Monthly Archives: June 2015

Camaret to Benodet via Ste Evette

Not so much a sailing blog but a motoring blog.

We left Camaret hoping for some wind, ANY wind. There wasn’t any, so we put the  mainsail up just to stabilise the boat and headed towards the Raz de Sein. We should have left earlier than we planned but the alarm didn’t wake us up. However, we rushed up and down, rounf and round and left on time. No one else seemed to worry about getting to the Raz de Sein on time. The tides can be up to 5knots and with wind over tide can be very rough. But it was neaps and light winds so no worries.

The Raz was very calm when we got there and just past it we managed to sail for about an hour to give the engine a rest. We got into Ste Evette onto a mooring buoy at around 2:00pm followed by C Moon about 30 minutes later.

Most of the afternoon and evening was spent with them on our boat putting the world to rights….

Next morning, we managed to leave at about 9:00 am to catch the more gentle tide aroud the Pointe de Penmarche. This was yet another motor; did we  buy a sail-boat or a motor-boat? Answers on a post card to someone else please.

Pointe de Penmarch with 2 lighthouses - one is 60m high

Pointe de Penmarch with 2 lighthouses – one is 60m high

We did manage sail for about 3/4 hour on our way into Benodet, which was very pleasant. At least the engine sound-proofing is working well and now that the engine has been well used over the past three weeks, it seems to be starting much better and running smoothly.

We waved to the beach where the family were, however, it was about 1/2 mile away. A few texts and phone calls later, we made contact and they are coming by car to see us tomorrow – in a forecast rain shower most probably! We’re here for 4 days at least.

L’Aberwrach to Camaret

Our first leg in French waters, among the French started with 30+ boats all going the same way at the same time! We all needed to go South through the Chenal du Four with the tide (can be up to 4 knots). The wind was not as forecast (NW 3- 4), so we all motor-sailed with mainsails only until we got to the turn by the Libenter entry/exit buoy. We managed to sail albeit rather slowly for the next 3 hours at about 2 – 3knots which would make our arrival time about 8:00pm. So we motored most of the rest of the way apart from 30 minutes while the Skipper played with sails!

It was very busy in Camaret! We found a berth facing the wind, inside the pontoons away from wash but not from a little surging. We’ve met several other Cornish/English boats; I expect that we will meet up later.

Monday was shopping and washing day, plus a bit of boat maintenance.

Tuesday we went off for a walk towards Pointe de Pen-Hir in brilliant sunshine and sea breezes to keep us cool.

Camaret Marina during our Walk

Camaret Marina during our Walk

Very busy route with very large groups going to the Merchant Marine Memorial.

French WW2 Merchant Maine Memorial

French WW2 Merchant Maine Memorial


However,we did see a Chough family. Thanks Michael for the spelling lesson!

Choughs in Brittany

Choughs in Brittany

We are leaving on Wed, when we will sail to Ste Evette, hopefully to meet up with C Moon. We may stay a 2nd night but we’ll be in Benodet for Fri to meet up with family.

This Time We Actually Got There!

We enjoyed the stay at Mylor, having a lazy day getting everything ready, setting off at 13:30 after lunch. The forecast was NW 3-4 occasionally 5. We should know by now that is not what we are going to get!

We’re not going to bore you with the detail of a boat that rolled around, no sleep until the sea calmed down a little nearer L’Aberwrach, the wind was mostly very nearly up our bum meaning that the genoa, in particular, wouldn’t set and gave us very little power.

The sunset at sea was super. There was another yacht about but he was going up the Channel on a beam reach and was going very well, damn it!

Sunset in The English Channel

Sunset in The English Channel

The AIS on the chartplotter was excellent ‘cos it told us where the big ships were going and by how much they would miss.

The Chart-plotter showed the ships in the Shipping Channels

The Chart-plotter showed the ships in the Shipping Channels

The autopilot did its thing all the time, but complained about the wind, sea and the boat by buzzing every time it had to move the tiller!

The quite buzz-saw kept the boat on the heading we asked for

The quiet buzz-saw kept the boat on the heading we asked for

We got here, but we didn’t enjoy it. It was 19½ hours travelling 96 nM. Now we are having a rest after some food and looking forward to dinner in a local restaurant.

Off to France, No, we’re not, Yes we are, No we’re not!

We were at the Falmouth Haven Marina, which is no longer the Visitor’s Haven. They can take some visitors, however, the central pontoon now has finger berths instead of space for rafting out. This has taken about 50% of the capacity for visitors.

We departed at about 3:00pm for a good sail to spend the night in the Helford River in Westerly Force 3-4 with expected SW 4-5 especially nearer France

As we got a little further South, the Boss and Skipper debated whether to change our mind, eventually we did and got as far as putting the Libenter light buoy outside L’Aberwrach into the chart-plotter. When we got clear of the Lizard, the wind changed quite quickly to SW 5 with significant waves; we were going well but we were very, very uncomfortable, so we changed our mind a 2nd time a sailed back towards Helford. We didn’t change our mind a 3rd time!

The river moorings were full, so we picked up a mooring expecting that we may be thrown off. We weren’t, so the following morning we decided to wait for better weather in comfort at Mylor Harbour. We had a lovely sail at slow or slightly less slow speed (for the benefit of non-yotties) between 1.5knots and 5.8knots with just a genoa. It was a very pleasant sail. We only motored for 30 mins in a 2.5 hr trip. Well, can’t get rid of them! Solo was in residence, off to cadge a drink off them later!

Cuchulainn moored on the Eastern Breakwater at Mylor

Cuchulainn moored on the Eastern Breakwater at Mylor

Tomorrow’s plan is: depart after lunch on Thu 18 Jun, arrive around 10:00 on Fri.


France, Here We Come!

Well, not quite yet! We loaded up the boat on Tue 9 Jun, hoping to be off on Wed. We had to wait for the lulls between strong Easterly gusts that pushed quite large waves onto the causeway where we launch the dinghies. Not much got wet, apart from The Boss! It took 2 journeys to load everything.

Wed came and went because the weather was rubbish, so Thu 11 Jun we loaded the remainder, tidied the boat, stowed everything, goodness knows where but hopefully we’ll find it later! On Fri 12, we set off, quite early for us towards Fowey, with the tide down the river. Not many other boats about until we got to the “Bridge” between Drake’s Island and the shore, where we had to contend with a large Princess motorboat and a naval supply vessel.

We tried sailing once off Penlee Point; it lasted 5 minutes just managing 3 knots (ETE Fowey 7 hours!), so the engine came on again and arrived off Fowey 4½ hours later. We practiced some Man Overboard drills near the entrance. We came alongside Berryls Yard pontoon to pick up water and for a shower at the Royal Fowey Yacht Club. The showers used to be £1 for 6 minutes, probably too long, however, they are now £1 for 2 minutes. Which is far too short, I waited about ¾ minute for the shower to warm up, got nicely soaped when it stopped! So I paid another £1 to rinse off. This is now a rip-off of RYA members by an RYA Club. I’ve complained and I hope that they listen to my suggestion and the 2 previous complaints.

On Sat, we did the Hall Walk from Polruan, for a change, arriving at the Boddenick ferry and got back into town too early for a cream tea. That will wait until Falmouth.

The forecasts are, as usual, very inaccurate. Sun 14 Jun: Variable, mainly NW 3 to 4. We got W or SW 1 to 2. So we motored the whole way except for 50mins in St Austall Bay. When we came past St Anthony’s Point (Fraggle Rock for some people) the wind got up and we were met with dozens of boats racing. Many were classics. Surprise Surprise, there was a Classic Boat Rally at the Yacht Haven. But we got a berth on the outside, expecting someone to raft on us. Nobody has but the classic boats are rafting on each other ‘cos they don’t want to mix with fibre-glass! Just as well ‘cos some of them are very heavy. There’s a Brixham trawler which is about 20m long, weighs a huge amount. Some are much smaller.

Old friends from the marina, in Navy Blue, arrived just after us. Good to catch up with them. Other friends, on Solo, were seen disappearing up the river; we caught up with them later, several times! Came round for tea as well, not to mention bumping into them shopping.

Off for fish and chips.

Departing for France and L’Aberwrach around 15:00 today, Tue 16 Jun; ETA 10:00 on Wed.

Trip Preparation

The genoa now has a luff insert which will make the sail tighter in the middle as we reef, this , in turn, makes the sail flatter. Hence, as the wind increases, we continue to get driving power but less heeling forces so we go faster and stay more upright. We’ll test that next week!

The two problems with the fresh-water are on the way of being fixed. (2 forward, 1 back) The leak from the calorifier was fixed by replacing the hose connection, however, in fixing that I created a leak from the fitting on the top of the calorifier! I hope that will be cured by some plumb mate (good gooey non-setting mastic).

With a little struggle, I remove the blocked tap in the heads which was caused by a collection of worn, rubber washers from goodness know where, blocking the outlet from the tap.  but one was still useable. Next visit, replacing the beast – more news later as it requires someone with eyes on 1m stalks, an arm with 12 fingers able to go round multiple corners, either whilst sitting on the loo with the tap on the left 10cm away but behind a bulkhead and access is via the hatch facing away from you The alternative is lying on your side with easier access but unable to do anything.

Whilst this lot was going on, the Boss has sorted out the galley, clothes, where to store stuff. Final job of the day was to move Cuchulainn to her new berth. Instead of being about 500m from the Clubhouse, it’s now over halved and only 40m from the end of the causeway.

New Mooring just off Cargreen Y. C.

New Mooring just off Cargreen Y. C.

Not a beautiful image of the mud at low spring tide, you can just see the causeway coming from behind the trees top right.

On Fri, I went to the boat and sorted ALL the plumbing; the heads tap fairly gushes and the calorifier no longer leaks. The genoa is hoisted and rolled away much more neatly than before. When reefed, the sail was much flatter.