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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 7 – Port Haliguen to Vannes – 2 July 2013

Many colourful trawlers fish the Baie de Quiberon with seagulls hitching rides waiting from breakfast
click to enlarge

Our next port of call, the walled town of Vannes, is at the top of the beautiful Golfe du Morbihan. The Breton word Morbihan means Little Sea, an apt description given it covers over 100 square kilometres (approx. 12,000 hectares), with more than 40 islands, the largest of which is the Île aux Moines with its 7km coastline.

The inland sea of the Golfe du Morbihan is separated from the Atlantic by a narrow strait through which 400 million cubic metres of salt water pour at each high tide.

The nav plan

The pinch points start at the narrow strait entrance to the Golfe where tidal flows create currents of over 4kts. These become more pronounced as you pick your way through the islands towards Vannes, in one place exceeding 9kts. Bear in mind Play d’eau cruises at 8kts so we could easily find ourselves going backwards!

The ‘Sandbanks of Poole’ equivalent to the Golfe du Morbihan
click to enlarge

We planned to leave Port Haliguen so we’d arrive at Port Navalo, the entrance to the Golfe, at its high tide to be carried on its peak to Vannes. In practice, it gave us an unexpected additional 2kts all the way.

The Golfe is a favourite yachting area for thousands of boats. Couple this with fast Vedettes ferrying tourists, and it becomes a challenge to play boats against Vedettes against tides against the shallow sea!

Arriving

Access to Vannes is through a swing bridge which only opens at specific times. For us, this meant being at the bridge at 1530.

After three exiting yachts we went through and up a short canal to Vannes to berth.

Tecky details

The Vedettes don’t take prisoners. Travelling fast, they pass close and make large wakes
click to enlarge

1242hrs FST – Departed Port Haliguen
1542hrs FST – Arrived Vannes
Planned distance – 19.3nm
Longest leg – 9.8nm of pilotage in the Golfe
Tech problems – nil

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

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

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