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Piers and Lin du Pré are the owners of the Fleming 55 Play d'eau, based in Beaucette Marina, Guernsey in the Channel Islands at N49° 30’.197 W002° 30’.350.

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Leg 17 (2015) – Lorient to Sainte Marine

An aerial pic showing the entrance to Lorient is guarded by the Citadel
click to enlarge

The forecast knew it, we knew it, and it was – lumpy.

But well worth it to reach Sainte Marine from which we can judge the attack on the Finistère Peninsula. Camaret, L’Aber Wrac’h and Roscoff, here we come.

Time off

We’ve always liked Port Louis. It’s a small, ancient town built to defend the entrance to Lorient’s inland sea. The marina is really well protected and has had a complete make-over during the last few years.

More of this when I publish a separate report on Port Louis marina.

Our neighbour was a lovely 1976 Nicolson 39 ketch, a twin masted, beautifully built yacht, called Galloper. We had a great evening with its owners, Dave and Lorna, before we each went our own way to eat out, only to find we were booked into the same Crèperie!

Au revoir Port Louis

The forecast was a SE4 with a southerly 1½m swell thrown up by a depression swirling around in the Atlantic. Well, the wind would be behind us and the swell shouldn’t be too much of a problem.

With Piers on warps, Lin took Play ‘deau off her berth soon after sunrise. Exiting the narrow entrance Play d’eau came face to face with two commercial ships, one large trawler, a high speed Pilot boat, a yacht and a tug. Pah! Nothing to Skipper Lin.

En route

We had a great evening with Dave and Lorna of yacht Galloper
click to enlarge

The forecast was spot on although the swell was more from the SW than the S, and at times was parallel to us, making the stabilisers work overtime although the ride wasn’t the comfiest we’d ever had.

The wind stayed pretty constant, hovering between a SE4 and SE5. The swell was as forecast with the added attraction (is that the right word?) of some wave slop on top.

Coast Guard

‘Play d’eau, Play d’eau, ici Cross Étel, à vous.’

Was that for us or was there another Play d’eau around? I waited, ready to growl if ‘another Play d’eau’ dared respond. None did. ‘Cross Étel,’ I answered trying to sound authoritative. ‘Ici Play d’eau.’

A stream of French followed. The only part I understood was, ‘…à vous.’ ‘Pardon,’ I said, ‘Je suis Anglais. Je ne comprend pas.’ ‘Play d’eau, this is Cross Étel. Mr Duhait wants you to know he will greet you in Sainte Marine this afternoon.’

That’s the second time Alain’s managed to persuade the Coast Guard to call me! How does he do it? Maybe it’s a member of his Jazz Band?

Sainte Marine

Casting off at 0700, we exited the marina and passed the Lorient waterbus as the sun was rising
click to enlarge

Entering the channel into the River Odet, Sainte Marine is on the east side with Benodet on the west.

The tide was in a full 4kt ebb creating significant standing waves in the narrow ½nm long channel. Dodging between tacking yachts, capsized windsurfers, small capsized catamarans, large catamarans seemingly taking up the rest of the channel, the lifeboat (no-one wearing lifejackets) that squeezed between us and small yacht, not to mention the exposed rocks in the middle of the channel, Play d’eau motored sedately, elegantly and gloriously between them all to be met by the Harbour Master and escorted to her berth.

When next?

When is the question, not where. We will either make for Camaret tomorrow (Thursday) or the next day, depending on how muich the swell dies down and the wind become favourable for the passage through the Ra de Sein.

Watch this space….

Met data

Trawlers take no prisoners – speed and wake come second to selling their catch
click to enlarge

Lorient: SE4, clear, good.
Sea state: 1½m south westerly swell, at times SE5
Sainte Marine: SE4, cloudy, good

Nav data

Times are FST.

Date: 5 August 2015
Departed Lorient: 0700
Arrived Sainte Marine: 1155
Pinchpoint: The tidal flow when entering Sainte Marine
Longest leg: 17nm
Time en route: 4hr 55min
Planned distance: 61.6nm

Tech issues: None.

Piers and Lin
from the Pilot House of
Play d’eau
Fleming 55

(click on the photos below to enlarge, and use the left/right arrows)

5 comments to Leg 17 (2015) – Lorient to Sainte Marine

  • Dave Birch

    Hey folks,
    Loving the pics from the quad copter.
    Will we get to see any equally impressive under water shots from this machine?

    Regards
    Dave

  • Hil

    Spectacular photos. And the quadcopter photos are marvellous. Tight adventure too! Did you see Alain in the afternoon?

    Lol Hil x x x

  • Lorna and Dave

    Hi Lin and Piers,
    We are now in Roscoff but you are to quick for us you are already gone.
    We have enjoyed reading your blog and meeting you.
    Nice photo of Galloper and thanks for the aerial view videos they are very good.
    It is unlikely we will catch up with you now but we are sure we will meet up again some day somewhere, when new do the drinks are on Galloper.
    Regards,
    Dave and Lorna

    • Hi Dave and Lorna,

      It was great meeting you in Port Louis, one of our favourite places. Hopefully our paths will cross again when we look forward to drinks on Galloper!

      All the best – Piers and Lin

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