Within these log entries visitors will be able to follow Destiny and her crew as she cruises Biscay.
The other pages will provide information and links, but the ongoing sailing adventures appears here!
Within these log entries visitors will be able to follow Destiny and her crew as she cruises Biscay.
The other pages will provide information and links, but the ongoing sailing adventures appears here!
Destiny spent 2019 cruising to Northern Spain and back from 04.06.19 to 28.09.19. She crossed Biscay overnight from La Rochelle to Bilbao and returned overnight up the West coast of France. Apart from a storm at the beginning and strong winds for the last two weeks, the weather was generally superb with little rain, most of which was at night.
In all she was away from her home port at La Roche Bernard for 117 days, of which she was laid up afloat in Getxo (Bilbao) for 59 days, and sailed 964.06 Nm.
Some great memories, especially of N. Spain and its very hospitable people and wonderful food and drink, superb scenery, no wind (for most of the time!) and much use of the engine. No real hiccups, other than a near grounding that could have cost the keel, and shredded genoa that has resulted in a £1500 bill for replacement!
Would not have changed anything – hope to do it again!
Destiny stayed afloat but laid up until 06.01.20, and is now ashore until early May.
30.08.19 – Bilbao (Getxo) to Bermeo.
Back on Destiny after seven and a bit weeks! She looked good on arrival, with lines well set, and had obviously been looked after. Little dust on deck and no charge for extra day.
Fcst: (W): NE 2(4) kts @ 0900 > S 6(10) @ 1800. S. Swell 1m. (MC): similar.
Plan – Approx 20 Nm = 3.5 hrs. Bermeo Capitina closed 1400>1530, aim for ETA 1300/1330, agreed by email interchange to call before 1400 +34 670 03 00 75.
Dep. 0926 after fuelling. Main tank 11.5 L + 1x 20L jerrycan. (2x 20L now in reserve. Destiny very sluggish, poor helm response and slow. Assume heavy fouling during stop over, may have to arrange lift and clean. 1130 off Billano Iria, Cabo Villano. 1150 warned off BIMEP site (wave energy research). 1255 off Cabo Machichaco. 1345 berthed Transito pontoon (2 out of 8 occupied).
Notes: Bermeo, nice town. V. helpful Marineros. Pontoons good but wash from boats entering / leaving marina. Shopping 10 minutes+.
23.62 Nm. EH 4.9. (no wind). PJA & JMA. Passport Escales.
31.08.19 – Bermeo to Mutrika. (Motrico)
Fcst: (W) NW2(8) kts @ 0900 > 6(20) @ 1800. SI. Swell 1.3 > 1.0. (MC) W > NW 7(10) kts > 8(10) CL. Swell 1.5.
Plan: Dep 1000, ETA 1300. V. helpful Marinero on duty, rang Mutrika and asked ‘Iban’ to keep a berth for us.
Dep. 1000. Swell a problem on leaving pontoon. 10.47 off Cabo Ogona. 1150 off Cabo Santa Catalina. 1247 off Ondarroa. 1327 berthed Mutrika.
Notes: Marinero ‘Iban’ very helpful, called him on VHF Ch 09 & came down to greet us and catch lines. Old town near harbour, very hilly but beautiful. Statue of Mayor 1805 died at Trafalgar! Shopping a hike up the hill but lifts available! Berthing exposed to the NE. Destiny now much more responsive and faster, Assume growth is coming off.
19.67 Nm. EH 3.6 (no wind) PJA and JMA. Passport Escales 2 nights.
02.09.19 – Mutrika to Donostia (San Sebastian).
Fcst: (W) N 5(12) kts @ 0900 > 8(16) @ 1800. SI poss Shw. Swell 1.0. (MC) N 6(10) @0900 > NE 12(16) @ 1800 SI. Swell 1.3.
Plan: Approx 16 Nm, 3 Hrs, ETD 1000, ETA 1300. Marinero rang SS 2 Transito’s free then.
Dep. 1000. 1145 Off Piedra Izarri (Getaria headland). 1215 Off Ria D’Orio. 1320 Berthed Donostia.
Notes: Wind actually NW. Rolling in swell meant that wind aft and knocked out of main even with a preventer. Main dropped as useless – prob ok on the beam. San Sebastian – great town for atmosphere, Pintxos and evening meals. Donostia harbour very tight for manoeuvring, but ok. Harbour area shuts down at 2300 so not too noisy. Supposed to be 14 Transito’s but in reality only 6 as rest used by ”empty” boats. You pay at locked gate before you can get out, so not ideal for Passeport Escalles .
19.39 Nm. EH 3.8 (still no wind!). PJA and JMA. Passeport Escales 2 nights.
04.09.19 – Donostia (San Sebastian) to Hondarribia (changed at sea to Anglet.)
Fcst: (MC) SW 7(12) kts @0900 > NW 12 (17) @ 1800. Hazy S. Swell 0.7 > 1.0.
Plan; est. 12 Nm, 2.5 Hrs. ETD. 0930 ETD 1200.
Dep. 1005. 1115 off Pasajes. 1200 decision made to abort Hondarribia and proceed to Anglet as risk of low water on bar at entrance to Hondarribia. (Left too late!) Est. ent. 1720 onwards if high sea and swell. 1210 rang Anglet, berth allocated D23 and ent. confirmed as low swell. 1230 motor sailing with genoa as too rolly for main. 1547 Inner channel markers. 1608 berthed wrong place. 1612 final berthing D23.
Notes: 1. Passage – left departure too late as ideally should enter Rio Bidasoa at top half of tide ie. >1150. Swell was low so might have been ok, but ….? 2. Anglet – Staff very helpful. No marking on pontoon ends, only walkways, so no idea of where berth may be. View not great and D23 very exposed (hence visitors). Persistent smell of coke gas as ships unload. However, one plus, its the port for Bayonne which is an old and beautiful town and a ”must visit” either via the excellent bus system, or the well marked cycle tracks that take you right into the town.
Boarded next day by French Custom’s. Many questions and form filling, plus search of Destiny. Very polite and not as intimidating as the Spanish.
30.17 Nm (cum 4303.7). EH 6.2 (cum 243.7) Water temp 20.7 oC PJA and JMA. Passeport Escales 2 nights, then €27.40.
07.09.19 – Anglet to Hondarribia.
During our stay in Anglet, the plan of heading north to La Rochelle was revised Because of the constraints of entering Archachon and the Gironde it was decided that an overnight passage from ”the corner” straight to La Rochelle would be a better option, and if possible a start from Capbreton would shorten the journey a little. Fortunately an old scout / sailing friend, Rocyn, (who had crewed with us back in 2014) would be free in a few days to come out and join us. So with some time to spare……Back to the bit of Spain we had missed!
Plan: Enter R Bidasoa on top half of flood tide 0900-1200. 15 Nm. ETD 0800 ETA 1100. Fcst: (W) SE 0(3) kts @ 0900 > NW 4(5) @1200. S. Swell NW 1.1
Refilled main tank – approx 47L in 18.5 EH = 2.5 L per hour (however, a lot done at 2800 rpm).
Dep. 0759. 0820 Exit fairway. 1020 lots of pot markers + some uniform smaller markers, lines or nets? 1105 berthed Hondarribia marina. (preferred to Hendaye as apparently better town?) Notes: 1. V pleasant marina with good staff (English speaking). P. Escales, but only 5 allowed in ESK marina gp (uncertain as to within what period). €29.70. Town centre is about a 10 minute walk, and a mixture of very old and new. Lots of bars and restaurants but only small supermarkets. The big one is a further 10 minutes walk, so a wheeled trolley for provisions! We arrived the day before the annual Fiesta so a very enjoyable stay of several days, and with the final nights fireworks being set off from the marina breakwater, we had a grandstand view. 2. Did cross over to Hendaye one day by foot ferry, to compare. Marina good with plenty of facilities, but town very ‘second home holiday mode’ with many blocks of flats, some restaurants but only a couple of tiny shops and very quiet at this time of the season.
15.84 Nm EH 3.3. PJA and JMA. P. Escales (see note above).
12.09.19 – Hondarribia to Anglet.
Fcst: (MC) E 2(7) kts @0900 > N 5(9) @ 1800. SI. Swell NW 1.3
Plan: 16 Nm 3hrs. ETD 1000. ETA 1300. Est enough water under keel @ bar.
Dep. 1004 Min 4.5 (2.5 u/k) in river. LW 1030 1.1m NP +4. Breakers noted well out from Hendaye beach – assume’ Les Briquets’ ? 1212 off Biarritz. 1315 berthed D23 (again!)
16.09 Nm. EH 3.4 (still no real wind) PJA and JMA. P. Escales. Rocyn Williams joined the crew @ 1800.
13.09.19 – Anglet to Capbreton
Fcst: (MC) SW 6(9) kts @ 0900 > NW 5(8) @1800. S. Swell 1.7
Plan: Nav hazards ‘Le Gouf’ 2 Nm off Capbreton. ETA Capbreton 1300 > Est @1300 1.7 +1.5 = 3.2m (1.25 u/k) Spoke to Capitiniere CB, swell ok at entrance and depth sufficient at ETA.
Dep. 1051 (LW 1100) Motorsailed with main up at first, but then dropped as not driving. 1300 approaching entrance channel. Surf either side of narrow entrance. Not enough room to safely abort – surfed in with 2.0-0.8 u/k (at one point 0.3). Ran aground on sand port side just short of marina entrance. Floated off with rising tide and tied to a wall ladder to wait for more water. 1400 berthed ‘E’ hammerhead.
Notes: Do not enter until HW -2.5, or in heavy swell HW -2. We were too early. Channel deeper to north on entry but south of middle as approaching marina. We didn’t cut over early enough and no contours on plotter. Go by a current pilot book / almanac and not other peoples judgement. Also don’t be lulled into a false sense of security by other traffic – they may not draw as much as you do! However, a ‘goody bag’ from the Capitiniere containing a bottle of local wine helped dull the ‘pain’!
11.23 Nm. 3.3 EH. PJA, JMA, and RW. Passeport Escales. Water temp 19.6 oC. No photo’s as too much panic!
14.09.19 – Capbreton to La Rochelle (day 1).
Fcst: (MC) WNW > N > NE. Generally 8(16 @ midnight) kts. Swell 1.1 > 0.8. S. Clear night.
Plan: Exit S of mid channel then at Old Casino/ Statue move to N side. ETD 1530 (poss 1500 as LW 1140 so HW – 3.5. CB to LR 156 Nm, approx 28.5 hrs. Pt de Chassiron flood starts 1230 hence arrival Pt de C @ 1630 latest to get 2 hrs of favourable tide. Poss of St Denis? (est ent 1630 > 2000 latest). Checked with Capitiniere, no Landes range activity.
Dep. 1511. Better exit than previous days entrance, but had spent the previous 45 minutes watching much bigger yachts (with assume same or deeper keels) exiting en-masse for a race! 1630 well clear of Le Goufre and accompanied by dolphins. 1800 called by Coast Missile Station requesting info on destination, crew etc. Presumably picked us up on AIS. Lack of wind and swell prevented any useful sailing. Genoa only 2230-0000. Est. @ 0000 47 Nm.
15.09.19 – Capbreton to La Rochelle (day 2)
0210 Genoa back out and extra 0.5 kt + dolphins again! 0309. Off Cap Ferret. 0813. Main and genoa up! Motorsailing. 1314 Off BXA Gironde fairway buoy, sails away as calm. Est possibly too late for safe entrance to St Denis, but La Rochelle accessible to 2200. 2020. Berthed Minimes on Capitiniere holding berth.
Notes: 78.76L fuel added on arrival @ 29.4 EH+ 2.7L PH. (prob due to 7hrs @ 3000 rpm. Moved to berth 113 pontoon 15. Walkway is 0.2 miles long and 15 minutes walk to the Capitiniere. Enforced stay due to high winds, but as the La Rochelle Boat Show was on that moderated things.
125.32 Nm. 29.4 EH. PJA, JMA & RW. P. Escales 2 nights, then €31. Rocyn left Destiny 17.09.19.
20.09.19 – La Rochelle to Les Sables-d’Olonnes.
Fcst: (MC) E 11(17) kts @ 0900 > 8(14). S. Swell W 0.3.
Plan: Via P. Antioche 39.2, via P. Breton 37. Est 5/6 hrs, tides favourable for P. Breton via Ré bridge. Ent LSDO Bar 1.1+1.8=2.9 @LW. Aim for 1700+
Dep 1111. 1235 under Ré bridge (last time this season!). 1445 Pointe de Grouin du Coue. 1540 off Jard sur Mer. 1634 Bourgenay fairway buoy. 1730 over ent bar, min depth 3.0 u/k. 1750 berthed Quai Garnier, lots of space.
Notes: Excellent staff and facilities. Bit noisy, but ”in the action” and convenient for town.
34.95 Nm. EH 7.4. PJA and JMA. P. Escales.
21.09.19 – Les Sables-d’Olonne to Port Joinville.
Fcst: (MC) SE 18(25) kts @1200 > SE 13(21) @ 1800. (W) SE 14(19) @1200 . 15(22) @ 1800. SI. Swell SW 0.9.
Plan: It was intended to spend two nights here, but with the prospect of more windy weather coming in, it was felt better to head closer to home. Prev outward trip 4.75 hrs 31 Nm. LW PJ 1555 1.9+ Channel 1.5=3.4m. Enter 1700+ on rising tide.
Dep. 1206 eta 1700. Main with 2 reefs. 1300 Petit Barge cardinal. 1430 genoa only as corkscrewing in heavy seas from the stern. 1740 berthed fuel barge 28.04L = 2.2L PH. 1747 berthed A (inside).
30.37 Nm. (cum 4584.3) 5.8 EH. 9cum 296.3). Water temp 16.7oC. PJA and JMA. P. Escales. Wedding Anniversary tomorrow, so definetly a day off or 1st Mate will rebel!
23.09.19 – Port Joinville to Pornichet.
Fcst: @1730 22.09. (MC) SW 11(15) kts @0900 > SW 16(24) @ 1500. SI. Swell 1.7. (W) SW 10(16) kts @0700 > 14(21) @ 1500. Swell 1.8.
Plan: Ent. to Piriac not advised in these winds and will also be dubious for Vilaine ent. So Pornichet better option. 36Nm est 7 hrs. Earliest departure PJ 0730.
Dep. 0810 in company with yacht ‘Anser’. 3 reefs in main. Genoa 60%. 1100 severe gust SW 28 kts. Roller reefing jammed, broached, genoa badly torn down 1/3 of sacrificial strip. 1205 off Les Cheveux. 1225 off Theresa. 1324 SE Banche. 1505 berthed ‘L’ pontoon hammerhead rafted to large Catamaran with Anser outside. Staff v. helpful.
38.99 Nm. EH 7.2. PJA and JMA. No P.Es. €23 (out of season rate).
28.09.19 – Pornichet to La Roche Bernard.
Fcst: (MC) W 11(18) kts @0900 > 15(19) @ 1500. SI. Wave ht 1.0 Swell 0.3. NB bad weather following day.
Plan: 34 Nm. Est 22.5 to ent Varligue pass. 4.0-4.25 hrs. Varlingue best HW -3 > HW (wind over tide after HW) hence 1430 to 1730. Est leave Pornichet HW +1 (Sp tide) = est 1.35 u/k. Arzal lock restricted to 2000 and 2100. Triathlon in LRB 29.09 with no navigation 1030-1200.
Dep 1210 ).6m u/k in marina, 1.5 in channel. 1340 Bas Lovre. Main 2 reefs, genoa furled as emergency sail.,strong tide against. 1412 SW Croisic. 1423 Bas Castoulles. Tide now with us. 1513 Bayonelles. 1615 Ent Varlingue Passage. 1638 end and Main down. 1800 Moored outside lock, open but full. 2000 entered lock. 2135 berthed LRB L18!
33.85 Nm (cum 4657). EH 8.2 (cum 311.7) PJA and JMA.
04.06.19 – La Roche Bernard to Arzal.
The day spent loading Destiny with provisions and getting her into a suitable position for an early start on the following day. Left berth1430, stopped at Arzal fuel pontoon to top up main tank (150L) and three jerry cans (20+20+30=70L). Exited Vilaine through the 1600 lockdown. Initially went down river to Trehiguer but very choppy on the visitors buoys so came back up to the Arzal waiting pontoon for the night. Berthed 1735. Cum EH 142.4
05.06.19 – Arzal WP. to Port Joinville.
Fcst: Meteo Consult (MC), SW 3(5) kts > W 19(25) kts @ 1800. Windy (W) NW10 (10) kts > SW 17(21) kts @ 2100. S Int, no rain. Fcst for 07.06 was giving high winds. As our crew were arriving late on Saturday 8th, the intention was to ideally make La Rochelle by end 06.06, or if weather on the 6th deteriorated earlier, stop over in Les Sables d’Olonne and make the final leg to La Rochelle on the 8th.
0700 dep. 0757 start of Varlingue pass, exit at 0821. 0900 called possible destinations . L’Herbaudiere closed to accommodate a rally. Port Joinville open. 0920 Bayonnelles, motorsailing.1424 Les Boeufs, 1700 berthed D leg Port Joinville (bit tight).
62.8 Nm EH 10.0 PJA & JMA. Passport Escales
06.06.19 – Port Joinville to La Rochelle.
Fcst: 1900 05.06 SW 7(13) @ 0600 > S 9(17) @ 1800. Shws / S Int. Fcst (W) for 1050 06.06 @ Wpt 379 ‘Barge’ SW 9(15) > 15(20) @ 1800. Swell 1.1.
Plan – to attempt La Rochelle but sail close by Les Sables d’Olonnes in case weather deteriorated earlier.
0615 Dep. 1051 Wpt 379 ‘Barge’. 1402 Wpt 390 ‘NW Re’. 1715 Chauveau Cardinal. Berthed Minimes Visitor pontoon 6 B13 (tight between legs) Told by marina staff to find a place on 4 or 5, but all full. ‘Disorganised’!
75.86 Nm. Cum 3839.8 Nm. EH 12.0. PJA & JMA. Passport Escales 2 nights, 1 night @ €31.90. Wifi moderate.
07.06.19 – Storm ‘Miguel’ made landfall at Port Joinville mid morning, severe winds affected most of W France. Sadly the Sables d’Olonne lifeboat capsized trying to assist a fishing boat. 3 crew lost plus those on fishing boat. Joined for lunch on Destiny by Graham and Jane Clark (Moon Haze) who were berthed in the inner harbour. Gusts of 35-40 kts recorded on Destiny, plus half the sand from Minimes beach!
08.06.19 – Wind moderated early morning, lunch in town with Graham and Jane, Sarah and Adrian Gaunt joined us for the coming week early evening.
09.06.19 – La Rochelle to St Denis d’Oleron.
Fcst: (W) NE12(17) kts @0600 > 17(23) @1800. R. early am > S Int. Swell 0.9 > 0.4.
Planning: StD cill 1.5 above CD. Hence 1.9UK @ half tide. Est entrance 0740 – 1130 (1245). Fuelled 49.97 L after 24.3 EH = consumption of 2 L per Hr @ cruising revs 2500.
Dep. 0816, and 0841 from LR fuel berth. Berthed St d’O 1050. Met at entrance and guided to berth. V efficient!. Lovely marina. €22.75 pn. Big fête as 30th anniversary of opening. 13.7 Nm. PJA, JMA, SG, AG.
10.06.19 – Day in St Denis, waiting for weather to settle. Hired bikes and toured the island, good cycle tracks and fairly flat. Warning – dont over estimate ability, we did and got charged an extra half day’s hire!
11.06.19 – St Denis d’Oleron to Saint Martin de Re.
Fcst (W) NW 5 Kts @0900 > W 16(28) @ 1800 R. Longer term fast indicates possible window for Biscay Fri/Sat 14/15.
Plan: Dep half tide 1015/1030. Ent St M HW-2 > HW +1.5 = 1100-1500. Lock opens HW-3 > HW +2.5 (Capitiniere only open when lock is).
Dep 1045. At start of bar only 1.0 u/k. Definitely not before half tide!. Berthed 1345 on long V pontoon in Avant Harbour. Motorboats on inner end, yachts on seaward end (exposed to swell). Pilot book says its dredged to 2m, but not. Aground @ LW but upright in soft mud. In hindsight, berthing in Basin à Flot better, but rafting! €23.90 pn. Wifi poor.
18.41 Nm 3EH. PJA, JMA, SG, AG.
12.06.19 – Saint Martin de Ré to La Rochelle (Minimes).
Fcst (W) SW 5(11) > W 17(25). S Int / Shws.
Plan: Possible 48 hr window now exists Thurs/ Fri 13/14, so aim is to position in La Rochelle in order to leave asap am 13th.
Dep 1300, least depth under bridge 4.5m @ Np tide.Refuelled on arrival, and berthed on Accueil pontoons 1511. Guided to berth and help with lines. Much more efficient than previous visits! Passport Escales. Wifi poor.
14.5 Nm EH 0.9. PJA, JMA, SG, AG.
13.06.19 – La Rochelle to Bilbao (ES).
Fcst (W) @ 0800 SW 10(15) kts overcast. 1800-2100 N13(18) > 11(18) R. late evening. Fri 0000 > 0600 N 8(15) >7(12) R. early hours. 0600 > 1200 N 5(8) > 7(10) brief S Int.
Plan: Pt de Chausseron @ slack (approx 0700). Delayed as wind over tide made sea v bumpy.
Dep. 0706. Only 0.9 u/k in approach channel and v. choppy. (LW 0810). 1000 Off Pt de Chausseron.1800 refilled main tank with 20L. 2200 mainsail only with one reef to stabilise movement so crew could sleep. Watching large trawlers as we approached Continental Shelf. Autopilot clutch adjusted as slipping in gusts . W speed 17 kts.
Est @ 0000 108 Nm EH 17.
14.06.19 – Bay of Biscay to La Rochelle.
0000 Continuous watching of trawlers on AIS (one or two not transmitting) accompanied by displays of lightning. 0130 wind speed now 9.5 and dropping. 0600 breakfast and a spectacular sunrise. 0838 2 whales blowing off on port beam, approx 0.3 Nm. 1330 two visit over one hour from a pod of 12-15 dolphins, spending some time playing and running with Destiny. 1645 Land in sight.
Berthed Getxo Marina 1900 120.0 Nm. 19 EH. Total passage 36 hrs 228.0 Nm 36.2 EH.
Notes: Overall the forecast from ‘Windy’ was pretty accurate, including the increase in wind late evening on the 13th. A decision was made before leaving that we wished to maintain 5-6 kts per hour to avoid a second night at sea. Hence the engine never stopped! Sea and swell conditions were as forecast, including the slight increase as we passed over the end of the Continental Shelf. Total measured distance was 195 Nm so the log might be reading a little high? On arrival in the El Abra bay, Bilbao we tried calling RCMA for a berth (Passport Escalles) but no response so moved over to Getxo, also no response (apparently the Capitina closes at 1900 and a duty Marinero has a VHF and mobile.) Berthed on reception / fuel pontoon. Marinero eventual appeared and we stayed the night before being allocated a berth next morning. (Office closed all weekend). Good marina, very secure, Wifi poor, €40.80 pn (inc use of washing machine and tumble dryer) PJA, JMA, SG, AG.
15.06.19 – 17.06.19 Bilbao.
Sarah and Adrian left us on the 15th to fly back from Bilbao to the Uk. We had really enjoyed the company of our two ‘good weather mascots’. We have had several potentially difficult trips with them helping us – Chenal du Four, Raz de Sein, and now the Bay of Biscay, and all with light winds! Spent a very enjoyable time exploring Bilbao – wonderful city. Moved over to RCMA for one night just to try it, but once again no response to VHF call, somewhat arrogant staff and poor showers. Only advantage appears to be Passport Escalles.
Having arrived in N Spain, a decision now had to be made about our mid summer return and where to leave Destiny for what was going to be 8/52. Prices ranged from €920 at Marina Yates Gijon to a whopping €3200 at Marina Cantabrico, Santander. As we needed to get back to our French home near Ploermel to collect our car, consideration had also to be given to transport, flights, airports, and even possible hotels on route, as some journeys found online were taking up to 36 hrs. In the end we opted for leaving Destiny in Getxo at €1200, as were both impressed by the marina, and the ease of a metro / bus ride to the airport and a quick 3.5 hour flight back to Rennes via a short stopover in Paris at a good rate. Having made that decision, where next? Obviously west, but bearing in mind that we need to get back eventually to Bilbao, we decided against the 84Mn haul from Santander to Gijon, only to be able to spend a day or two there and then the same distance back. So?
18.06.19 – Bilbao to Laredo.
Fcst (W) SE 5(11) kts > NW 10(13). Sunny.
Dep. 1015, as going down river, joined by Brittany Ferries Cap Finistere. Berthed 1400.
Notes: Large well run marina, but underused. Good modern pontoons in the Visitor area, but services placed directly in line of where your bow will be. Can be exposed to gusts which happed when we were berthing. A Marinero insisted on us going into a down wind Visitors berth (Transito) with him taking the lines. Unfortunately he didn’t take a brake on the spring and a gust pushed us down the berth so our anchor laid an electric point flat! Moral of the story? Do your own berthing! Vistors A7-15 (v. long) and B1-39 (long) €40.50 pn. Wifi excellent. Town not exciting.
22.36 Nm EH 3.75. PJA & JMA.
19.06.19 – Laredo to Santander.
Fcst: (W) NW 6(12) kts > NW 5(9) S Int. Swell 0.5.
Dep.1005. 1230 off Cab d’Ajo lighthouse. 1440 berthed Marina de Cantabrico. Marinero met us in a dinghy and took our lines at berth. Good welcome.
27.18 Nm.(cum 4162.5) 4.7 EH (cum 216.4 + 688= 904.4) PJA & JMA. €42.44 pn.
Notes: Next to airport but not noisy at all. Ryanair to Stanstead – good place to change crews.
20-22.06.19 – Visited Santander, nice city but not as good as Bilbao. Marina a long way out but a 20 minute walk around the airport perimeter takes you to the bus stop. Buses every hour (on time) 15/20 mins into town for €1.55 pp. Good restaurant at Marina Capitinera €12 pp for 3 course lunch with 1 glass of red wine, and not much more in evening!. Hired a car to visit Picos Europa. €85 for a day with delivery and collection, 350 km mileage allowance.
23.06.19 – Santander to Laredo.
Fcst: (W) W 11 (19) kts > NW 6(9).S Int. Swell 0.7 > 0.5
Dep1000, 1040, stopped by Custom’s RIB and boarded by 2 armed men in black. Allowed to keep course but at reduced speed. 20 minutes of form filling and internal search of Destiny. Left happy ad transferred back into RIB to bother some merchant ships at anchor. 1209 off Cabo de Ajo LH. 1330 berthed Laredo B21.
25.62 Nm. 4.5 EH. €65 2 nights ( previous €40.50 1 night) PJA & JMA.
24.06.19 – Spent a day exploring Laredo and getting laundry done in a town launderette. Old town actually has quiet a lot of character, with numerous bars and restaurants. Large glass of wine – €1.40!
25.06.19 – Laredo to Castro Urdiales.
Fcst: (W) 2(4) kts > NE 5(10). S Int.
Dep. 1010. 1210 picked up yellow visitors buoy. 11.78 Nm. EH 2.0. PJA & JMA
Notes: Beautiful town with good Yacht Club. 12 Yellow visitors buoys (4 in use during our stay) €15 per night payable at YC. Free water taxi 0800-2130. (During July and August cost is €25 and water taxi 24hrs.) Fiesta day 26th) during our stay – loud music evening before until 0500 next morning! Good fixed price lunch on terrace of YC, €15pp inc bottle of wine!
27.06.19 – Castro Urdiales to Bilbao.
Fcst: (W) Sun and no wind over 4kts.
Dep.1000. Arrived reception pontoon Getxo, 1200. Berthed H14. 1230.
11.27 Nm. EH 2.3. PJA & JMA
Destiny is now laid up afloat in Getxo marina. Cost €1235.50 for 60 days in High Season (no charge for the extra day or two before and after the period. They have allocated a berth (H14) well in, out of the major movement areas. They have keys / contact numbers, and will check her regularly.
Total Cum distance 4211.1 and EH 913.2.
For this trip 04.06.19 – 27.06.19 Distance travelled 516.3 and EH 87.7
We will return 27.08.19 and plan to sail for the next leg on 29.08.19.
Destiny launched at Port Fonctionnel, Marzan. 12th April 2019
A new Raymarine wind transducer was fitted at the masthead, and at the same time the opportunity was taken to replace the original VHF aerial with a new Metz Manta aerial which would be better with AIS. A Digital Yacht AIT500, AIS transponder/receiver has also been fitted at the chart table with visual plots showing on the e7 chart plotter. This will increase the safety factor, but also allow family to follow our voyages via various Apps.
A test run up river was undertaken on 11.05.19, to check various systems, with a new ‘crew’
Due to the incapacity of the Skipper, it was not the most active of seasons, however, new destinations reached during the Autumn cruise made up for the earlier part of the season. Destiny performed well with the only equipment issue being a failure of the ST60 wind instrument. Diagnostics indicate that the fault is the transducer at the top of the mast, so will be replaced for next season.
The failure of the engine hours counter on Volvo instrumentation is a well known issue. Using the well tried method of recovery (putting the gauge in an airing cupboard for a month) produced a total reading of 825.6 hrs. This reading shows fleetingly on reconnection, but doesn’t last, hence the need for a separate counter. However, as the gauge is still counting, even though not visible, the ‘new metered hours’ subtracted from the total, will give the ‘missing hours’ factor to be added to make a true cumulative reading. In this case 688.
Destiny was lifted ashore for the winter on 8th October 2018. Total log now 3694.8 Nm. Total EH 825.5
Finally, the opportunity to get some sailing time! The skippers back has shown improvement, and whilst walking is still difficult (although he could cycle) he feels it’s safe enough to go to sea. So with a fair forecast and two folding bikes………..
03.09.18 – Arzal to Piriac. Fcst. Wind E 10 (14) kts and dropping. Sunny. HW 0930. Dep W.Pontoon below lock 0735. 0910 exit Varlingue pass. 1020 berthed Piriac long pontoon C inner side. (D2,4,6,8 or C good for dogs). No charge (Passeport Escales). 15.19 Nm. EH 2.75.
04.09.18 – Piriac to Pornic. Fcst. Wind NE 10 (17) kts and easing W.Ht 0.5 No rain P/cl. Hw 1200. Cill ok 1010-1610 app. Dep 1047. 1103 motorsailing, main only. 1500 passed 0.25 Nm from wreck site of RMS Lancastria, sunk by German aircraft in the entrance to the Loire river 17.06.40. Up to 6500 killed. Biggest loss of life in British maritime history. RIP. Berthed 1730. Very helpful staff. No cost (Passeport Escales). 36.76 Nm EH 5.8. Notes: marina side bars and restaurants ‘faded’, good restaurant on the beach. Nice riverside walk into town with more bars and restaurants, but close shops in poor supply.
06.09.18 – Pornic to L’Herbaudiere – Fcst. Wind NE 12(17) building 15(19). Cl. no rain. Dep. 1207. 1345 motorsailing as wind dropped. 1435 berthed N522. 12.58 Nm. EH 1.4 €21.5 pn (not PEsc). Very pretty port. Visitors berths exposed to wind through entrance. Sociable time with fellow LRB boats.
09.09.18 – L’Herbaudiere to Port Joinville, Ile de Yeu. – Fcst. Wind N 5(7) kts building to 13(15) later. Sunny, no rain. LW 1110. Tide with us through Passé de Grisse until 1100. 0835 dep. 0908 Passe de la Grisé cardinal, 1006 Reamur Wpt, end of Passe. 1310 berthed B21. 24.66 Nm. EH 4.7. Cum 3629.1 Nm. EH 126.4+ Notes: pleasant but busy town, many ferries in and out, few cars but loads of bicycles. Good restaurants and the best fishmonger we have ever seen. Superb Tuna steaks!
11.09.18 – Port Joinville to Piriac – Fcst: Sunny 22 oC. Wind <1knt. Original plan was to sail for L’Haubaudiere but Fcst for 12.09.18 gave a possible F5 which would have made the entrance to Piriac bit lumpy, so plan changed to go to Piriac on this leg. Dep. 0928. 1156 Wpt ‘Les Boeufs. 1319 St Nazaire ent. channel. 1611 Wpt. Le Croisic W. 1645 berthed D2 next to Wizard of Paget. CA ‘docktail’ party @1830 (inc Monty). 46.06 Nm. EH 7.3
14.09.18 – Piriac to La Roche Bernard. – The Vilaine lock has been closed for 3 days due to high salinity levels. Due to open today with the prospect of the first two locks being very full. Planned to arrive for third lock (1100). HW 0805 therefore latest crossing of Vilaine bar with least depth 3.5 (1.5 u/k) 1140. Dep. 0734. 0836 Ent. Passed de Varlingue. 0901 exit PdV. 1010 arrived Arzal, lock open so straight in. 1100 locked up half full. 1210 berthed LRB. 19.74 Nm. EH 3.8 End of Autumn cruise. Distance covered 159.5 Nm
24.08.18 – Lazy day on the river watching 3 Swans on paddle boards (one sensible one stayed and helmed Destiny under sail!)
Bowing to the skippers strong suggestion of wearing lifejackets, Gemma came unstuck when she came of her board, her lifejacket auto inflated, and now taking on the appearance of a thrashing whale, found it very difficult to get back on top of the board!
At least we know lifejackets work!
Peter, Jan, Monty, Gemma David, Eva and Ben.
What was planned as a two week summer cruise, end up as a very painful two day potter up river. The skipper had developed a severe back problem in May which resulted in extreme difficulty in walking, standing and sleeping. Despite treatment it lingered on until the end of September, but was so pronounced in June that he deemed it unsafe to go to sea, on the basis that he would not be able to take action in an emergency.
Rather than abandon everything, we attempted a few days in the river again, but with a little drama ……
13.06.18 – 0955 LRB to Rieux, arriving 1500 after various stops on route. River had a strong current downstream and was at least 0.5m lower than normal. Only 0.9 u/k at Rohello, top end of upper pontoon. Est. 1.0 u/k middle, and lower pontoon had 0.0 u/k in middle and -0.5 u/k at top end. Very strong currents at pontoons with big eddies.
14.06.18 – Email received from LRB announcing complete closure of The Vilaine to all navigation (including Cran bridge and Arzal lock from Friday 15th to at least Monday 18th June inclusive due to an expected storm surge of water down river early Saturday due to the previous weeks storms and heavy rain. Rather than be stuck up river for an indefinite period the decision was made to sail immediately in order to get down river of the Cran bridge before it closed. Dep. 1548, are in LRB 2005. Cum 3530.4 Nm. 11 EH.
Peter, Janet, and Monty.
End of Summer Cruise!
18.04.18 – 20.04.18
A forecast of sun with initially moderate winds easing to slight, gave us 3 very pleasant and relaxing days on the river, to fully commission Destiny for the planned early summer cruise.
!8.04.18 – A short trip down to Arzal for an overnight stay and the opportunity to discuss next years possible trip down to Spain with fellow CA member Nick Ellis who has ‘been there, done that’. 4.5 nm. 1.0 EH
19.04.18 – Departure at 0846 for a 1043 stop at Halte de Rohello (Beganne) to walk Monty. Dep. 1118 arriving at the WP at Cran 1214 for lunch. Through bridge @1405 to arrive at Rieux 1430. Berthed top end of lower pontoon, very shallow. 17.25 Nm 3.5 EH
20.04.18 – Departure 0945, slow passage as too early for bridge. Arrived LRB 1233
Total 50.3 Nm 6.75 EH.
Destiny fully commissioned except for persistent fuel leak from bleed screw. New filter head required.
Destiny relaunched 12.04.18 – as expected at the end of last year sailing, the maintenance has been much less. Two coats of antifoul on the boot top and lots of waxing and polishing on the hull, but the sail drive and underwater area does not need any attention. However, despite promises the yard has only done a ”last minute fix” with the filter bleed screw. We shall see!
21.09.17 – End of the 2017 season. Some great times afloat even though weather and other commitments curtailed some planned trips
On lifting the lack of any growth was amazing, regular times ashore and brackish water will certainly cut down on antifouling. The stripped fuel filter bleed screw lasted the season but must be replaced this winter, together with the autopilot drive belt, other than that next springs maintenance should be routine.
12.09.17 – 18.09.17
Sailing holidays! If its not the diary, its the weather!
12.09.17 – With a F9 due within 24hrs, the decision was made to head up river to Redon and hide rather than go out to sea. Dep LRB @ 1015 and arrival at Cran Bridge visitors quay 1245 for lunch. (after a coffee and Monty watering, stop at Rohello). First time at the quay, fender board required and only 0.2m under the keel. Bridge opened at 1400 and berthed Redon @ 1515. NB Redon Capitiniere often has half days off!
14.09.17 – Having endured a windy and showery day in Redon as the gale blew over, the prospect of a F5 with sunny spells was very appealing. Left Redon 0845, 7.2 knots @3000 rpm into strong headwind, and just made the 0930 opening of Cran Bridge. 1225 berthed VP Arazal after taking on 22 L of diesel. 22.84 Nm. 3h 15m engine hours.
15.09.17 – 0830 dep VP Arzal for 0900 lock. Exit lock 0915, exit Varlingue channel 1045. Motorsailing, wind 5 knts. Berthed Piriac ‘C’, 3.3 over cill (Hw 1400). 15.08 Nm 3h 50m engine hours. NB Piriac ok for dogs D 2,4,6,8. and C.
16.09.17 – Dep Piriac 1125 2.5m over cill and 2.8 in entrance channel. (LW 0810). Wind <3 knts. Autopilot belt shredded. Berthed 1540 hammerhead VP. 23.64 Nm. engine hours 4h 15m. Cum EH 85.6.
!7.09.17 – Est 5h to Arzal lock. Locks @ 1600. 1800. 2000. Dep Arzal after taking on 10 L fuel. @ Chiminiere wind 10 knts. Ent to Passe de la Grande Accroche 1435. Exit @ 1500 Depth 5.5m (3.5 U/K) Hw 1600 5.1. Just made 1600 lock. Berthed Arzal E.45 1650. 30.82 Nm. Cum 3462.7 Nm.
18.09.17 – Dep Arzal 0830. Berthed LRB 0930. Crew PJA, JMA, Monty, David and Pia Williams. Cum 3466.5 Nm 91.9 EH
21.09.17 Destiny lifted at end of season.
02.09.17 – Lazy day enjoying the river (as sailing should be!)
11.06.17 – 16.06.17
An overfilled diary meant that sailing took second place (again), but always good to get any time out in this superb sailing area!
11.06.17 – With Piriac as first stop careful planning of timings to get you locked out, down the river with enough water, and likewise over the bar at the entrance to the Vilaine, are important if you are to make Piriac with enough safe water over the cill. Left LRB at 0840 for the 1000 lock out. Locked out at 1030 and berthed on the waiting pontoon to await the flood tide. Left at 1430 but possibly a little too early as zero under keel between green No 1 and red No 3 channel buoys. Entered the Varlingue channel at 1535, exit at 1610. Wind rising to 19knots. Berthed D4 at Piriac with the timely assistance of a very helpful Capitiniere dory. NB Capitiniere closed 1230-1400 and after 1800. Log reading 20.4. Cum log 3257.7.
Waiting pontoon Arzal, below lock.
14.06.17 – Piriac to Le Crouesty. Two days in Piriac waiting for strong winds to blow over, enjoying a relaxing time, especially the ‘First and Second Mates. ‘Widely different forecasts between Meteo Consult on ‘phone and tablet. Phone was accurate. Left Piriac 0915 with 3.7 over cill (cill 1m, therefore channel = 4.7m). only 3.5 knots of wind so motor sailing the order. Sailed S of Il Dumet (now named’ Pirates Island’) and berthed D40 Le Crouesty at 1335. Note: my calculations based on entrance channel dredged to 1.8m gave 1.4 under keel @ 1400, we actually had 2m. Log reading 23.3. Engine hours 4.5.
16.06.17 – Lazy day in Crouesty, then back to the Vilaine 12 knots of wind and a sunny day in prospect. Getting very warm on board and Second Mate Monty is starting to suffer. Calculations for the Vilaine entrance suggest latest 1300, and available locks 1400 and 1800. Took on 15l at fuel pontoon, then left at 0730. Made good time motor sailing. 1045 entered Vilaine and berthed Arzal WP at 1230. !400 lock and berthed Arzal VP 1420. Log reading 31.55. Engine hours 5.5.
17.06.17 – Monty had an uncomfortable night so we feel the decision to head back is correct, at least he can be in the cool of the house. Back to LRB via lunch stop at Rohello. 19.98 Nm. Cum 3332.4. EH 5.0 Cum 64.3
29.04.17 – A gentle start to the season following launching on 26th April. A short day trip up river for a leisurely lunch at Foleux with Jan’s sister Ray and husband Jeff, and the chance to check that everything is functioning well.
23.09.16 – End of the 2016 season. Still not as much sailing as we would have liked but commitments that have held us back are easing and 2017 is showing promise of more time afloat.
Yet another change to our berthing arrangements! SPL Compagnie des Ports du Morbihan have introduced a new Contract ”Optimum 12”. This gives 5/12 ashore from 1st November to 31st March and 7/12 afloat of which 5/12 can be within LRB and 2/12 must be away or back ashore. 4 lifts (2 in and outs) are included in the contract. Even better than the annual one as far as we are concerned.
So as to 2017. Portugal is pushed back to 2019 and more time planned to explore the beautiful coastline of Southern Brittany!
17.09.16 – 23.09.16
Outline plans had been to perhaps get down to Ile de Noirmoutier, but due to rising saline levels in the Vilaine, over 50% of locks were cancelled over September and October, with none at all Tuesdays to Thursdays.
17.09.16 – Left LRB at 1125 for a slow run down to Arzal, with a leisurely lunch on the visitors pontoon before taking the 1630 lock out. Left lock at 1640, and exited the Varlingue passage at 1800 into a lumpy sea with a NW4 over a falling tide. Berthed Piriac at 1900 at speed after a rollercoaster of an entrance in and over the cill. Berthed C pontoon next to a Gravelines yacht with another chocolate lab called ‘Fastnet’ Monty very excited! Log reading 14.88 (from Arzal) Cumulative 3174.7+ Engine hours 5.
19.09.16 – Piriac to Pornichet.
LW given as 1330 for Le Croisic so planned to get to Pornichet by 1230 as entrance channel shallow. Left Piriac 0835 with 4.0m over cill (HW 0650 – 5.7m). Sailed outside Le Bayonelles cardinal – Base Castoulet – Croisic Sw – Batz, then headed for the entrance channel for 1200. Berthed Pornichet F hammerhead at 1240. At 1hr BHW there was only 2.9 in entrance channel and 2.6 at the entrance itself. Note: the pontoon access ramps are very steep even at high water and dangerous at LW. Not suitable for trollies!. The pilot book describes Pornichet as a ”yacht parking lot” – very apt! log reading 20.64 Nm
20.09.16 – Pornichet to La Turballe (Piriac)
One night enough, Pornichet is fine for a stop over, but not a stay of any length, so escape to La Turballe. Plan: 14Nm, leave 0900, ETA 1200 with est 2.9m in entrance channel. Slipped 0850 for fuel pontoon. 120 litres added so only 30 litres left, and gauge still showing just under full. Needs rectification! Telecon wit La Turballe, entrance not LW +/- 1.5 hrs. LW 1420, therefore not 1250-1550. Depth ok in marina, but rafting only (not good for a dog!). 1215 anchored off large beach just S of La Turballe ent in 5m for lazy lunch under bimini. Revised plan to Piriac. 1505 off anchor, 1640 berthed Piriac D2. Note: Long pontoon C good, Also fingers D2, 4, 6, 8. Rest of D has narrow and bouncy fingers. Log reading 21.65.
22.09.16+23.09.16 Piriac to LRB
22.09.16 – Departed Piriac 0920, 1020 ent E. Varlingue passage, 1050 turn east at end of passage. 1200 berthed waiting pontoon below Arzal lock (no locks today) 23.09.16 – Locked into river 0800. Destiny lifted ashore 1100. 18.23 Nm Cum 3231.7+
-END OF 2016 SEASON-
30.08.16 – A short trip to Piriac planned, but cutting it fine to get to the 1430 lock, leaving LRB at 1345. Unfortunately lost a fender overboard on route and spent 10 minutes trying to recover it, and in the end having to abandon it as it was being blown ashore and depth getting too shallow. Arrived at the lock at 1435 just as it closed. The next lock at 1630 would have been far too late to enter over the Piriac sill, so the trip abandoned. Arzal offered us a berth on J pontoon, but as all berths from F upwards are on the Camoel side, we opted for the long visitor pontoon. Stayed two nights and had an excellent meal at the restaurant overlooking the lock. Returned to LRB.
25.08.16 – Diesel bug eradicated (we hope!) and tank cleaned, so with new filters and a hefty bill, its time to give the engine a test. Was warned that we would lose most of our fuel, but the gauge reads full?? River cruise to Foleux, for lunch, Arzal and back to LRB. All seems to function as it should. Joined by Jonathan and Jane and grand children Bea and Hugo plus Monty. Bea had been on board as a baby, but Hugo’s first time.
24.06.16 – 26.06.16
Family commitments at home meant another late start to the season, and combined with a hospitalisation of one of the crews mother, meant that a trip out to Piriac was exchanged for a river cruise, with the ability to get back quickly if required. We were joined on this cruise by David and Pia Williams who had previously helped us get Destiny over to the N Brittany coast from Salcombe.
24.06.16 – Fuel filters were changed after launching with a lot of difficulty in repriming the system. Eventually sorted? We left LRB at 1230, anchored short of Foleux for lunch and made Cran for the 1600 bridge opening. Arrived at Rieux and attempted berthing on the downriver pontoon which is quieter, however, river levels were down and we grounded 1m out. Moved to the upriver pontoon and just got alongside with 0m under the keel at 1630. 11€ per night inc electricity and water.
25.06.16 – “BREXIT” Waking up to the news, we wonder amongst many other things, how this will impact on British registered boats in Europe, and especially our plans for the future with keeping Destiny in France.
Short trip up to Redon of 45 minutes. Very close to grounding as we approached the basin, and berthed by prior arrangement in ‘Visitor berth 2’. Ideal berth as it has fingers either side. Told later by the Capitiniere, Roger Manuel that the Cran bridge has been vandalised and closed until Monday 27th. Later heard that it has been repaired and opening as normal.
26.06.16 – Left Redon @1000 for 1130 bridge at Port de Cran. Just after passing through the bridge, the engine started ”hunting” and would not run at anything over 1500 revs. Arrived LRB @ 1345 and handing her over to Alexis at Comptoir Nautique. The diesel bug had struck!
07.10.15 – End of the 2015 season. Only 144.5 Nm covered, but in very pleasant weather and surroundings. Inevitiably this year was going to be curtailed due to family commitments at home and also putting down roots in Brittany with the purchase of a second home near to Ploermel. (See ”The Plan”) At 45-50 minutes from Destiny’s berth, the prospect of the occasional evening sail is now a reality, the closest we have ever been to one of our boats!
So more changes to our berthing arrangements – whilst the afloat / ashore contract we had in 2015 worked very well, we now need the flexibility to use Destiny at short notice if we are in the house and the whim takes us! We had to wait 6/12 but now have a full year afloat contract which guarantees a berth, but not necessarily the same one for the whole year, although apparently moves will not be frequent. As well as the flexibility of the free berthing with the Passport Escales we now have 4/52 ashore with discounted lifting, and also through the Compagnie des Ports du Morbihan who run LRB the ability to overwinter in their other marina’s at Crouesty and Arzal. Lots more options!
As to next year – no plans yet. With the Brittany house to finish, and ties still in the UK, we will probably aim for Brittany cruising in 2016 and a long return trip to Portugal 2017/18.
01.10.15 – 04.10.15
One of the advantages of keeping a boat at LRB is the ability to enjoy nearly 30 Nm of navigable river. Beautiful, peaceful surroundings, no tides or current to talk of, and plenty of places to anchor or moor up either for a lunch stop or overnight. The only impedance to navigation is the swing road bridge at Cran. (Full opening details in the little Vilaine guide.)
01.10.16 – Left the pontoon at Port Fonctionnel aiming to get to the Pont de Cran before it closed. Too late for the window so stopped at the bankside pontoon ‘Halte de Rohello’ at Beganne for late lunch and decided to stay overnight. There are restrictions on stopping times, but out of season there doesn’t seem to be a problem. Apart from a small cruiser well covered for the winter we were the only boat. A notice from the Commune gave places to visit and a Boulangerie within walking distance.
02.10.15 – Left with the dawn to make the Pont de Cran opening at 0845 (Winter opening times apply after 30.09). Picked up the midstream waiting buoy (put lots of bow fenders out as its metal) and waited, and waited. Had we read the guide better we would have found that it only opens weekdays at the stated times following a telephone request 24hrs before! Next opening was scheduled for 1345. Fortunately several boats appeared and someone had pre booked! Berthed Redon marina after negotiating the entrance with 2.05 depth (we draw 1.95). Apparently the water level can fluctuate and its not unknown to hit soft mud and have to plough through. Redon marina is right in the town and can be noisy. 12€ for 10.5m berth, electricity and 250l of water. Our Passeport Escales was not valid as we hadn’t declared our trip before leaving! Thjis is the furthest point of navigation with a mast up. At the end of the basin you lock into the canal system with limited draft. If suitable, however, you can navigate all the way to St Malo in the north.
03.10.15 – Redon to Rieux. Only an hour motor, but worth leaving early in season to ensure a berth and enjoy exploring the area. Two long pontoons available. We berthed on the upstream one in 3m but was next to the car park and busy, so moved down to the downstream one which is much quieter. Water and electricity available (long hose / cable required) and berthing all chargeable, but office locked up for the winter and nobody came.
04.10.15 – Left Rieux in fog and Pont de Cran opens on winter weekends (without request) at 0900, 1100 and 1300. (Plus 1 afternoon?)
Total distance covered in the cruise 29Nm. Approximate distances: LRB to Foleux 4.75, Foleux to Beganne 1.5, Foleux to Cran 7.0, Cran to Rieux 3.0, Rieux to Redon 3.0.
29.07.15 + 02.08.15 – Arzal and Port Foleux. Two days of sunny pottering around the river with Gemma, David, Eva, Ben, and Monty!
10.05.15 – La Roche Bernard to Arzal
The plan was to visit the islands of Hoedic and Houat with a possible overnight anchor in Treach’H Goured off Ile Houat. Very leisurely run down to Arzal to make the 1830 lock, (don’t arrive too early as there is nowhere to easily wait). Berthed on the waiting pontoon on the seaward side at 1900 for the night. (Officially 12 hrs allowed but suspect that this is not enforced out of high season)
11.05.15 – Arzal to Hoedic
Woke to find the river covered in grey brown foam. Realised that there had been a discharge from the dam overnight so decided to move down river for breakfast. Mistake! as any bow wave just pushes the foam over the hull. If this happens, clean the hull immediately, otherwise the gelcoat is stained a telling shed of brown (which confirms what the foam is!). Picked up the visitor mooring off Trehiguier for a leisurely breakfast whilst waiting for the tide. (Wish I had scrubbed the hull!)
Exited the Vilaine via the Passe de la Grande Accroche, entering at 1.5 hrs BHW and 25 minutes to run down to the seaward entrance. Arrived in the anchorage of Treah’H Goured for a late lunch and intention of staying overnight. However, the wind (forecast SE2>V2) started to increase and conditions became lumpy so for the crews sake we made a decision to head for Crouesty with a brisk sail hitting 7.5 knots with 1 reef in the main and 3/4 genoa amongst a fleet of ”older” craft. Final log reading 40.81 Nm
12.05.16 – Crouesty to Piriac
With the islands abandoned, we decided to head to Piriac for lunch and an overnight stop. Pleasant sail in light winds but on shaking out the reef from the previous day, the slider jammed inside the boom. Decided to leave reef in and sort on return to LRB. Crossed sill into Piriac 1.5 hrs BHW. Log reading 23.09
13.05.16 Piriac – La Roche Bernard
Left Piriac 2.25 hrs BHW with cill gauge showing 2.7m. Entered the Vilaine via the Varlingue passage at 1.25 hrs BHW. Exited lock at Arzal 4.0 hrs after leaving Piriac and berthed B15 at LRB with difficulty as very windy. Log reading 17.93. Cumulative reading 3051.8 (but under reading as mentioned previously)
Destiny has been kept afloat all winter at La Roche Bernard, and apart from some very green decks, has survived well with no ill effects.
The time has come to put her ashore for a while for antifouling and a ‘rest’ from the water, so 24.02.15 was the due date.
We have taken a years contract with the Marina utilising the afloat on a pontoon / ashore in the Port Fonctionnel, option. This means 3/12 afloat and 3/12 ashore in both the winter and summer periods, in any combination you like within a maximum of 10 lift ins/out per year and a weeks notice required.
Any time spent away sailing does not count as ”afloat, so if you say spend a month away cruising you can be afloat for 4/12 in the summer. All water and electricity is included and you do not necessarily have to be present for the lifting. On a lift out the hull is pressure washed at no extra cost and well cradled in a secure yard with the ability to sleep on board if you wish.
In addition, when away cruising we have the benefit of the ‘Passport Escales’ which gives up to 2 nights consecutive free berthing at over 80 marina’s in W France (and some in the UK as well). No more paying for marina charges whilst cruising!
The catch? Haven’t seen one yet, and the yearly cost is 1/3 of keeping her in Plymouth! So even with all the extra ferry and motoring costs in getting here, there are still substantial savings in keeping a boat in France against the UK!
Looking forward to the relaunch in May and the start of the next cruise!
End of leg 3. Summary:116 Nm O.W.. Cumulative log reading 2965.61+. We went out 10.10.14 – 15.10.14 to winterise her and tie her up securely on her new berth I27. We are very impressed with LRB, the set up is very good and the town very pleasant with good restaurants and shopping. The marina staff especially Helene are very accommodating and we have joined a boat watch scheme with around 20 members who check all the member boats when anyone is out there. As someone said, LRB draws you in! so as duly ”taken in” we have now applied for a 12/12 contract with 6/12 in and 6/12 on shore at the new Port Fonctionale. This will suit our sailing pattern for next year and allow us the added bonus of the Passeporte Escalles for next summer. Who knows what will happen after that. LRB as a base and a 3/52 cruise to Spain and Portugal?? Greece? From what we are reading – too much hassle with authorities in the Eastern Med!
Soon we will add a true comparison for a years sailing from Plymouth and our time in Brittany over a 12/12 period
16.09.14 – LRB to Foleux and back. Another lazy day on the river. Left at 1120 and returned at 1600. 9.91 Nm and a leisurely 1.75 hour lunch at anchor with Tony and Rose.
15.09.14 – Arzal to La Roche Bernard
A very lazy end to leg three and the end of this years cruise! Only 3.12 Nm on a sunny day so no need to calculate speeds! Entered Arzal lock at 0750. The lock looked small but then we realised that they only open up the further part by raising the road bridge if numbers require it (it can hold up to 25 boats and we were 3!) Marshalled by a very vocal but happy dock worker who ensured we got into the right slot! After leaving the lock we anchored just clear of the very extensive marina’s at Arzal / Camoel in company with 6 other boats for a leisurely breakfast. Our Navionics plotter chart showed ”anchorage” but the SHOM chart showed ”no anchoring’ – who knows? Leisurely sail up to Pont Neuf at La Roche Bernard and berthed on D13 at 1050.
14.09.14 – Crouesty to Arzal
True distance 28 Nm, final log reading 30.86 Nm. Departed Crouesty 1010 and arrived at Arzal (waiting pontoon west of lock) 2015. Av O.G. 2.8 knots.Av O.W. 3.1 knots. Weather ENE 4> E 3. Sunny am, sunny intervals pm. Considered an overnight stop at Piriac but would have been late in and early out next day to catch the flood tide up to Arzal, so opted to head straight to Arzal. As set entrance to Vilaine at 1830 we decided to tuck into Anse de Suscino and anchor for 2.5 hours. Pilotage straight forward with plotter but visual transit not clear and did not follow deepest channel. Entrance to the Vilaine via the Passe de la Grande Accroche 30 minutes early but plenty of water under keel. 1st pair of channel buoys not easy to spot. Considered staying on one of the 3 blue visitors buoys off Trehiguier but kept going for Arzal. Plan was not to go through on last lock but stay on waiting pontoon. Two exist, one short one to right of lock in midstream, and one long on joined to the shore short of the lock. No charge for overnight stay.
12.09.14 – Port Haliguen to Crouesty
True distance 9 Nm, final log reading 12.68 Nm. Departed Port Haliguen 1135 and arrived at Crouesty 1500. Av O.G. 2.6 knots. Av O.W. 3.63 knots. Weather E3>E2, sunny. Large swell at entrance to PH. Sailed with 1 reef in main as wind speed 15 knots! No rush as est ent to Crouesty channel 1445 earliest. Entered Morbihan channel at 1420, and Crouesty channel at 1440. Berthed in visitors area at 1500 with only 0.5 under keel. In hindsight we should have entered at least 30-60 minutes later. Very large marina with many basins. One large chandlery ashore but countless restaurants and shops! A large hypermarket close to the top of the north basin with a 15 minute walk or 5 minute bike ride around.
11.09.14 – Port Tudy to Port Haliguen
True distance 28.5 Nm, final log reading 29.33 Nm. Departed Port Tudy 0935 and arrived at Port Haliguen 1530. Av O.G. 4.75 knots. Av O.W. 4.9 knots. Weather ENE 3. Sunny (high 20c). Considered a stopover in outer harbour Le Palais on Belle Ile but forecast for overnight was easterly building to a 5 so might have been uncomfortable. Decision made then to head for Port Haliguen on the east side of the Quiberon Peninsula via the Teignouse passage. 1.5 hours out of Port Tudy we noticed jet aeroplane activity overhead and then a very vocal French Navy RIB came along side and demanded we head south at speed, at which point bombs started dropping a few miles ahead on our previous course! Motorsailed south very quickly!! Passed through the Teignouse passage with wind at 90 degrees to the tidal flow, but still a few overfalls encountered. Entered Port Haliguen to be met by a very efficient harbour patrol who found us a berth on a catway as had we gone onto the visitors pontoon we would have gone aground. As it was we did touch at low water. A fair walk to a supermarket, but otherwise a well run marina.
09.09.14 – Port Le Foret to Port Tudy
True distance 29 Nm, final log reading 30.14 Nm. (Via Port Manech). Departed PLF at 0830 (in hindsight a little late as only 0.5 under keel at times). Arrived Port Tudy (Ile de Groix) 1450. Av O.G. 4.7 knots. Av O.W. 4.9 knots. Weather mainly sunny with NE 3 > V2 (actual wind speed 5 knots or less). Motor sailed whole trip with diversion to visit entrance to the Aven and Belon rivers at Port Manech as we had taken our children Jonathan and Gemma there over 30 years ago, and I had dinghy sailed there around 45 years ago! Had hoped to pick up a mooring overnight but as we were still Springs we would have gone aground. Contacted Port Tudy and was told to come into inner harbour. Pontoon berths very tight and depth very shallow (we went aground at each low water). Facilities basic and cost high (27€) per night, but nice place to stay. We stayed two nights and hired bicycles to tour the island. Outer harbour is cheaper and more depth but need a dinghy to come ashore.
End of leg 2. Summary: 129 Nm O.G., 137 Nm O.W. Cumulative log reading now 2850.2+. The plan now is to leave her in P.L.F until leg 3 in early September. Fellow Brits Jim and Shirley Byrne, who are permanent berth holders at PLF, kindly gave us a lift to Quimper (which saved us the 67€ taxi fare they Sarah and Adrian paid!) and we then caught the bus to Roscoff (2.75 hrs for 2€ each!)
09.08.14 – St Evette to Port le Foret
True distance 35 Nm, final log reading 38.2 Nm. Departed St Evette 0756 and arrived at Port le Foret marina 1520. Av O.G. 4.7 knots. Av O.W. 5.1 knots. Weather V2>S4 with 1.3m swell. Sunny and hot, with no wind until the very end, so motor sailed all the way part from 30 minutes true sailing off Concarneau. Passed the Eckmuhl lighthouse at 1100 and entered the warmer weather of southern Brittany! We had e mailed Port le Foret whilst at St Evette to notify them that we would be arriving several days ahead of our booked date, and even though the port was closed of a regatta, they were very accommodating and had reserved a berth for us. Sarah and Adrian bade farewell on the next day and headed back to Roscoff and home. Whilst the Chenal and Raz were very benign their support and company was appreciated!. We left for home by bus from Quimper to Roscoff and ferry as foot passengers on the 14th.
08.08.14 – Camaret to St Evette.
True distance 29.0 Nm, final log reading 30.18 Nm. Departed Camaret 1120 after refuelling and arrived at St Evette 1650. Av O.G. 5.3 knots. Av O.W. 5.5 knots.Weather V2>S4 with 1.3m swell. Started as a good sunny day but as we approached the Raz de Sein drizzle turned to an hour and a half of torrential rain. we were aiming to reach La Platte light at slack and about 3 Nm out with a wind over tide situation, a nasty squall forced us to drop the main and progress under reduced genoa only. Motor sailing all the journey as apart from the squall there was little wind. The Raz de Sein was very calm, another downside for our crew who had expected a ‘fun time’ in the overfalls! Moored on a visitors buoy at St Evette No 1200 and 6m under the keel at 1 hour after HW. Entertained by a dolphin and a wonderful sunset. Mooring was 10€ which included a free boat ashore courtesy of the harbourmaster had we wished. Fuel consumption averaging 2.5 litres per hour.
07.08.14 – Bloscon to Camaret
True distance 65 Nm, final log reading 67.90 Nm. Departed Bloscon 0734 and arrived Camaret at 1930, although had to wait until 2000 for final berthing. Av O.G. 5.4 knots. Av O.W. 5.7 knots. Weather NW>V2,calm sea with sunny intervals. Motor sailed whole trip as no wind of any strength. Original plan was to stop overnight at L’Aberwrac’h but Hurricane Bertha was forecast to hit western Brittany Sunday – Monday 10th/11th, with predicted winds of F9. so decision made to press on as fast as reasonably possible. Camaret was chosen as the overnight stop and the Chenal du Four lighthouse passed at 1537, 50 minutes into the southerly stream. Passage through the Chenal was uneventful and a bit of a let down for our crew, who had been warned of its reputation! Berthed in Port Vauban marina, rafting to one other boat. Cost 25.08€ with 2€ for showers. Shops a very long walk!
Stopover Visit at Bloscon
04.07.14 – 09.07.14. Our daughter Gemma, with grandchildren Eva and Ben joined us for a visit to check on Destiny halfway through the stay at Bloscon. The car was taken over to allow us to explore the next few stages in the trip and visit the beautiful white sandy beaches of Brittany. Also very useful in stocking up Destiny for the next leg!
Might give this channel a miss and go around the top!
End of leg 1. Summary: 260 Nm O.G., 277 Nm O.W Cumulative log reading for Destiny now 2,713.2 Nm ( but well short as many miles sailed with log fouled.) The plan is to leave her now in Bloscon until leg 2 in early August. However, we will be returning with family for a week at the beginning of July to use her as a ”caravan” and explore some of the Brittany coast by car.
31.05.14 – Paimpol to Roscoff (Bloscon)
True distance 58 Nm, final log reading 49.34 Nm. Departed Paimpol 0907 and arrived at Bloscon 1855. Av O.G. 5.9 knots. Av O.W. 5.1 knots. Weather NNE 2. Very sunny and hot. Motor sailed whole trip as no real wind of any strength. Original plan was to make for an overnight stop at Trebeurden, however, the tide was so strong from the Ile de Brehat to Les Sept Isles that we would have arrived at Trebeurden 3.5 / 4 hrs too early, so decision was made to press on to Roscoff even though the tide would be against us for the last two hours. Indistinct advice from marina control on berthing, and nobody to direct us or help in berthing. The marina is open at both ends to prevent silting which means that the tide rips straight through the pontoons resulting in some spectacular berthing ”antics” as we found the following day when we moved Destiny to another berth ready to leave her for a month, and lost the 1st mate overboard in a classical springboard dive from a French very bouncy ”catway”! Bloscon is still being finished off in terms of building and facilities, and as yet does not have any laundrette, although one exists in Roscoff which is a 15 minute walk. Small friendly food store, and many restaurants in Roscoff which is very pretty. Good chandler at Marina and excellent sailmaker close by who did a very reasonable and efficient repair on the mainsail. Ferry port to Plymouth is 5 minutes walk from the marina.
30.05.14 – St Quay to Paimpol
True distance 15 Nm, final log reading 21.6 Nm. Departed St Quay 1520 and arrived in lock, Paimpol 1930. Berthed 1950. Av O.G. 3.6 knots. Av O.W. 5.1 knots. Weather NNE 6-9 knots (Meteo France) Sunny. Sea state slight. Viz good. Marina person waiting to guide us to a berth. However, it was (unknown to us), Paimpol fair week and the whole marina was surrounded by a very large and noisy fairground that started at 2100 and finished at 0100. Winter rate of €17.40 charged because of the fair. Had planned to stay two nights, but left with the morning tide!. Interesting approach and exit!
28.05.14 – St Cast to St Quay de Portrieux
Rocyn, David and Pia left this morning to travel back to Dinard airport and onward flights home to London. Now just two crew, Skipper and first mate! True distance 25 Nm, final log reading 26.95. Departed St Cast 1110 and arrived at St Quay 1655 (all times now French local time = FT). Av O.G 4.2 knots. Av O.W. 4.7 knots. Weather NNW 3/4. Sunny int / Shwrs. Sea state Mod/Sl, viz good. Excellent welcome with two staff on a rib guiding us into the visitors berths, and actually mooring up to go ashore and catch our lines. Staff ashore very keen to help and Manager Jean Michel went out of his way to make us at home. €26 plus showers extra. 50% discount for Trans Europe Marina Gp. No major supermarket near and 15 minute walk into the town. Good restaurants on site. Refuelled 21L for approx 17hrs motoring. Stayed two nights in hope of getting mainsail repaired, but French holiday weekend!
27.05.14 – St Helier to St Cast
True distance 35 Nm, final log reading 42.8 Nm. Departed St Helier marina at 0730 and breakfasted on waiting pontoon outside. Finally left at 0820 and arrived St Cast at 1630 BST (1730 FT). Av O.G. 4.3 knots. Av O.W. 5.35 knots. Weather NW 3/4. sunny int. Sea state mod, viz good. No welcome party and marina understaffed, but very helpful up to 1830 and after 0945! €25 all incl. Excellent restaurants and very scenic walk into town (10 minutes)
26.05.14 – St Peter Port to St Helier (Jersey).
True distance 28.0 Nm, final log reading 31.0 Nm. Departed St Peter Port 0630 arrived St Helier waiting pontoon 1230. Av O.G.4.7 knots. Av O.W 5.2 knots. Weather W4, shwrs, sea state mod, viz Good. Left to clear cill with plan to have breakfast on the Swan pontoons outside, but there was no space, so pressed on against the tide for a couple of hours. There should have been enough water to get into St Helier at 1450, however, we were greeted on arrival by the sight of an unfortunate yacht dried out on top of the cill gates. Apparently he had tried getting in just too late! By the time they related him with the incoming tide, and towed him away to be lifted out for inspection, we finally berthed in the marina at 1530. Pricey at £28.50 plus £2.50 electricity. Discovered mainsail ripped below 3rd reef point after passage from Salcombe. Temp repair effected.
24.05.14 – Salcombe to St Peter Port (Guernsey)
True distance 75 Nm, final log reading 84.5 Nm. Departed Salcombe 1440, arrived St Peter Port 0530. Av O.G 5.14 knots. Av O.W 5.9 knots. Weather W/Sw 4/5 occ 6, shwrs. Sea state mod. Actual wind speeds were higher and sea state mod/rough. During the night we had log readings of 8.0 knots over the water and gusts of 28 knots. Destiny was on a beam reach and surfing down the waves like a dinghy, but very stable and safe, however, it was probably a good job that the female crew couldn’t see the sea around them! Went into Victoria marina for a deserved rest. £25 + £2 electricity. Wind and sea state were higher than forecast, and on reflection the passage was unfair to the two female members who were unable to get below to take some rest, and in hindsight we should have diverted to Dartmouth and crossed the next day. We also left far too early so were up against a strong tide in the Little Russel which slowed us at times in the last two hours down to only 2.0 knots O.W. Had we got that tide right it would have been a very fast crossing!
23.05.14 – Plymouth to Salcombe
True distance 24 Nm, final log reading 21 Nm. Departed 0925, arrived 1320. Av O.G. 6.0 knots. Av O.W. 5.25 knots. Weather 3/4 > 5/6 Cyclonic. Fair with occ shwrs. Sea state Sl/Mod, viz Good. ‘Shakedown’ sail with settled beam reach. Very reasonable fee of £15.40 on a mooring. Enjoyed the hostelries ashore!
Leg 1. Plymouth (Mayflower) to Roscoff (Bloscon)
22.05.14 – Mayflower
Joined in Mayflower, Plymouth, by David and Pia Williams, and Rocyn Williams. David, Rocyn and I were in scouts together in our teens and Rocyn and I shared many early sailing experiences in a 420 dinghy, racing in regatta’s from Weston Super Mare to Lymington