We are in…
2020 – The year Covid hit
18-22 September. Port Arzal – Camoël. That’s it for this year. We mananged to get nearly 6 weeks on board, the majority of it in fine warm weather. The day we left the weather broke leading to cold and wet at home, not much better in Arzal. As I write it’s 7degs outside. brr. Heating and fire on for the first time this season. We are, at least for the time being, softies.
15-17 September Piriac Sur Mer . Long haul – 44NM nearly all under motor in calm conditions. Leaving at dawn (0730) and arriving just after 1400.
10 Sep – 14 Sep Port Joinville, Ile de Yeu . Left at dawn to make the best of the wind. It became increasingly on the nose so we motored that last 6NM (out of 33). Confidently expecting the port to be empty based on previous visits at this time, we found it almost full. A pontoon berth was had, the last of 2 decent ones. We think the continuing fine weather and a season curtailed by lockdowns is bringing out many who would normally have given up the season by now.
9 Sep Bourgenay.It’s 20NM from St Martin, we did it in 4 hours of which 3 were motor sailed and the final hour was a beautiful reach in 10kn, 25°C, bright sunshine 🌞and no swell. If only it was always like this 😎
31 Aug – 8 Sep St Martin, Ile de Re. Gentle motor to pick up a buoy off Rivedoux Plage, Ile de Ré. Lunch, followed by another gently motor to port, arrived in no wind at around 1615. On 2nd we decided to stay in France longer to avoid UK quarantine and watch the end of Stage 10 of the Tour de France.
29,30 Aug La Rochelle, Les Minimes Mega Marina. Quiet though. A leisurely start from Bourgenay followed by a good running sail all the way. Cruising chute again proved too powerful in the gusts.
27,28 Aug Bourgenay. Sailed all 33nm in a lumpy F4-F6.
23-26 Aug Port Joinville, Ile de Yeu . A pleasant enough, mainly sailed but with unfriendly swell emanating from previous day’s weather. It even became warm. The marina is well used, but not of migration standards. Many boats left on Wednesday, mainly heading north.
20-22August Piriac Sur Mer . Staying a bit longer than expected in Arzal due to poor weather, we finally made it out. Two and a half months late, but better late than never. Persistent F6 winds on 22nd and overnight built a large swell so we stayed put and paid for a night!
13-19 August. Arzal. 3rd time luck and we finally made it on the day the UK government announced quarantine restrictions starting early Saturday. Crazy or what.
Just one month short of a year since we last were on board.
2019 part 2
4 September. Arzal. We could have stayed another night in Piriac but the forecast said go today. One day earlier than planned. Another sunny dawn start 🙂 But that’s it for this year. 🙁 Can’t wait for next year.
3 September Piriac Sur Mer After a nice 44nm sail departing before dawn on one tack, motoring a bit in the middle and finishing off with a smooth sunny 7.66kn ride up to Piriac sur Mer. Heaven. But really could have stayed long on Ile De Yeu.
30 Aug – 2 Sep Port Joinville, Ile de Yeu . Unlike the super sail on the way down the forecast for the way up was 6 gusting 12 on the beam and sailable most of the way before the wind was to die. We got up at 630 to make it happen but the reality was ahead of us. more like 2 gusting 6kn. We motored the whole way.
28,29 Aug Bourgenay. Sailed about 2/3 of the way until wind died and came noseward. Inital 1/3 with cruising chute but the better tactic would have been close hauled near Ile de Re then turning more northward to keep the wind beamy.
23-27 Aug St Martin, Ile de Re. Left La Rochelle at 8am and enjoyed a glorious run, beam reach all 12 miles to St Martin 🙂 . The forecast was ENE 10kn gusting 22, the reality was ENE 15-22, mainly toward the top end. Sunny and warm with temperatures topping 30 °C later.
21,22 La Rochelle, Les Minimes Mega Marina. Quiet though. An early start from Bourgenay yielded a good sail for two thirds of the way before the wind died
19,20 Bourgenay. Motored the whole way in light winds and a rolly sea. And the sun came out 🙂
15-18 Aug Port Joinville, Ile de Yeu . Forecast for today was a no brainer. Get up prompt, leave before 0830 and sail all the 45nm on one tack. The forecast for tomorrow (Friday) to Sunday also looks like a no brainer. Storms a coming. Stay put…
14 August Piriac Sur Mer Captain Slog. As did the galley slave. the forecast of 12kn gusting 26kn turned out to be 20+kn gusting near 30kn. With rain. A thoroughly unpleasant journey all in the cause of getting us further along (11nm along out of 54) toward Ile D’Yeu in pleasant beamy westerlies tomorrow. Next log will tell all.
12-13 August Arzal.
2019 part 1
4 July Arzal. End of session
3 July Piriac Sur Mer . Gav & Daf leave for home. The forecast said go East so East we did, at up to 7.7kn on a hot blustery 3rd reef run
2 July Vannes.
1 July Ile aux Moins.
30 Jun Port Tudy, Ile de Groix
28,29 Jun Concarneau. Stayed the extra night for the music festival….that happened last week 🙁
27 Port la Foret. The Marina is a marina, but walk across to the old port for some better ambience and super Cafe du Port. Still hot at over 30 and lobster tonight…
26 Loctudy. single tack all the way from Lorient in sunny and hot weather
24,25 Jun. Lorient-Kerneval.
22,23 Jun Locmiquélic, (Lorient). Ian & Judy have now left. We are chilling out as there’s not much else to do here.
21 Jun Port Tudy, Ile de Groix. Great time touring the island on electric velos.
19,20 Jun Le Palais, Belle Ile. Every used a mini moke (or French equivalent) We have. Once , possibly the first and last time !
18 June. Late departure from Vannes due to tides, stay the night at Ile aux Moines
15-17 Jun Vannes. John & Sharon left on the 16th, Ian & judy arrived on 17th
14 La Trinite sur Mer. Super 25nm beam reach in sunny F4. Marina surprisingly full
11,12,13 Piriac Sur Mer Early departure through the barrage on a grey day that became a wet day. left on 13 but had to return to sort out the furling main.
10 Jun John and Sharon arrive. Pick up at Redon followed by a quick up river beer at La Roche Barnard and back to Arzal for the night
6-8 Jun. Port Arzal – Camoël. Arrived yesterday, provisioned this morning. It’s Thursday. We should have left by now but a storm is coming and will hit overnight and on in to Saturday. No point in moving to a less sheltered spot so we are staying put.
2018 part 2
9 Sep. Port Arzal – Camoël. Super sail: cruising chute became over powered in near 15kn. Sailed under Genoa & Main the rest of the way to up river to Arzal in warm sunny weather. Through the barrage without incident and that’s it for this year 🙁
8 Sep. Piriac sur Mer. We hung on in Yeu and enjoyed warm weather and sandy beaches. Waited for favourable winds, left at dawn and sailed the majority of the 44nm.
4-7 Sep Port Joinville, Ile de Yeu. The wind looked right for a nice sail across and indeed it was. We left St Giles a day early and had 17.5 miles (almost) all under sail.
1,2 Sep Bourgenay. Still warm and sunny.
25-31 Aug St Martin, Ile de Re.
23,24 La Rochelle, Les Minimes Mega Marina.
22 Aug. Bourgenay. Warm, sunny, windy. Excellent trip down under cruising chute and just a bit of motor.
18-21 Aug Port Joinville, Ile D’Yeu. 6kn following wind = motor all 44nm from Piriac. Sunny & warm to boot with no sign of previous problems. Phew. We love it here and so do many others: each night the marina has been full as a result of the “grande migration” of boats going home before the end of the holidays. On the 21st it was full-full and late comers had to find space on the fishing boat quays.
17 Aug, Back to Piriac Sur Mer. Our earlier schedule had us arriving on Isle D’Yeu today. Expect to be there on 18th so we are 1 day behind.
15,16 Aug Departed for Pornic, ended up in Arzal – unusual noise neccessitates checkup by mechanic. All apparently OK.
13,14 Aug Piriac Sur Mer. First sail of this year and a brisk 7kn into a lively Piriac. Jam packed in this holiday week.
11,12 Aug La Roche Bernard. In a thunderstorm as I write.
8 – 10 Aug Port Arzal – Camoël . Warm sunny, relaxing.
part 1 didn’t happen – broken boat so we motored a voiture to the places we would have gone to!
2017 part 2
8 Sep. Port Arzal – Camoël . Full Circle.
Camoël side, in a very sheltered berth. We broke out of Piriac this afternoon hoping to get into either evening lock. A 20nm blat and straight in. Apparently after 3 days of closure there were 69 boats on the waiting pontoon last night!
That’s it for 2017. Some stats: The boat has covered 1400nm. We fed it with 819l of diesel. Sailed around 100nm 🙁 Pretty awful really.
7 Sep. Still in Piriac. Hobsons choice – stay sheltered or risk F6 approach to the Arzal lock. We stayed on.
5-6 Piriac Sur Mer. Almost home. Would have preferred to stay longer on Ile D’Yeu, but the forecast said “Go today and you will be rewarded, go tomorrow and you will wish you left the day before”. So we left and were rewarded with a single tack 44nm beam reach with speeds up to 7.8kn. The route took just 6.5hours. Best of the year 🙂
4 Sep Port Joinville, Ile D’Yeu. We actually sailed most of the way!
2,3 Sep Bourgenay. We love it for the calmness….
30,31 Aug & 1 Sep St Martin, Ile de Re.
27-29 Aug La Rochelle, Les Minimes Mega Marina. 8hr motor in calm conditions gets us another big leap Northward (50nm). Arzal can be reached in 2 days from here, but Filibuster is done passage making and is now a slow boat: we have 3 weeks to play with before going home
26 Aug. Another free night in Port Medoc. If there’s one thing we’ve learnt about marinas is the combination that produces a good night’s sleep. Port Medoc: enclosed, no swell or wash, fishing boats, noisy roads, airport or rail lines fits the bill. Calm.
25 Aug Port Medoc. Yep, where the wine comes from. We were heading across the the Gironde to Royan but a slightly faster pace and siltier entrance made for 0 depth. Tired, we popped across to Port Medoc. Total journey 156nm in abt 28hrs. Cream Crakered.
24 Aug -en route to Royan
23 Aug Bermeo. Pretty old port with much of the historic centre in tact.
Martin’s covered 1060nm and Michele 746nm so far. We’ve filled our boots with sailing (motoring) and tomorrow head back to France. About another 350 or so nm to go before Arzal!
Update to South Biscay Pilot: There is a recent addition to the port aimed at transiting boats. A new pontoon with 4 long fingers accommodating 8 boats, nominally up to 14m. Water + electricity in abt 2.5m. No reservation possible. Located on the wall next to F.G. Wash from small boats is a nuisance.
22 Aug Bilboa. Marina del Abra wouldn’t take us (even on Passeporte Escale) so we had to go to Marina Getxo. Free washing m/c + dryer tempered the outrageous €54 for the night…
21 Aug. Short but long slog to Laredo. Huge marina with plenty of space…
20,21 Aug Santander. Long long 75nm slog (motor of course) via St Vincente de La Barquara where there was no room at the inn. Neither at Marina Santander. Finally berthed in Marina Cantabrico around 1230am…zzzz. Nice marina, welcoming and helpful staff. Shorter walk to the airport than often around & inside Gatwick, but like Gatwick, it’s nowhere near the centre of town.
18,19 Aug Ribadesella. Think Ambleside-by-the-sea. Gateway to the Picos Europos. Run by the Home Guard, no English but charming and polite all the same. Excellent & clean facilities ashore.
Update to South Biscay Pilot: Space for visiting boats is available on the long eastern pontoon of the marina. Water & electricity in 2-2.5m. Enter from the NE along a line of small red port markers, turn left and follow the marina round to the long pontoon.
15-17 Aug Gijon. A long day’s trek 66 miles in 10.5h avg 6.2kn in benign conditions. All motor of course. The coast between Ribadeo and Gijon is largely mountainous, with a narrow strip of usable land before steep to cliffs. Not many places of interest to stop so today gets us a good way east.
Gijon (pron more like shee-shon) is a superb city. More to come in the blog.
14 Aug Ribadeo.
12,13 Aug Viveiro, . Up early to beat the adverse winds and swell. But they are quicker and had left already. 6 hour journey: motor for 2/3rd in light easterlies then superb beam reach 7kn in 11kn of wind back to Viviero. Full circle.Viveiro: sheltered, super flat. Good zzz Nice olde shopping street.
11 Aug Cedeira. We leave A Coruna full of diesel but no wind. Motor. I go down below to check the charts. Wind pipes up to 16+kn on the nose. We pass Cabo Prior, turn 45 degrees to head North East. Wind responds by remaining on the nose and increases to 20+kn. At least it’s sunny but otherwise it’s a slog to Cedeira. 🙁
9,10 Aug. 48nm/9hr slog to A Coruna. Sometime under motor, sometime under sail, most of the time under both
8 Aug – 2 months on:- back in Muxia.
7 Aug – back to Muros from home: car, train, train, hotel, 4am start for Easyjet to Santiago, taxi to bus station, bus to Muros. On board before mid day….
The journey so far:
23 Jun and on.Muros. Back again. Tonight is the “Night of the Witches”. Pedro promises music and noise all night. The God bombs started soon after our arrival at Midday….
22 Jun Portosin.At 34nm the last long leg of this trip brings us to Real Club Nautico de Portosin
20, 21 Jun. Porto Nova. It’s hot, damn hot. But there’s a bar overlooking the marina and we know how to use it.
19 Jun Islas Cies. Spanish National Nature Reserve island. At anchor.
17,18 Jun Sanxenxo.
15,16 Jun Vigo. About 13 miles from the Portuguese border and as far South as we planned to go. Weather hot, wind plenty. Sailed more today than the whole 2 previous weeks!
10,11,12 Jun Muros. lovely. We liked it so much we actually paid for an extra night!
9 Jun Finisterre, yep the real one. The most Westerly point of mainland Europe.
8 Jun Muxia. pron something like murcia but with a “th” as in murth-ee-a. Super place, excellent and deserted marina, plenty to see & do ashore for a day or so. Add to that €9 pp lunch and fantastic hardware/chandlery and we are made up.
7 Jun Camariñas. What can I say…nice marina, laid back staff, shop. That’s about it. Sorry.
6 Jun Porto Corme, NW Spain round the corner of NW Spain. Stopover at anchor to break the journey toward Caraminas.
4,5 Jun A Coruna!. Fine sail down and in. In company with 2 other French yachts. Bad weather forecast for Monday night but we are tucked in nicely. Monday night unbelievable Galician cooking at Meson El Serrano
3 Jun Cedeira. At anchor. James departed, Michele, Daphne, Sharon and John arrive. 6 go forth. No wind.
1,2 Jun Viveiro, Spain. 307nm, motored across the whole of the Bay of Biscay except for a couple of hours.
30, 31 May. Motoring across the Bay of Biscay. Boring.
29 May. Arzal. Boat prepped, Gav and James crew on board. Here comes Spain 🙂
13 Sep Arzal – that’s it for this season.
12 Sep La Roche Bernard. The lock is closed 14&15 Sep so we decided to go through ahead of the certain bun fight tomorrow. Hot hot again – thermometer say 30 deg C
10,11 Sep Piriac Sur Mer. Super beam reach.24nm 3h 50m including departure, breakfast on the go and tying up. 7kn much of the way with a top of 7.75kn.
7-9 Sep Port Haliguen.
5,6 Sep Ile de Groix
3,4 Sep Port Louis
29 Aug – 2 Sep Loctudy. Had to pay for 1 night!
27,28 Aug Saint Marine. Delightful.
25,26 Aug Port Louis
23,24 Aug Ile aux Moines, Golfe de Morbihan. via Hoedic.
22 Aug Piriac Sur Mer. Great meal aboard Wombat with the Carlsons.
20,21 Aug La Roche Bernard
16-19 Aug Arzal. Arrived in 32 degree of heat & humidity. Too hot to sleep with a quilt, but by morning it had all gone and too cold ….
4-6 Jul Arzal. That’s it for now. Sadly no new posts due to absence of good materiel: will try to make one …
2,3 Jul La Roche Bernard Faffing, cleaning , fixing. Even us boaty adventurers need to do it…
1 Jul Piriac Sur Mer. Yet another lumpy sail round. Last stop before the Villaine.
30 Jun Pornichet.We were heading for Pornic but got the spelling wrong….lumpy sea and better course of sail wins…..
28,29 Jun. Ile D’Yeu. As our new friends would say, we “put some donk on it” to get the boat north as far as Les Sables D’Olonne then the wind piped up and sailed the rest. 53nm in in 8 hours.
21-23 Jun St Martin, Ile De Re. The rain stopped, the wind came from abeam: 6kn boat in 9kn wind!. We arrived in St Martin, the sun came out and temperature climbed….heaven at last :-)…and with the warm weather, nice neighbours, good food etc apathy sets in. Still resident on the 25th and heading for the 2 free nights to make it a full week!
18 jun Les Sables D’Olonne.
17 jun St Gilles Croix de la Vie. Laurie leaves us by train.
15,16 Jun Ile D’Yeu. 35nm with a forecast of a fine F4 on the beam – super. Reality was a F3 on the nose – motored all the way…..16th : fine sunny hot sunshine in 18 deg…
13,14 Pornichet. Weather turned to rainy F6 as we arrive. 7kn+ most of the way.
28 Apr -3 May Arzal . Unpack and get ready for the season. Poor boat looking very green this year after a mild& wet winter
21 Sep Home. 🙁 🙂 . Flat beds, no tink tink tink, slap slap or howl & shriek. Just the pigeons….
19,20 Arzal . Pack up and homeward bound. But before that the season ended with a restorative sail from Pornichet to Arzal in light sunny airs on a calm sea. What a difference a day makes. fab.
18 Pornichet: We broke out and had a lumpy run up. We could have sailed but settled for an easy life.
13-17 Sep Ile D’Yeu. Stormy tonighty, Stormy Wednesday. 110km gusts forecast. Another sail ripper..
12 Sep Bourgenay. Heading North as fast as we can to stay ahead of the next storm
8-11 Sep St Martin, Ile De Re. With Zoe
5-7 Sep Les Minimes, La Rochelle. Officially they are not taking visitors due to the preps for the Boat Show, but getting in early was rewarded with one of the last “unofficial” visitors spaces.
4 Sep Bourgenay
2,3 Sep St Giles Croix de la Vie
28 Aug – 1 Sep Ile D’Yeu
26,27 Aug L’Herbaudière, Noirmoutier. Reworked visitors pontoon helps
22-25 Aug Pornic. Still Holed up
21 Aug Pornichet, La Baule. West Coast mega resort.
18-20 Aug Arzal: start of another cruise – this time going south to La Rochelle
16 Jul Home
15 Jul Back to Arzal and the end of this holiday
13,14 Jul La Roche Bernard. For Bastille Day Celebrations
11,12 Jul Piriac Sur Mer for the big holiday weekend
9,10 Jul Le Palais, Belle Ile
7,8 Jul La Trinite sur Mer
5,6 Jul Port Haliguen
3,4 Jul Sauzon, Belle Ile
30 Jun – 2 Jul Port Louis
28,28 Jun Port de St Catherine (Loqmicuelic), Lorient. There’s a washing machine here and we need one….
24-26 Jun Port Tudy, Isle d’Groix
22,23 Jun Port Louis. Shiny new Capitainerie (harbourmaster’s office)
21 Jun Isle d’Houat
18-20 Jun La Roche Bernard. Chilling out after a hectic few days
14-17 Jun Vannes -staying at an airbnb place whilst we get the boat ready
11 Sep Home. 🙁 🙂
8-10 Sep. Arzal. Full circle and end of cruise.
5,6 Sep La Roche Bernard
3,4 Sep – Piriac Sur Mer. Last saltwater stop before heading up the Villaine.
31 Aug – 2 Sep Pornic. Stylish.
29-30 Aug Ile d’Yeu. Top port:.One of our favourites
28 Aug. Back to Les Sables D’Olonne. Heading North slowly.
27 Aug Bourgenay-Dullsville. zzzz. Why do we do it?
20 – 26 A whole week in St Martin, Ile De Re. Heaven. Jazz Festival on the 22nd-25th. great.
19 La Rochelle, vieux port, Bassin des Chalutiers
18 Aug La Rochelle – Les Minimes Marina to pick up Laurie
11 -17 Aug… Rochefort, old naval port. Let the ambience just wash over…we did for a full week 🙂
7-10 Aug La Rochelle, Les Minimes, La Rochelle
5,6 Aug Bourgenay-Dullsville
31 Jul- 2 Aug Ile D’Yeu
30 Jul L’Herbaudiere. For 1 night only.
27-29 Jul Arzal
29 Aug Lawrenny. To pick up car. Full circle and the end of travel reporting for this season.
28 Aug Broad Chalke ..sad to be home, glad to be home….
27 Aug Port Arzal-Camouel, a different berth this time.
25,26 Aug – back to La Roche Bernard (4 miles)
24 Aug, Port Arzal-Camouel, trying out our new home
21-23 La Roche Bernard. Up river. End of salty sea sailing.
15-17 Aug Ile D’Yeu
14 Aug Bourgenay (nice, but nothing more than a handy stop between LR and Ile D’Yeu)
12,13 Aug La Rochelle – Les Minimes Marina
11 Aug La Rochelle, Bassin des Chalutiers
8-10 St Martin, Ile de Re (no internet)
7 Aug La Rochelle Vieux Port
4-6 Aug La Rochelle – Les Minimes Marina
2-3 Aug Ile D’Yeu
31 Jul – 1 Aug Le Palais, Belle Isle (no internet)
29,30 Jul Port Louis (Lorient)
27,28 Jul – Loctudy
23-26 Jul – Camaret Sur Mer (NW France)
20-22 Jul – Tresco / Bryher
19 Jul – Lawrenny