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Having rushed the boat into the water after a trip to New Zealand, I simply did not  have the stamina to produce a Log. I have regretted it ever since, Instead, I just produced a photo album, with embedded Raychart routes and weather maps.

We originally wanted to go back to Scotland, but Dairne was not at all well over the winter, so warmth was needed. The next plan was to go to Spain. However,  our trip to New Zealand to see the Antipodean branch of the family - including son Iain and his wife Clare - had to be scheduled late, so we were not back until late April. I still had to fit the wind generator, and check out the new deckwash pump, so we were late getting going.

As a result we decided that this year would just be a convalescence cruise, seeking sun, seafood and sailing. And that is exactly how it turned out.

We made some fairly large leaps, stopping only at Studland and Dartmouth, before making the dive across the Channel through the Chenal du Four to Camaret, near Brest, where we met Ruby and Terry Eagle in their Rustler, Danae. Then through the Raz de Sein to Loctudy and Benodet, where we saw no less than three other Rustlers, Saol Mara, Jessamy and Nutmeg.

A period of windy weather was forecast so we dived round to Belon where we sat out the weather for a few days, and enjoyed riverside walks and what must be one of the best seafood restaurants in France.

Then we went on down to La Rochelle, stopping for a few days at Belle Isle, and with overnight stops at Ile de Yeu and Les Sables D'Olonnes.

La Rochelle was everything we expected, including the spectacular entrance to the Vieux port quayside markets, seafood and wine - and unbroken sunshine for the next three weeks.

Here we finally linked up with Santana, another Marchwood YC boat and sailed in company with them for over a week.

The route back involved stops at St Martin de Re, a quaint village with hollyhocks growing everywhere, St Giles de Croix en Vie, L'Herbaudiere, the island of Hoedic, and a few days in the beautiful Vilaine River. Here we spotted Wild Swan, yet another Rustler. Wild Swan belongs to Rod Kennedy, who we had not seen since his wife's funeral two years earlier. We left a note on board.

Our first attempt to leave the Vilaine was abandoned because of strong winds on the nose, but the next morning we had a beautiful beat into the Gulf of Morbihan, where we visited Ile de Bono and Vannes. Here Santana had to leave to get back to England. It had been wonderful to sail in company - the two boats are very compatible.

After another day in Morbihan we started the rest of the trip back by visiting the island of Houat for lunch before overnighting at Port Haliguen. Who should moor alongside, but Rod Kennedy in Wild Swan, with his new partner Claudine? It was serendipitous, and great fun. We sailed together to Port Louis, and then on to Lorient, where Wild Swan would stay for a while for the Festival there. We were also taken to the cottage of Janet and Tim Slessor, who bought Hobo, yet another Rustler - which they keep at Lorient. It was a delightful day away from the water.

The wind was a little fickle, but we pressed on, mainly motor sailing, to Corcarneau and back to the Odet River, where we anchored in one of the small inlets. Here we had a series of disasters resulting from a blocked loo pipe that eventually had to be replaced, in the course of which, the shower room sink was damaged and had to be patched up with fibreglass.

More ....

2002 “Biscay Cruise”  PDF Album






You Tube


The Log of this trip is available in the following form to friends. Contact me if you would like to see one of the publications.

If agreed, it will normally be delivered via Dropbox.

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2002 Log Covers

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2002 Cruise PowerPoint pres

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2002 Biscay Cruise Flickr set

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From there, our course took us back round Penmarch to Audierne; through the Raz de Sein to a delightful bay near Morgat where we anchored; and on to a spectacular anchorage behind the Tas des Pois, those impressive rocks south of the Goulet de Brest. By now, we needed stores, so a short trip to Camaret solved that issue. Once again a spell of doubtful weather was forecast, so we went up the Rade de Brest to the Aulne River and the delightful town of Chateaulin.

A brief pause at the Anse de Berthaulme was taken before passing back up the Chenal du Four to L'Aberbenoit, where we finally had to buy a Gaz cylinder. From there we made the coastal hop to Ile de Batz, going ashore for wine and cheese. We were a bit low on fuel, but forecast brisk winds led us to attempt a direct crossing from Roscoff instead of refuelling at Morlaix. The forecast was wrong in both strength and direction so we opted instead to go into Treguier, from which we sailed direct to the Solent.

We had left on the 22nd June, and returned on the 21st August. A very satisfying cruise, with the two periods of cruising in company being highlights.

While away, we had used SMS text messaging to keep in touch with home, and with Iain and Clare in new Zealand. I also made extensive use of the internet cafes for checking my emails, and getting weather maps. This worked fairly well, and was very cost effective.

While away we heard about bad weather in England, Scotland Ireland and the Low Countries. We also met several boats that had come back to France from NW Spain where the weather had been dreadful. It seems we picked the right cruising ground this year. All our goals had been achieved, but mainly we had found sun and seafood, and done some interesting sailing.

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