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.