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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 3 – L’Aber Wrac’h to Camaret – 19 June 2013

The calm before the storm

The sun rises over a calm sea
as Play ‘eau leaves L’aber wrac’h
click to enlarge


Having rigged for ‘silent running’ (it was still night when we left) Play d’eau motored out of L’Aber Wrac’h marina and down the river bound for Camaret at 0430 to catch the best of slack tide whilst transiting the notorious Chenal du Four.

With almost no wind the seas were flat. Oily, glassy flat calm. Perfect for Play d’eau and her crew.

Nearing the Chenal, the seas remained spirit level flat although a N’ly wind had started to appear, sending occasional shivers of ripples across the surface.

Camaret or Audierne?

Arriving off Le Conquet a decision had to be made. Should we continue to Camaret or slow to 3.5kts to reach the even more notorious Raz de Sein at slack tide in five hours time?

By now the wind was a rising N F3 and the forecast was soon for a F4/5. The choice was to take the Raz in the forecast wind or wait for the forecast F3 in the morning. We chose the latter trusting the forecast was right. If it wasn’t, we’d be spending many days in Camaret waiting for the next weather/tide window.

The strange water fitting which is apparently now a standard in many French marinas
click to enlarge

Water, water everywhere, but not a drop to drink

Arriving in Camaret it was already blowing a strong F4. The marina was crowded with yachts waiting for elusive weather windows but we managed to squeeze into a space on the end of a pontoon giving us a metre between our stern and a yacht and our bow not quite overhanging into the channel.

Having connected shore power I went to hook our hose to the pontoon’s water supply. Looking for the tap all I found was something resembling a compressed air outlet. ‘Is this the water supply?’ I asked a British yacht. ‘Yes. Many French marinas have been upgrading their water outlets, and this fitting is now common.’ Hmmm.

We walked the mile into town to pay our dues to Le Capitainerie and ask where we could buy the fitting for our hose. With a Gallic shrug and a sound like ‘Pfff’, the words ‘Je sais pas’ completed the gesture.

A half mile further on found the Chandlery. More of a nautical gift shop than a ‘swindlery’. The only hose fittings they had were garden fittings. Maybe the Super-U?

Hose fittings or Lunch?

A perfect lunch, Pate de Campagne Echalotte and baguette. The Maille Framboise vinegar is only in the pic to show we found some at the Super-U; it’s not for adding to the pate!
click to enlarge

A half mile further on we found the Super-U. Again, no hose fittings. To compensate, we bought a large slice of Paté Campagne Echalote Fraiche for lunch to go with a Baguette. Perfect.

We also managed to find some Maille Raspberry Vinegar which we prize highly and which has proven impossible to find in Guernsey.

The storm?

By the time we returned to Play d’eau the wind had risen to a N’ly high F5 vindicating our call not to carry onto the Raz de Sein.

Let’s hope the wind has dies down as the forecasters predict, ready for noon departure tomorrow? We’ll see.

Tecky details

0515hrs FST – Departed L’aber wrac’h
0955hrs FST – Arrived Camaret
Planned distance – 36.4nm
Longest leg – 7.4nm
Tech problems – nil

Makes you wonder what stories this old abandoned wooden trawler could tell Play d’eau over a beer
click to enlarge

Piers and Lin

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

PS: Message for Hil – we’ll save some Framboise for you.

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

2 comments to Leg 3 – L’Aber Wrac’h to Camaret – 19 June 2013

  • Hil

    Hi Piers, Hooray for the Raspberry vinegar. Thank you! Hil

  • Dave Birch

    Hiya folks,
    Really glad you found your sea legs. Where had you lost/found them!
    Checked on the AIS this morning to see if you were charging through the RAZ, but guess you must be having a lie-in!!!
    Baton down the hatches for the weekend eh.
    Dave & Jen

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