Friday, 30 September 2016

July, 2016 - ILE D'YEU, FRANCE

A new month and our last stop in France.

Another good day sail.  We arrive late in the evening and were not able to raise the Port-Joinville captain on the VHF to confirm the entrance depth.  We opted to anchor outside the port and spent an uncomfortable night as the current kept us broadside to the swell for much of the time.

The next morning we are quick to enter the port and attach to the dock.

Port-Joinville has a deep water harbor, that supports the larger fishing boats, as well as a decent sized yacht marina.  We walked the town and found a surprising reminder of our home town.

Passat II in the yacht harbor.

The town fronts the older commercial harbor.

Dummy in upper window, in French sailor outfit.

Commercial fishing boat unloading.

Reminder of home.

June, 2016 - BELLE-ILE, FRANCE

A good days sailing to Belle-Ile.  We tied up to a mooring ball outside the port of Sauzon.  This is a quaint fishing port and village on the NW corner of the island.  As with most fishing villages the main industry is now tourism.  We walked the town and enjoyed a fine lunch, washed down with an excellent local cider.

Surprise surprise...the Ile has a link with Canada.  The French built an "impregnable" fort on the island, named Citadelle Vauban.  The British promptly captured it and occupied the island.  In a subsequent treaty the British returned it to France for what is now the Canadian Province of Nova Scotia.

Of course we had to see the fort.  Rather then sail to Varban we rented bikes and peddled the 6 kms each way.  Steep hills at each end, but flat in the middle, through farmland.  Although we are fairly fit, some under used muscles complained the next day.

The Port Captain's office has the village's only bank machine.

The harbor entrance.

We take a mooring ball outside the harbor, rather then risk grounding at low tide inside.

A great local cider, served in tea cups.

Birds eye view.

Ferry leaves for the mainland from town below.

Ship hangs from the chapel ceiling.


We sailed to Ile De Groix, planning to stay at Port-Trudy, but is was not to be.  We arrived to find the port very crowded, with boats rafted 4 to a mooring ball.  Not our type of place.  We turned around, with some difficulty, due to the crowded conditions and headed to an anchorage on the east end of the island.  We enjoyed a peaceful evening and night on the hook.

Thursday, 29 September 2016


We did a day sail to the delightful town of Concarneau.  The marina is next to the old walled village on an island in the river.

The marina itself is small, with very tight berths.  We had to wait until a berth opened up that would allow our full keel/no bow thruster to enter, but we managed in the end.

The walled village was a medieval wine and goods trading center and is still occupied by residents, but the business are now all related to the tourist trade.

The walled village is accessed by a causeway.

The gun ports are now flower pots.

The entrance courtyard sports a Canadian flag.

The inner moat is now a flower bed.

Candy and Ice Cream, my kind of shopping.

Sandra prefers hanging out at the old wine dock gate.

The very tight berth we managed to squeeze into.


If we did day passages we would be two to three days in the portion of the Bay of Biscay subject to huge tidal ranges and currents up to 11 knts.  At the time the tides could result in sailing in the dark.  We decided to do an overnight passage, well out from the land to avoid the currents.

We laid a course for the walled town of Concarneau, but were not able to make it before dark the next day.  We opted to anchor in the Iles De Glenan.  Still we arrived after dark and chose to anchor well out from the small bay at Ile De Saint-Nicolas, with only one other boat in sight.  In the morning we were glad we had not entered the bay as it was chock a block full of boats and moorings.

We took the dinghy ashore and enjoyed a hike around the island.  It is mostly a nature reserve, but has one set of what look like old farm buildings, now used as the offices for the conservancy, with a small dock and pub/restaurant.

We land our Port-A-Bote at a lovely sandy beach.

Tour boats come for the day.





Farm buildings converted for conservancy offices, pub/restaurant.

They are off the grid, powered by wind and solar.

Every place seems to have a cross.  Note tan (NOT).


We motor sailed most of the way, timing our departure to avoid the rips along the Ile D'ouessant at mid tide.  It was not to be.  We were too fast and caught the end of the rip, which was very exciting, with current of about 4-5 kts and 3 meter waves.  Would not like to be there if there was any wind to add to the mix.

Our arrival was concurrent with the fog and we stayed on the boat until it cleared up.

Great island for walks and we enjoyed a hike to the Lighthouse museum between fog banks.

We take up the Mooring closest to the harbor as the fog rolls in.

Passat II seen from the shore after the fog lifted.

The harbor drys at low tide, so is best suited for small boats and kayaks.

Between fog banks we hike several kms to the Lighthouse Museum.

It is a national museum and very well done.

The Fresnel lens was invented by a Frenchman.

This oil lamp has 6 rings of wicks to produce the light needed.

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

June, 2016 - L' ABER-WRAC'H, FRANCE

Our next port was L'Aber-Wrach.  Nothing much happening, but a good port to wait out the inclement weather predicted.  Lots of wind and lots of fog.  Also, timing your passage to match the current flows in this part of the Bay of Biscay is essential to avoid dangerous seas caused by wind opposing current and rips in the narrow channels.

I either took no pictures or lost them, so this is a rare text only post.

June, 2016 - ILE DE BATZ, FRANCE

Enjoyed s decent sail to an anchorage on the south shore of Ile de Batz.  Did not land and left the next day.

Moon over neighboring Roscoff, across from the anchorage.

We anchor just outside of the harbor that drys at low tide.

Evening sky over Ile de Batz.


In company with SV Voila, we did a day sail from Lezardrieux, on the Le Trieux river to Treguier, on the adjacent Le Jardy River.  A distance of some 6 km by land and some 40 km by sea.  I think we could have arrived faster by walking.

Another tidal river with strong currents at the mid range.  We stay on the waiting pontoon mid-river waiting for the slack, prior to entering the marina.  

Nice town, home to the patron saint of lawyers.  If ever a profession needed one, eh?

The bridge near the marina is called the "Canada" bridge.  We asked what the connection to Canada was, at the tourist office, the marina office and at the Chandler.  There is no apparent connection, with the tourist office saying it was named based on an old Brittney word, the meaning unknown.

This is our last port (for this season) with friends Alan and Felicity on SV Voila as they head back north to England and we head East and South across the Bay of Biscay to Southern France, Spain and Portugal.

Down Le Trieux river.

Past the light house.

Up Le Jardy River to Treguier.

The town square.

Cathedral, home to the...  
...Patron Saint of Lawyers, Ivo of Kermartin.

Lots of old "half timber buildings"

Pont Canada, with no apparent connection to Canada.

Chilling out with friends Felicity and Alan.

Who are these grey haired people???