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Leg 22 – Roscoff to Tréguier – 6 September 2013

Let’s call this leg, ‘Never poke your tongue out at the rain’.

The weather

The cold front hovering over Roscoff and the Bay of Morlaix, its rain showers clearly visible
click to enlarge

The last few days of our week’s stay in Roscoff had seen thick fog which didn’t really clear until after lunch, leaving the air cold and damp.

In contrast, today was a clear day. The forecast showed a fairly consistent W’ly F3/F4 which would push us on our easterly route to Tréguier.

The synoptic chart showed something else (see below).

An area of low pressure had been hanging around to the NW of France, leaving an elongated warm and cold front stretching in an almost straight line down the coast of Norway, though central England to graze the NW coast of France before turning into the Bay of Biscay.

It would reach Roscoff as a cold front sometime around midday as it made its way slowly eastwards. The question was how developed was the front? Would it be producing downdrafts, squalls, and heavy rain?

Pinch points

Looking south towards Tréguier five hours later. This same rain storm had stalked us from Roscoff and was waiting to mug us as we entered the Rivre de Tréguier
click to enlarge

There were no pinch points as such, but we wanted to ensure we had the wind and tide with us, meaning a following wind and a tide that carried us to Tréguier.

The nav plan

Tidal streams showed we should be entering the channel between Les Sept Îsles and mainland around HW Brest -3½. At this point, the tide would be almost slack after which it would carry eastwards along the coast and upriver to Tréguier.

The journey

As we left Roscoff in sunshine, we could see the cold front to the west.

By the time we were half way across the Bay of Morlaix the front was a solid messy mass of cumulus over Roscoff and it had started to block the sun from Play d’eau. You could see where it was dropping its rain.Tracking these showers on radar showed they were either staying over the land or moving north, albeit very slowly. They’d miss us. Ha!

Approaching the Rivre de Treguier, the cloud burst over us as though to say ‘Gotcha’ almost obliterating visibility. Taken from inside the Pilot House!
click to enlarge

Passing by Les Sept Îsles we encountered short term F6 squalls. The largest shower we’d be tracking was almost abeam us but still over the land. In my mind, I poked my tongue at it as I said, ‘You didn’t manage to get us.’

Famous last thoughts. As we tracked south from the Basse Crublent PHM to the mouth of the river de Tréguier, it passed overhead, its rain almost obliterating visibility. But by the time we’d passed La Corne, the rain had all but stopped and we had a beautiful 5nm trip up river, with magnificent cloud displays all round.

Arriving

We arrived as the tide was almost at its highest, with only a half knot flow. Seeing the brand new 30m hammerhead, we turned, headed into the tide, moored up, and settled down to dinner and to watch the finals of Masterchef.

Incidents

The rain was so heavy it beat the sea into submission
click to enlarge

After so many incident-free legs, this one had two.

The first was the pressure switch on the compressed air tank which failed to shut down the compressors as full pressure was reached. Just as we were casting off, the pressure relief valve blew with an almighty bang followed by a huge rush of escaping air. I’d be telling porky pies if I said I didn’t jump.

The second was as we were passing Les Sept Isles. I’d been watching two fisherman becalmed in their Merry Fisher ahead and to port. Suddenly, they opened their outboard’s throttle and steamed straight at us on an intercept.

Five blasts on the Kalhlenbergs did nothing to alter their apparent determination to hit us. By now I see into their small cockpit. The skipper wasn’t looking to see where he was going, he was turned away talking with his friend. Maybe the noise of his outboard was drowning even the 143dB Kahlenbergs.

Ten minutes after it started, the downpour stopped just as we passed Le Cornu, leaving perfect visibility
click to enlarge

Having already disengaged forward power I engaged reverse and ‘Kahlenberged’ them with a long blast. Just before cutting in front of me and only about 30m away, the skipper must have heard and suddenly looked up. His mouth dropped open, he slammed his out board into reverse and pirouetted to port and away from us, giving me a ‘Gallic’ shrug as though to say ‘Pas de problème.’

My thoughts at this point are unprintable. After 25 years of boating, I was amazed at how suddenly and quickly the situation had developed.

The tecky details

Departed Roscoff – 1225
Arrived Tréguier – 1810
Time on passage – 5hr 45min
Total planned distance – 42.4nm
Tide: Springs
Longest leg – 12.9nm from West of Les Sept Isles channel to Basse Crublent PHM

Moored in Treguier on the new 30m hammerhead. Taken the next day as Lin was hanging the washing out
click to enlarge


Tech issues – One – see above

Incidents – One – see above

Navigational info: There’s a strong tidal flow at 45 degrees across Tréguier’s marina pontoons just waiting to catch you out!

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.

The synoptic chart for 0001 on 6 September 2013
click to enlarge

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