Trip on a yacht starting 2013-08-22 in BSASep13
22-29 August Trip to NW France – report by skipper Alan Howells
Alan, Bill Barnes, Jade Barnes. Don Hirst, Jeff Birkin and Jeff Woolmer rose very early on Thursday to pick up the yacht at Mylor Yacht Harbour at 09:30. Though 28 years old the yacht is in exceptionally good condition and has new sails. We were not keen on the cabin sole carpet and all decided that we had plenty of 'surfing' whilst moving around down below at sea.
The entrance to Mylor is surrounded by lots of moorings and it takes a moment or two to work out the fairway. Clearing Falmouth harbour we set a course for L'Aber Wra'ch and were able to sail about half way across on smooth seas before the wind died. The choice of initial destination was made after consideration of the fact that we were sailing on the highest tide of the year. The proposed visits to islands were best not attempted on big tides so were deferred until later in the trip. Traditional navigation brought us close to Portsall cardinal which was fine due to the Eastgoing tide. Jeff had pointed out that it was about 300m away when I came on deck and then popped back below to plot a course. About 30 seconds later I could not see the cardinal or indeed anything further than 50m away so on with the GPS for a buoy hopping exercise in fog to moor in the marina. Part of the rest of the morning was spent defending our gel coat (and more) from the activities of people who could benefit from Jeff's boat handling course though he will need to learn German first.
The expected NW wind gave a good sail part way down the Chenal du Four before it died leaving us to motor the rest of the way towards Camaret though we are able to sail the last bit. The forecast for the following morning was for max 15 knts day dropping to below 5 during the night so we had a good sail to Isle de Sein arriving at low water and anchoring. It would not set initially because of weed but dropping it into a patch of sand worked and it was dug in well motoring astern. However, even that would not hold the 25- 30Kt wind that sprang up so we were forced to leave without going ashore. Exciting sail to Morgat through patches of interesting sea - very steep waves.
The Shipping forecast for the following day said Northerly 4 - 5 (bad direction for Molene Harbout so we had a nice gentle sail towards Lampaul on Ouessant until, as we approached the Pierre Noir buoy, fog (unforecast) arrived accompanied by an increase in wind strength. It began to clear near La Jument and we went into Lampaul to pick up one of the many visitors buoys. Ouessant was sunnier and more occupied than on my last visit and everyone had a good stroll around.
The forecast 4 -5 Northerly never arrived but we managed to sail to about 15 miles north of L'Aber Wrac’h in a light breeze before even that died leaving us to motor back. We called in at Durgan in the Helford for an evening meal in lovely surroundings leaving at a carefully calculated time for Jeff to practice night pilotage and to get to the Marina bar before closing time.