St Peter Port to L'Aber Wrac'h or Camaret

Piers

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Been waiting two weeks to set off for our summer cruise down the west coast of France. Should have left a fortnight ago but the weather was been foul. We'd hoped to round Finistere at neaps and F3 or less but it wasn't to be.

Tomorrow morning (Thursday) at 0230, the plan is to set off for L'Aber Wrac'h, cruising at 8 kts. The plan is to arrive off L'Aber Wrac'h at such time that we either dive up the river and into the marina, or continue to Camaret, through the Chenal du Four at its critical point at slack tide.

The Atlantic swell is forecast at 3m, with the wind F3 (ish). Tides are springs which is certainly not ideal.

Do I dive into L'Aber Wrac'h or continue to Camaret? Your thoughts/experience?
 

longjohnsilver

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Looks as though winds will be offshore (easterlies), so as long as the tide is in your favour I'd be tempted to carry on. It's too easy to be caught in Laberwrach, which is a perfectly pleasant place with a good marina, but not somewhere to spend too much time. Once you're in Camaret you are close to some great cruising grounds and can pick your time to go through the Raz.

Or alternatively, skip Camaret as well and carry on going and do both du Four and the Raz in one hit, then you really are closer to where you want to be. Have a great trip, conditions look ideal, just so long as the winds don't go southerly.
 

IDAMAY

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+ 1 though I don't think I would be tempted to go further than Camaret assuming you are two handed as usual. By the time you get to Camaret I would guess you will be ready for a bit of R & R! We hope to head to the CIs next week so will miss you at this end of the "summer."

Richard.
 

Piers

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Well, we left St PP at 0230 Thursday morning in calm wind and a glassy sea. Turning SW after St Martin's Point we encountered the 3m Atlantic swell as forecast. Not in itself a problem, more of a bit of fun as we rode the rodeo. But the wind soon picked up to a NE4/5 which added a not inconsiderable slop making the ride very uncomfy. After 15 hours or so of this endurance run, we turned SSW past L'Aber Wrach en route for Camaret. What to expect? It was springs. Would it be as horrid as the almanacs say? Prepared for the worst, the wind dropped to NE F2, the sea calmed, and although a small 2m swell continued the sea became glassy all the way to Camret.

The marina was full so we moored on the outside. Being calm, not a problem.

So, the vital stats were 18 hours, 15 of which were nasty - an endurance ride. Both of us were ill, but both of us felt elated we'd achieved the longest non-stop journey in Play d'eau's history. Sore tummies? Yes. Sore heads? Yes. But such a feeling of triumph.

Saturday we head for Audierne, giving us a day off to recover and hose Play d'eau. She deserves it.
 

CharlieAlpha

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Well done Piers, enjoy your achievement, but remember this is a pleasure sport so the weather gods need to be a little kinder for the next leg or just enjoy where you are.
 

Piers

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Wise words, CA. The target is to get south of Camaret and the Raz de Seine so we can relax and start enjoying the west coast of Brittany - for two months or more!
 

Nigelpickin

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Well done, watched you a couple of times on Marine Traffic, good distance made and certainly broken the back of it. How far down are you planning to go?
 

IDAMAY

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Good stuff, Piers. That's longer than anything we have done. In 2000 we did 12 hours from Cuxhaven to Den Helder and more recently 12 hours from Padstow to Caernarvon. The former was nasty in a F6 south westerly but the latter was calm though foggy in parts. The one that "felt" the longest, though was Lerwick to Bergen though actually "only" ten hours. The North Sea is a lonely place. May the remainder of your passages be calm and shorter!

Richard.
 

Piers

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Well done, watched you a couple of times on Marine Traffic, good distance made and certainly broken the back of it. How far down are you planning to go?

Hi Nigel, I think we'll go as far as Rochefort (again) although the idea of going to Bordeaux is intriguing. Have you been there?
 

Piers

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Good stuff, Piers. That's longer than anything we have done. In 2000 we did 12 hours from Cuxhaven to Den Helder and more recently 12 hours from Padstow to Caernarvon. The former was nasty in a F6 south westerly but the latter was calm though foggy in parts. The one that "felt" the longest, though was Lerwick to Bergen though actually "only" ten hours. The North Sea is a lonely place. May the remainder of your passages be calm and shorter!

Richard.

Hi Richard. Thanks for the encouragement. Today (it's 0300 French time) we go to Audierne if there's room (I have to check with the HM 45 mins before arrival) or Sainte Marine. The forecast shows NE2/3, but I think the weather people hadn't looked outside - it's blowing at least a 4...

To make Audierne's tidal restriction, we'll be in the Raz an hour and a half before slack. The tide will be against us so we are bracing ourselves for another bumpy ride. At least it will be far shorter than before!

Piers
 

Nigelpickin

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Hi Nigel, I think we'll go as far as Rochefort (again) although the idea of going to Bordeaux is intriguing. Have you been there?

No, only got as far as La Rochelle last year :(

We will make it next year though so would love to hear about any marinas south of there :)

Just now starting to regret our decision to stay UK side this year but we are of to the CI's on Monday for a week so it's not that bad :)

Safe travel and here's looking forward to some updates when you can drag yourselves away from the markets, moules frites, red wine and so on...
 

Bandit

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Piers

If you go to Audierne got the Sardine museum its actually quite interesting.
 

IDAMAY

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I see you made it to Audierne. I hope the Raz was as kind as it could be. We passed it in the Pont Aven last March and I would not have wanted to be there in Ocean Star! You mentioned Bordeaux. Some friends of ours (experienced Princess 56 owners) went into Royan a few years ago and he told me that he met some of the worst sea conditions ever in the Gironde estuary with just a F4 wind over tide. If you do venture that way it would pay to take the Gironde seriously.
 

longjohnsilver

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I see you made it to Audierne. I hope the Raz was as kind as it could be. We passed it in the Pont Aven last March and I would not have wanted to be there in Ocean Star! You mentioned Bordeaux. Some friends of ours (experienced Princess 56 owners) went into Royan a few years ago and he told me that he met some of the worst sea conditions ever in the Gironde estuary with just a F4 wind over tide. If you do venture that way it would pay to take the Gironde seriously.

We ventured into the Gironde a few years back, it is a huge river and seemed to take forever to get in. Would thoroughly recommend Port Medoc (as opposed to Royan), and the take a train to Bordeaux.

We spent 2 great weeks there, but we left shortly after a F8 westerly gale toward the bottom of the tide - big mistake, I have never seen waves as big as they were that day, so yes, the Gironde deserves to be taken very seriously.
 

Piers

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Thanks so much for all the replies and info. if you want to follow our adventures over the coming two months, check the Play d'eau website: www.playdeau.com

You can subscribe on the home page if you want auto-updates.
 

Lloydroberts

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Thanks so much for all the replies and info. if you want to follow our adventures over the coming two months, check the Play d'eau website: www.playdeau.com

You can subscribe on the home page if you want auto-updates.

Site bookmarked, first instalments read.
Have a great trip, I'll be joining you along the way(in spirit)and enjoying you write-ups.

That Nordhavn is a serious bit of kit, as is Play d'eau.
 

Nigelpickin

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Thanks so much for all the replies and info. if you want to follow our adventures over the coming two months, check the Play d'eau website: www.playdeau.com

You can subscribe on the home page if you want auto-updates.

Have been enjoying your site for some time Piers and very much looking forward to more instalments.
Safe voyage.
 
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