PYC Summer Cruise Brittany 2016 – Week 1

Crew: Tom Lynch (skipper), John Halliday, David Adshead, David Edwards

These notes expand on Tom’s posts and photos on the Facebook PhoenixYachtClub group.

Fri 27 May: Fog in the Channel…..

The week’s forecast promised light winds in the north which would generally be favourable for our passage to Roscoff – much better than the prevailing south-westerly. Friday evening saw us assemble at Haslar to prepare Quartette, potentially for an overnight sail to Guernsey. However after discussing the forecast of very little wind and fog patches over a meal at The Castle pub we reluctantly agreed that negotiating the Little Russel channel in failing light and fog after a tedious motor cross-channel wasn’t an attractive proposition. So we decided to make an early start in the morning to Cherbourg instead.

Sat 28 May: Gosport to Cherbourg – 72M

We arrived early evening after a dawn start. The weather was fine but very little wind allowed just a few hours of sailing mid-passage, thankfully with reasonable visibility. Being the UK bank holiday weekend, The Marina was very crowded so we rafted up. We felt our passage decision vindicated when we heard that those arriving earlier in the afternoon had negotiated the inner Rade entrance in fog without seeing either pier – the Channel Islands would no doubt have been worse.

On arrival the crew hoisted the newly-discovered Phoenix Yacht Club battle flag!

Note RYA member discount at Chantereyne Marina

Sun 29 May: Cherbourg to Sark, Havre Gosselin - 37M

Sunday morning was spent at the marina, timing the tide for a favourable entrance to the Alderney Race, then – ignoring Guernsey – we decided to head for the Havre Gosselin anchorage on the west coast of Sark. The light northerly wind allowed us to try out the cruising chute with preventer on the main.

On the approach to Sark we realised we could take a short-cut through the Gouliot Passage which we shot through with several knots of tide under us. A spectacular entrance and beautiful spot for an overnight stop on a buoy with dinner on board – Tom proving a very competent cook! Only one downside - no wind, so motoring most of the way - c'est la vie!

Havre Gosselin anchorage on the west coast of Sark

The Gouliot Passage

Mon 30 May: Sark to St Quay Portrieux – 51M

Early Monday morning – with no time for going ashore - we left our idyllic Sark anchorage for a 10 hour passage to St Quay Portrieux. A lovely sail with over 6 hours goose-winged on a dead run with poled out Genoa.

Tom, with Quartette goose-winged on a dead run with poled out Genoa.

Tue 31 May: St Quay Portrieux to Lézardrieux – 21M

Tuesday afternoon we depart St Quay in a F6 with a helpful push from the harbour master in his rib to escape our wind-blown berth and the very narrow trot. Whilst not a formal RYA technique (!) it is a useful backup and regularly used in St Quay - useful to know for others in the same position.

We realised that timing the tide for the river meant initially fighting an adverse stream, but in the event - after some bumpy water escaping from St Quay - it took us several hours before we emerged from a battle of two-steps forward-one back; for once Reeve-Fowkes’ tidal streams seemed several hours out on this passage.  So a hard beat north to the Ile De Brehat, then through the Rade de Brehat and down the Trieux river to overnight in Lezardrieux.

Sprint to local bar restaurant who had stopped serving food but managed to negotiate with the chef for 4 steak and chips nicely washed down with some local beer and plonk. Result!

Steak and frites in Lézardrieux

The walkway ashore proved a steep challenge at low-water!

Wed 1 June: Lezardrieux to Treguier – 22M

In the morning we left Lézardrieux for Tréguier. 5 miles by road, but for us a 27 nm trip out of the river Trieux then along the coast, into the river and up to Tréguier. Both departure and arrival were tricky because of the still strong tidal streams in the rivers even close to slack water.

We decided to have a rest day in Tréguier and do some sightseeing

Thu 2 June: Day off in Treguier

Sightseeing in Tréguier, a very attractive town, followed by a very good meal in the evening. John and David E got slightly lost on a long walk up a side branch of the river.
All set up for the final leg of our delivery trip to Roscoff on Friday

Fri 3 June: Tréguier to Roscoff, Bloscon Marina – 41M

Quartette's cruising chute

Our final day’s sailing from Tréguier to Roscoff on the summer cruise delivery trip, although the photos make it look more like a winter outing! The wind was elusive, but we managed to get in some good downwind sailing later on, with several gybes of the cruising chute.

We moored Quartette in Roscoff Bloscon marina ready for handover in the morning and, after some searching found a good restaurant opposite the old harbour.A very good week, and we escaped the rain affecting much of Europe, though the weather was generally cloudy with a chilly northerly wind.

Three of us returned to Portsmouth harbour by ferry after a night in St Malo (the alternative being Roscoff-Plymouth), where we had a fine meal inside the spectacular citadel walls and some welcome sunshine!

1 Response

  1. Well sailed and well posted John!

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