Trip on Polgan4 starting 2019-09-07 in BSAOct19
South Brittany sail 7th – 15th September 2019 – report by skipper Chris Watts
Boat Jeanneau 409 ‘Polgan4’
Sue Fowle arrived at 1740 with us in Nailsea and we then drove to Weston and collected Sonia Russé. We stopped for supper at The Half Moon at Clyst St Mary which we had already booked, just as well as it was packed. Arrived at 1915. Very good food. Left at 2015 and drove to Plymouth. Road closed so had to divert but I knew about it so no problem. Arrived 2120. Then boarded at 2215. Found our cabin then went to bar to meet the rest, Gordon Ogden, Dave Ekinsmyth, Ewart Hutton, Paula and Alan Grey and Elli and Colin Hodges.Saturday 7thAfter a good night’s sleep we were off the boat by 0830. We all went into Roscoff for breakfast at Ty Pierre. Then the long drive to La Trinité-sur-Mer, we got there about 1200. Parked up in the Main Street and found the charter office. After signing our lives away with the deposit and deposit insurance we headed off to find a cafe for lunch. The first moules frites were had. Got to the boats about 1430. Went through inventory while girls shopped. We’ve got a Jeanneau 409 ‘Polgan 4’. Big roomy boat. Fairly well equipped. Gordon has a Jeanneau 379 ‘Men Goë’. Shoppers back about 1630. Sonia’s rucksack took a dive off a trolley into the sea, but was quickly retrieved. Drink and nibbles on Gordon’s boat then back on ours for bread and cheese and an early night.Sunday 8thEwart up earliest and went off for croissants while the rest of us showered. After breakfast we prepped for sea. We slipped at 1000. No wind so we motored out of La Trinité and headed for La Turballe. Hoisted the main as a steadier. Pleasant motor, bit cool in the slight breeze which came up once out of the harbour but was sunny all the way. Lots of boats around. Boat handled very well under engine and George. Lunch of bread and cheese. Called up La Turballe by phone and the Capitainerie lady came and showed us where to moor. As we were approaching the harbour the wind picked up from NW, bit late for us but fine for Gordon who was an hour behind us. Moored on the hammerhead of the visitors’ pontoon at 1515. €25. Showers not very strong but ok, out of hours loos and showers poor, the floor was swamped with water from the loo every time it flushed. A very good supper was had by all at La Passarelle. We all went for the €21 menu.Monday 9thAfter breakfast took the unused jetons back to Capitainerie and got €6 back! Result! Gordon slipped at 0810 and we followed at 0820. Grey with W F3. Rain forecast for later with strong winds. Motored out to E Cardinal at Basse Castouillet where we set full sail, engine off. We had a good sail across the Loire estuary, there were several anchored merchant men waiting to get into St Nazaire and the area was busy with fishing trawlers. At one point we had to give way to a Pilot vessel, it actually turned out to be anchored! Wind backed to SW 3 and increasing cloud made it quite cool. We moored alongside Gordon at 1330 in L’Herbaudière. We put up the Bimini so we could have our lunch in the open, but out of the rain. Men Goë crew went ashore for lunch. A small motor boat which was moored in front of us left so we were able to get alongside. Paid for the night €28.20. Girls went shopping as we had no white wine, but we did have two red wine boxes though, Chinon and Chenin are easily confused. Drink and nibbles on board our boat this evening. We ate on board after Men Goë had left. Sue and the other ladies cooked a lovely roast veg and feta dish. Excellent. Very heavy rain for a while at 1830. Followed by F7 by 2100. A French boat had tied up alongside us just before the real blow started. Bed 2300. Soon up, as a loud bang was heard, got out to find the boat which was alongside Gordon had lost a line in the 30knt wind, which was now blowing into the harbour, and had crashed into our stern guardrail. Ewart and Colin were already pushing it off when I got there. With much shouting and hauling we got it back alongside Gordon and we then moved the two boats back a bit. A small French singlehanded at the end of the pontoon moved his boat a bit to give us more room. I dropped off our anchor to the pontoon so I didn’t hit the boat 2ft in front of us. Back to bed by 0000.Tuesday 10th
Slept well. The two boats which had been alongside departed at 0730. Fortunately there was virtually no damage to our boat, the guard rail was a bit bent, but it was easily straightened. Breakfast of croissants etc purchased by Ewart as usual. Both boats decided to stay here for the day. Cold N wind F5-6 at first but sunny, by afternoon it had settled down to F4 and quiet hot. After the boat 2ft in front of us left, we were able to warp the boat around so the cold wind didn’t blow straight in. Did this with long lines and using the wind and tide. A successful manoeuvre. Lovely lunch on board again in the cockpit in the sun. Helped Gordon turn his boat round after the single handed left. Also helped to sort out his electrics which had got wet in the melee last night. We had WD40 on board. After this, some of us, went for a walk out of town for a couple of miles and back. Ewart and Sue were tasked again to look for a restaurant for tonight. The restaurant they chose was La Grand Voile and was very good, most went for the €19 menu. Wednesday 11thSlipped at 0830 grey and fairly dark, wind NW 3 motored with main up till about the Pilot boat outside the Loire when we were able to add the jib, it’s only a small jib, the clew doesn’t reach the mast, but it works well with the main. Managed a reasonable sail for a couple of
hours. Entered into Piriac at about 1515 with 3.5 over the sill, always a bit of a worry as we drew 2.1m. Reversed onto the long C pontoon. Gordon arrived about 20 mins later and moored behind us. €24 for the night with the best showers we’ve seen. Tried to work out times for the lock at Arzal on the Vilaine. On checking the web site there only seemed to be a 0900 lock for Thursday, we checked this with the Capitainerie and were told that was correct. That would have meant leaving Piriac at a very early hour indeed, so a rethink of where we might go was needed. After much deliberation Gordon’s crew decided to go to the Vilaine on Friday and then back to La Trinité. Our crew didn’t want to do this, so we decided to go back to La Turballe on Thursday. We ate on board with a lovely pasta.Thursday 12thWoke to grey skies and drizzle. Being locked into the port, till there was enough water over the sill, meant we had a latish breakfast followed by a wander round town. Lovely little village with lots of old cottages in the old part of town. Most of us sat in various cafes having coffee and watching the world go by. The sun was now out with a light westerly wind. When the large neon sign showed 2.5m over the sill we left, at 1405, waving goodbye to Men Goë. We had a lovely gentle sail reaching 4.5 knots at times. Out to Ilê Doumet and its large fish farm then tacked and headed to La Turballe. Lots of boats around. Got into La Turballe at 16.10, not on same pontoon as Sunday, but alongside a large 51’ Beneteau. Sunday’s mooring was reserved for a giant cat. Bit of sightseeing for those who didn’t get time on Sunday and then we had another good meal at the Passerelle. The skipper ordered Fruit de Mer, but was told it was off the menu, so Moules again. Found another boat alongside us when we returned at 2150. Friday 13thUp at 0800 breakfasted, the boat beside us had left already. We had to move to let the Beneteau out. Little bit of shopping then left at 1015 excellent sail in a F3 NE’ly and we reached all the way to Morbihan, very sunny to start but clouded over after lunch. Entered Morbihan at 1500 and had an exhilarating motor thru turbulent waters reaching more than 10knts over the ground. Picked up a mooring buoy off Ile aux Moines. Lovely and warm out of the cooling wind. The girls cooked an excellent salmon supper. Saturday 14thUp early to a sunny morning with 12 knots of NE’ly wind. We hoisted main on the mooring as we were head to wind and slipped at 0940. Fast passage down the Morbihan at over 8 knots all the way. Very turbulent as we joined the Auray river with water being picked up by the stern platform, and being flipped onboard. As we reached flatter water we set the jib and headed out to sea. Through the narrows by 1030. The boat needed at least 14 knots of wind before she showed any signs of speed, and unfortunately, as we got offshore, the winds decreased to about 12 knts so we ambled along at about 4 knots, but we did enjoy our sail over to the south of île de Houat, along with many other boats heading for the island anchorages of this area. We went through the passage between Houat and Hoëdic and slowly sailed up the west coast of Houat whilst having our lunch. This is where Gordon had anchored for their lunch the previous day, but today, being Saturday, there were over 40 boats in the anchorage hence our slow drift up the coast. We went back out into the gulf through the Passage de Beniguet, on the chart this looks very narrow, but when you get there, there is plenty of room. We then set course for La Haliguen and were alongside by 1550. Very hot and no wind in the marina. Beers all round. Showers! Ewart and Sue sorting out restaurant for tonight. They found an excellent little place Crêperie du Vieux Port and we sat outside on their garden terrace for an excellent supper. Though the skipper was short changed again as the clams were off the menu.Sunday 15thWe found an outlet for croissant etc, but only just in time, Ewart got the last of both croissant and pain aux raisins, just in front of Alan and Paula. Slipped at 1030. F3 NE so sailed gently across the bay and hove-to for lunch before heading into La Trinité at 1500. Fuelled up only needed 30 litres. Had trouble getting into the berth as there was a strong cross current. Finally made it with only a couple of attempts. Then started the process of closing the boat down. Gordon came to borrow our hose as his boat didn’t have one. We all walked into the village at 1930 and managed to get into a super little restaurant Le Quai. It was excellent, I managed to get my fruit de mer at last and also an excellent crème caramel. An excellent end to a good weeks sailing. Great credit goes to Ewart for his impeccable navigation, any errors were solely the skipper’s. Also thanks to Colin and Eli for all the great work in the galley supplying us with lots of tea.Monday 16thUp at 0800 to find Gordon scrounging our hose pipe again. Off the boat by 0845. Drove into village for breakfast then after a diversion to Carrefour we headed for Roscoff. Refilled in St Pol de Leon before arriving at the same time as David, Gordon and Ewart. Lunched very well at Le Surcouf. On board ferry by 1520. Boat arrived at 2100 we got off at 2130 and finally through passport control at 2200. M5 closed at Taunton Deane so detoured through Taunton very light traffic so not too bad. Dropped Sonia off at Weston at 2355. Sue left us at 0030.