We had left Morlaix the previous day to make it easier to catch a fair tide down the coast to L’Aberwrac’h.
We had stopped here on our previous visit during our shakedown trip and loved it. Not the marina near the entrance that we bypassed but further up the river at Port de Paluden, tucked into a nature reserve. We were even organised enough to let them know that we were coming as we wanted to leave the boat there while we visited Mel’s sister in Paris. (also at €50/week or €100 per month it was the cheapest place we were going to find and worth the extra hassle of an extra bus to Brest). We also hoped to catch with Jean-Marie and see how he was getting on with his steel boat renovation project.
I left Mel snoozing in bed while I had my usual pre-departure faff. Slipping the mooring buoy and motoring off shortly after dawn with almost no wind.
We had chosen to pass through the channel of the Ile du Batz. This can be quite an interesting bit of navigation when the tide is low and you are sailing. It also makes the passage about 6 miles shorter. I’d made sure I’d read all the relevant almanach sections before hand not wanting to repeat the Morlaix entrance but with rocks. I was however stressing over nothing as the channel is well marked and at high tide all the rocks are well below the surface (rather than hidden just below the surface).
As we headed out into open water the wind picked up to time gentle 9 knots. Perfect time to try out the Gennaker tucked into the cockpit locker that we hadn’t even had out of the bag.
A Gennaker is an asymmetric sail a little like a spinnaker but the base of the front attaches to bow of the boat rather than a pole. This makes it much easier to gybe short handed (don’t need to swap/mess with a pole on the foredeck) and gives it a slightly larger range of wind angles that it will fly. But it’s not so good dead down wind (or that’s what our internet searching had told us, we had never looked at it, never mind flown it or even used one on another boat).
3 corners labelled T, C and F. Attach one to the halyard one to the sheets and one to the tack. Hoist it and hope we guessed right.
Lovely to be cruising along at 6 or 7 knots when we would have otherwise been doing 3.
We need to find a better way of attaching the tac to the front of the boat though. We attached it to a combination of the pulpit (guard rail at the bow of a boat) and bow cleats. The pulpit is not designed to take sail loads, although it worked for for short periods in light winds and calm seas.
We stopped on a Buoy at L’Aber Benoit for the night. It looked like a good anchorage and was recorded as this in our guides. But as we keep finding, everywhere we might have dropped the hook is already full of moorings. I guess that’s the problem of being here in peak season.
We hopped round to L’Aber Wrac’h the next morning.
A language note
“L’Aber” means the mouth of, e.g. L’Aber Benoit, the mouth of the river Benoit.
This is the same way as it is used in wales, e.g. Aberystwyth, Mouth of the Ystwyth.