw us off at 5am on Thursday 6th July (their mooring was a few minutes’ walk from us – we were on the reception pontoon again as they couldn’t fit us anywhere else – great advantage for the Wi-Fi as it’s normally better by the Capitainiere’s office), just to be sure we went!

We have sailed nearly 900 miles together and been to so many places, it’s hard to remember them all but this is a little reminder.  It has been a great start to our new way life.  Thanks guys!


10th July 2017

La Rochelle, Rochefort and RAIN!

We spent a couple of nights (Monday 26th and Tuesday 27th June) in Les Sables d’Olonne which is where the Vendee Globe starts and finishes.  It is a typical seaside resort.  We didn’t do much here but caught up with chores.

La Rochelle- 28th to 30th June 2017

Our journey of just over five hours to La Rochelle included grey skies, thunder, lightning and rain.  We began with very light winds of just five knots eventually gusting up to 20knots.  We stayed in La Rochelle for three nights as there were strong winds coming through.   La Rochelle is somewhere we have visited previously on a few occasions and where “Cuffysark” was built. The Fountaine Pajot factory is here.  It’s unlikely that you will see so many catamarans in one place other than at the marina here.

Unfortunately it did nothing but rain in La Rochelle.   We had to go to the Capitainerie to allocate us a berth which was a few minutes’ walk along the quay.  He wanted to show us where to go so off we followed him, just a minute in and the heavens opened and we were saturated and that pretty much set the scene for our three days.

IMG_3772We decided to visit (another) the Maritime Museum which consisted of a metrological ship called the France, a tug plus various other boats which could be viewed from the quay including the Joshua which belonged to Bernard Moitessier who was taking part in the Golden Globe race in 1968 and was also in the lead and should have won the race and become the first person to circumnavigate non stop single handedly round the world but when he got back to the south Atlantic he decided that he liked it so much he carried on going and went round again.  This meant that Robin Knox Johnson finished first and was awarded the title of first man to go round the world single handed non stop.

Bob and Ian particularly liked the model of “The France’s” engine room.

In another section of the museum was a model of a Mahe 36, which is what our boat is.  Ian really wanted to take this home.

We also visited the bunker that is situated in the middle of La Rochelle which tells the story of the German occupation of La Rochelle.  Worth a visit.

IMG_3751To keep ourselves amused we decided to have a music evening and each of us (Bob and Gillian too) had to pick our top ten list of music.  Ian cooked his renowned Paella (I know we aren’t in Spain yet!)  This was a really enjoyable evening and quite a mix of music.  A bit of a late night which wasn’t the smartest move as we were leaving for Rochefort the following morning at 8.30.


La Charente River and Rochefort – 1st to 4th July 2017

It was another overcast day as we left La Rochelle at 8.30am.  Rochefort is on the La Charente River and is approx. 12 miles from the river entrance.  There are lock gates to Rochefort marina which are only open for a short time, depending on tides it’s about an hour, so it’s important to get the timing right.  Along each side of the river are “carreletts”, which are big square nets that are for trapping fish.  These are in all states of repair.

On the river there are two bridges, the road bridge (which at high tide is 32metres above the water) and a Transporter Bridge (which is only used for tourists now).  The Transponder (as the transporter bridge is known) was one of the worlds’ first when it opened in 1900.  Cables are suspended from a trolley 50metres above the water pulling a gondola for pedestrians and cyclists across the river.  When going under bridges it always appears as though you will hit it.  As you can see from the photo of Morning Star, there was lots of space but it doesn’t look like that looking up.

Rochefort is where France built its Navy so there is, yes you’ve guessed it, another maritime museum and more boats and also La Corderie (where they made rope) and is the longest building in Europe.  It is now mainly offices with a small museum, so if you want to see rope being made in the traditional way then Chatham Dockyard is the place to go.  Gillian and I decided that we’d seen enough maritime museums so took ourselves off to the Musee des Commerces d’autrefois, which translates as a Museum of small trades from the beginning of the 20th century.

We left Rochefort after spending two nights there and made our way down La Charente River and anchored up near the entrance, as this would save us time the following morning for our passage to Royan.  The Charente River sits opposite Ile D’Oleron, which is joined to the mainland by a bridge which at high tide is 18metres and our air draft is just over 17.  This passage, “Pertuis de Maumusson” is not recommended because of the sandbar at the entrance to the open sea which can create big swells.  The alternative is to go to the north end of the Ile D’Oleron which was another 25 miles added to the already 35 miles we had to sail.  Yes we took the shortcut.  However, we only did because of the conditions, we wouldn’t have taken any chances, you have to respect the sea.  It was neap tides, 5 knots of wind and half a metre of swell which is unusual for this coast and this was the only reason for going this way.


The result of “The Bridge” Race

By the way the Queen Mary 2 made it to New York in 5 days

10th July 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


Brittany Part 2

St Quay Portrieux to L’aber Wrac’h

We left a lovely sunny St Malo (Tuesday 23rd May) and arrive in a cloudy St Quay Portrieux, a small village, but it did eventually brighten up.  We went up to the Capitainerie’s office in the marina to pay and we are told we have to pay 1.5 times the standard rate because we are a catamaran which can sometimes be the case if you use up two moorings however on this occasion we were alongside a pontoon so we weren’t taking up any more space than a boat the same length.  Ian wasn’t really paying attention up until this point, busy looking at boat pictures and such like.  He feigned outrage, “we are not paying that to be alongside” and it wasn’t as though it was busy.  He offered to pay 1.25 or we were off!  The lady disappeared off in the back and came back and said on this occasion we could have the standard rate.  Bob and Gillian were quite taken aback at his forthrightness.  I wasn’t!!

We had a meal in one of the marina restaurants with Bob and Gillian.  I’d set my sights on moules.  Just my luck they weren’t on the menu.  We decided on the 20Euro meal for two courses and we all had the same starter which we thought was prawns.  When it came up we were amazed we not only had large prawns but four oysters with bread and mayo.  We thought they had brought up the wrong starter and was trying to send it back.  It was lovely, it was only after we had all eaten ours I thought I should have taken a picture.

We got up the following morning (Wednesday 24th May)to a fog.  We were due to leave about 11.30 to go to the Treiux River, thankfully it lifted and off we went.  We took the Chenal du Ferlas approach to the entrance to the river, which is quicker but rocky and at high tide many of the rocks aren’t visible.  We arrived at low tide and you can see from the pictures the difference in colour on the rocks whey they are submerged at high water.


We spent one night in the marine at Lezardrieux, alongside a pontoon and NO we weren’t asked to pay the higher rate here.  A very pretty little village.

The following day, Thursday 25th May, it was busier as it was Ascension Day and this is a public holiday in France.  We decided to meander on down the river to Portrieux to have a look then go back some of the way and anchor up.  It was lovely and hot with very little wind so fabulous, not only that, the views along the rivers were amazing and the photos really don’t do it justice.  There is a big chateau, Chateau de la Roche Jagu, that sits on the hillside which is quite imposing.  We got as far as we could go which is the Pontrieux lock.  We decided to sit on the lock waiting and have a glass of Pimms, as it was definitely a “Pimms moment”.  After 20 minutes the lock keeper calls out that he had opened the gates for us.  We hadn’t planned on going through the lock but thought we had better as he’d opened it.

Inside the lock was also a trip boat with about 50 people on board.  Morning Star went in first.  No pressure on Bob and Gill to tie up correctly with 50 pairs of eyes watching.  Anyway they did it perfectly and received cheers and a round of applause.

We were pleased we did go through the lock as the village was very picturesque.

We spent just the one night here then went back to nearer the Trieux River entrance the following day on Friday 26th May 2017 and picked a sheltered mooring buoy up and spent a few hours soaking up the sun.

Off to Roscoff

2. Roscoff 26.5.17.


Saturday morning (27th May) at 8.30am, it was quite a contrast when we left the Trieux River , overcast and drizzling with rain.  An hour later and the sun was out however, it was a bit on and off for the trip.  Roscoff is a small town but quite busy and touristy. We decided to walk into town (or hobble as I’m still doing) get some supplies then go back to the boat before dinner in the marina.  We did this, but in a slightly different order.  We got some supplies although we are finding that most places only have a very small shop with limited goods, the seafront was heaving with bars and restaurants so we took in some refreshments ie beer.  After about half an hour a band set up and they started playing jazz, so we stayed longer than we anticipated.  The place was heaving.  By the time we left and got back to the marina it was 7, which was the time we had booked our table for, so straight there, no time to go back to the boat.  We then had cheese and wine back on Cuffysark.

Sunday morning (28th May) was very grey skies and just as we were about to leave for L’Aber Wrach’t we had a thunderstorm. 1. Roscoff rain - 27.5.17.


After about five hours we arrived, the wind finally dying off and it was low tide.  This meant that we would use the Chenal de la Maloiune approach which goes very close to some rock formations and saved a couple of miles as this was a cut through that you would only approach in very calm conditions.  Quite scarey as there are rocks here that cover and uncover at low tide so extreme caution is required.  They also farm huitres (oysters for those of you who don’t speak French, that’s us included).

A bit of deja vue here as it rained heavily for most of the afternoon and evening we were here.  This was a stopover place before our next leg onto Brest so wasn’t planning on going ashore which was just as well with the amount of rain we had.


28th May 2017

Brittany Part 1

Monday 15th to Monday 22nd May 2017


After a long sail the day before we had a leisurely start to the day. Later we went for a walk and Bob and Gillian took us to a local micro brewery.   The weather  forecast was good for Tuesday 16th May so we set off for Guernsey. We arrived too early to get into the marina as it has a sill so has to wait on a holding pontoon for nearly two hours. By the time we could get in it has started to rain, typical. This is one time we can’t sit inside and watch from the saloon we have to be outside to moor up. It was getting on for 9.30pm by the time we were moored so too late to start cooking so we found a fish and chip shop close by and had that for dinner.

3. St Peter Port Harbour, Guernsey 19.5.17.

St Peter Port Harbour, Guernsey – NOT on a rainy day

Since we arrived and for all of the next day all it did was rain, rain and yet more rain. It’s so much more noticeable on a boat. So everything feels damp. The Harbour Master suggested the best thing to do on a day like this is to go on a bus trip around the Island which was a £1 each. It was a great way to see the whole Island. Only issue was that it was raining so much that the Windows kept steaming up and in places the visability was not good. Added to that we sat on the back seat and water kept dripping from the air vent.

We spent four nights in Guernsey because it was buy 3 get 1 free. In St Peter’s Port there is a large castle called Castle Cornet. At 12.00 noon the gun is fired and although we knew it would be loud it was still a shock when it went off.

After this there was a play carried out by three guys about the SS Stella that hit the rocks and sunk in 8 minutes. It was quite amusing (not that the ship had sunk) and three people in the audience were asked to ring the bell, blow the whistle and blow the foghorn. The guys thought Bob would be good for the foghorn. The views and visability from castle cornet were amazing. We could see Sark, Herm, Jersey. Guernsey is a very pretty island as is the surrounding areas.

As it was Friday night it must be time to visit a yacht club. There are two in Guernsey the Guernsey YC and the Royal Channel Islands YC, the latter of which we visited. Up flights of stairs which gave us a good view. It was a very quaint cosy club and were made very welcome, even though “we weren’t local”. Every Friday night they hold a raffle and the prizes are a various assortment of fresh meat. Bob “I never win anything” not only won but was the first ticket out.

We left Guernsey for St Malo on Saturday 21st May. A lovely sail although the wind died off the nearer we got there. It started to rain as we came into the harbour (becoming a bit of a pattern!). We had to go into a lock to get into the inner marina which is situated alongside the old city walls by the Quay. The lock walls are so high that the port guys have to help tie off your ropes as we were so low. While waiting the sun came out, so we thought all is improving. This is where it went downhill, for me at least. We came through the lock into the marina. I tied off the stern line, then stepped and it was a step I don’t jump anymore (not with twin engines, Ian can get close to the jetty) and slipped over bending my knee back. So I’m now hobbling and before anyone thinks no there wasn’t any alcohol involved. There’s no drinking and sailing at the same time, only tea.

Once we had moored up the sun came out and we had a barbecue with Bob’s “I don’t win anything” winning meat assortment. Which was lovely.

The old town of St Malo is beautiful so the next day we had a very very slow walk as I couldn’t walk properly around the town and along the city walls. Up and down stairs wasn’t easy.


The weather has improved and is now sunbathing weather so managed a couple of hours after doing my chores of course, washing and housework. I do have a little washing machine but it’s not like throwing all your stuff in and coming back when it’s finished. It only takes about 3kg, you have to fill it up with water let it wash for 10 mins, take that lot out put the next lot in, using the same water but topping it up a bit, same thing a third time. Then it has to be emptied and do the same thing three times for rinsing. Then spin it, which takes even less weight plus you have to hold onto it or it will end up the other side of the cockpit. Takes a while but definitely quicker than washing by hand which will have to for bedding and towels. I’ve got two lovely purple buckets for that! How lucky am I!!!

We left St Malo on Monday evening (22nd May 2017) and picked up a mooring outside for the night so we didn’t have to get up so early in the morning to get through the lock. You can only go through the lock +-2.30 either side of high tide.

A8. St Malo anchorage 22.5.17.

St Malo Anchorage


23rd May 2017