I Nearly Enjoyed That – L’Aber Benoit to Sainte Evette, Southern Brittany
Up at 6am. I made breakfast and snacks for the day. We left the mooring at 7am and motored out. It took almost an hour to motor out to where we needed to turn South to avoid all the clusters of rocks. As we left the shelter of the river the sea was extremely swells and sloppy and we were being washed with spray occasionally from both sides and the front. Neil and Jake were having great fun while I sat in the corner and gripped the side of the pod. Jake has some great video which when he has chance will put up on his site barefootboatbums.com
After a further hour or so we changed direction again and started to run with the strong tide that runs for approximately 17miles in the Chenal du Four. The sea state reduced and I started to enjoy the trip. As the sea was better, I went below to make a fresh cup of tea. During that time they registered over 15knots with the wind and the tide streaming us along.
Between the Chanel and the next bit of tidal stream, the Raz de Sein the sailing was good still and despite being against the tide, we had wind and tide in same direction so the Raz was a pretty calm affair then we turned the corner into the wind.
Up till that point we had an average of 7 knots, so much faster than the last 2 trips. Initially we kept up the speed well until about 1.5 miles from Sainte Evette when the engines were switched on and the sails lowered. We then dropped to 2knots trying to push against the wind. It took nearly an hour to do that last 1.5miles.
We picked up a mooring around 8 hours after we left L’Aber Benoit, just about my level of interest.
There had however been a couple of heart in mouth moments, for me anyway. This coastline is extremely rocky with more lighthouses than I’ve ever seen in one place. We were sailing, pretty fast, between a lighthouse and a marker buoy when Neil couldn’t steer to starboard (right) so Jake had to push the tiller manually. To my mind, the lighthouse was getting nearer and we had no steering!
Don’t panic Mum, we can steer using the tiller, not just the wheel. I like the wheel as to turn right it’s the same as driving a car, while using the tiller is the opposite way. If I’d of had to do it, not likely, I have to think hard, which takes time, on which way to ove the tiller.
Also, we were about half hour out and Jake was sat on the starboard hatch and suddenly said “oh shit”. My heart dropped, stopped or leapt – can’t remember which. A shroud had come loose, the shackle had come unhooked. However Jake clipped it back on and another job added to Neil’s list.
We went ashore about 6pm with the idea of showers, a beer and a meal. However the showers were shut. According to the pilot book (turns out its 5 years old) said they were open till 8pm. Ha. We did however get the beer but nowhere close to eat that we could see, so dinghied back and had tea on board.
The wind was still howling and the dinghy ride was as extreme as some of the sailing. The wind is forecast to howl, almost to gale strength, for another 48 hours. Great.
But we are here on the next step. If the wind (which to be fair is warmer than we had on the north coast or Alderney) dropped, it would be hot and summer like. Just what we are looking for.