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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 21 – L’Aber Wrac’h to Roscoff – 30 August 2013

Morning calm looking towards L’Aber Wrac’h’s estuary
click to enlarge

Three weeks ago when we left Rochefort, we had the distinct feeling we were starting our journey home; latitude was increasing and we were heading north – homeward bound.

The feeling became a reality yesterday on reaching L’Aber Wrac’h. Having turned the corner around the Brest peninsula we’d now track east along Brittany’s rock strew north coast.

‘The end is nigh,’ Piers said to Lin, dramatically. ‘Rubbish,’ was the immediate response. ‘It’s the start of the next stage of this whole adventure.’

Lin was right, of course.

There remain many delightful ports to visit along this coast and we can’t wait to see yacht Woolly Mammoth’s Graham and Frances in Jersey and together, have fun tormenting the local restaurants – again.

Pinch points

Threading our way through the reefs saved 30 minutes passage time
click to enlarge

With no pinch points as such, we just wanted our easterly passage to Roscoff to be without hassle. If we could have the Atlantic swell behind us and a following tide and wind that didn’t interfere with us, that would be spot on.

The nav plan

Looking at the tide tables, if we left L’Aber Wrac’h at 0900 we’d catch the flood tide all the way to Roscoff.

The final stage of the route would require pilotage along the narrow Canal de Île de Batz separating Île de Batz from Roscoff, after which a turn to starboard would bring us to Roscoff’s new Bloscon marina.

The weather

Before departure, a SW’ly hushed at F2 whilst the sky above was half blue and half fractured cloud. To the east it was bright whilst to the west continuous dark cloud reigned supreme.

The chart showing our route along the Canal de Ile de Batz
click to enlarge

The cloud to the west signalled an approaching warm front, but the synoptic charts showed it wold slide SE taking its rain with it. We should run ahead and out pace it.

The journey

Another perfectly calm and flat sea awaited Captain Lin as she took Play d’eau off her pontoon and drove her out of the marina into the river, and headed for the sea. I was on warp and fender duty….

As ever, our planned route is always the safe route. Given it was calm and the tide was almost slack, we cut the corner by heading north through the rocks cutting off half an hour travel time.

There was nothing arduous on this passage. The tide and wind were with us, and the Atlantic swell gently caressed Play d’eau as we headed for the Canal de Île de Batz. A fleet of four small fishing boats here posed no threat – they simply made way for us.

Large patches of weed were waiting to strangle our props and rudders
click to enlarge

The only nuisance was the large amount of green weed at the entrance to the Canal. The issue with weed is that you never know what may be caught up in it. Netting? Rope? All designed to strangle your props and rudders and stop you dead in the water.

We carefully steered around the many clumps that blocked our way.

The Île de Batz looks simply delightful and has a number of small bays perfect for anchoring-out. One day.

Arriving

Turning to starboard to enter Roscoff’s approach channel, we slid by the docked Brittany Ferry busy disgorging its holiday makers onto French soil.

The Reeds Nautical Almanac helpfully, but somewhat unnecessarily, suggests small boats should keep clear of the ferries….

A few hundred metres on we entered the new Roscoff Bloscon marina and were met by a really helpful member of staff in his RIB. We were shown to the hammerhead of Ponton B.

A Brittany Ferry in the commercial port next to the Roscoff Bloscon marina
click to enlarge

The sun was out and it wasn’t raining. We’d beaten the warm front.

Another perfect cruise on another perfect day as we begin the next phase of our adventures.

The tecky details

Departed L’Aber Wrac’h – 0900
Arrived Roscoff – 1325
Time on passage – 4hr 25min
Total planned distance – 35.15nm
Tides: Neaps
Longest leg – 16.2nm from Aman Ar Ross NCM to Basse Plate NCM

Tech issues – Mastervolt battery charger (model 24/100-3) has failed. Back-up remains working.

Incidents – nil
Navigational info: nil

Piers and Lin
From the Nav Table of
Play d’eau
Fleming 55

You can get in touch with us any time by using our Contact Form.

2 comments to Leg 21 – L’Aber Wrac’h to Roscoff – 30 August 2013

  • Hil

    What a lot of legs you have “walked” over the last 2 or 3 days! Immaculate planning (as one would expect) and beautiful photographs (also expected). And it all gives great pleasure to read and to see. Your descriptive writing gets more exciting the more you write.Wonderful. Lots of love, Hil x x

  • What praise! It brings a problem, though. For some reason my head doesn’t get through the pilot house door now….

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