Through the Raz

This is probably the most boring post of the trip !!!

This is the one passage that HAS got to be planned as it passes through a smallish gap between mainland France and a small island (Isle de Seine). Get your arrival here wrong and the tide is so strong that it is extremely difficult to make headway. Get it correct and the tide squooshes (is that a nautical term ?) you along and hopefully in the direction that you want to go in.

Squooshing at 9.2kn

Squooshing at 9.2kn

By the way its is pronounced “RARH” and not RAZZ (as we used to say)


Looking north east after going through. La Plate on the left and La Vielle on the right. Do not go between due to to rocks, rock-ettes, strong tides, dragons and sea monsters.

We left just before 6am from Camaret (still dark) as the navigator had worked the timings backward for this. This is one of the most uneventful sails, as there was very little wind for the whole of the journey and the sky was grey, overcast and dull. We motored all the way but put up the main to stabilise us as there were a few Atlantic rollers.

The most exciting thing was a huge pod of dolphins going across the Bay of Audierne but they did not stop.

So after 49.1 nautical miles we arrived at low tide at Loctudy (taking care with the depth on arrival – shame to go aground at such a stage).

Addendum from the skip:

Full chart of this passage (made on 27 July) :ScreenShot

and the important bit: raz chart


Over the ground distance: 54nm, log distance 49.1m = favourable tide saving 5nm (means we arrived 50 minutes earlier than would have been the case with no tide)

As noted above the Raz to be treated with care. Even at 1 hour after slack water a 3-4kn tide was running. Good timing is of the essence