Monday, July 4, 2016

Roscoff to Cameret Sur Mer

We ended up spending 6 nights in Roscoff, which was not really planned but the weather was just awful so we took the opportunity to do a few jobs on the boat and explore some more. The marina and staff were fabulous and we got to feel quite at home. There’s a cafĂ© that does a simple breakfast – although the day we went everyone else was drinking beer! There’s also a restaurant that serves good local food, so we found ourselves there a couple of evenings with other cruisers also bound to the marina due to the weather. We met our first American boat – Jim and Kathy had sailed to some amazing places on Maggie who they now keep in Europe and just come for the season; we enjoyed sharing a few stories with them on the dock.
Grommets installed - so small but caused such hassle!
Andrew has always wanted a lazarette that looks like this

Testing the water Ile de Batz

Gorgeous beaches on Ile de Batz

Askari swirl on the beach - ha ha!

The grommets arrived for the pulpit lights so in a gap in a rain we fitted and sealed them; a much quicker job than drying out the front of the boat, which took a lot of air-conditioning and hairdryer action…. Andrew added all these swanky clips to the lazerette to store fishing rods, etc. Then when we finally thought we were all back together again on Saturday, the weather improved apart from the swell, then that evening the fresh water pump just stopped working  ie no showers or drinking water– so Andrew set about trying to figure out what the problem was. First he checked the power supply to both the pump and the sensor, all fine. So next, he had to disassemble the whole pump to check the brushes and the motor, concluded that it could not be fixed – this was all finished about 10.30pm Saturday night (the joys of living on a boat). First thing Sunday morning we went to the chandlers to see if they had a pump – being a French chandlers they had a lovely supply of Breton tops, shoes and fishing equipment but not one electric pump, we did get a manual pump and some water containers – seriously not how we expected to be getting water out of our tanks at this stage. Then Andrew remembered we had a small transfer pump in our spares, and managed to set that up by using a bit of our hose pipe fed down into a part of the bilge below the tank – a few more trips to the chandlers and we had running water again albeit that we had to turn the breaker on and off when we needed it. A day of our lives we’ll never get back but at least we could leave as soon as the weather broke.

Ile de Batz
Cottage on Ile de Batz
Sundowners on Ile de Batz

There was a short reprieve in the rain one day so we took the opportunity to explore Ile de Batz– a gorgeous island just off the coast. We did a long walk around the coast and had galletes for lunch. It ended up brightening up a lot in the late afternoon and sitting on the foreshore with a beer overlooking the port was a real highlight.
Our home in Roscoff when the sun came out on Sunday
6.30am Monday 4th July morning we left Roscoff and headed West through the Batz Chanel; the swell was about 1.5m which meant this was passable with careful pilotage as the channel has drying rocks and overfalls. We left at a similar time to about 6 other yachts but somehow we seamed to be in the front and most followed us through which felt like quite a responsibility. The day was miserable and we had fog and rain while motor sailing but when the decision came to head into L’Aberwrac’h or keep going and take our chances to get through the infamous Chenal du Four we decided we needed to get south for better weather so pushed on. My phrase of the day was ‘ you don’t get up at 6am to go into port at 10!’

Nice day for a sail

3.4 knots of current against us
Chenel du Four

For non sailors – you know that photograph of a man standing on the lighthouse with waves breaking all around – this is where we are sailing right now –I think that lighthouse is actually on Ouessant but it’s only a few miles away so was in my mind the whole trip.

We powered on and made it through most of the channel with only a bit of tide against us then there was about 2 miles at the end where we had 3 knots or more against us but we made it through and turned into the Rade de Brest and picked up favourable current and before we knew it we had a fabulous sail still in the fog to Cameret Sur Mer. Which even in the drizzle was totally gorgeous. We took a mooring hopped in the dinghy and raced off to the chandlers in search of a better pump. Not only did we find a pump but also a little fish market that just received a delivery of Saint Pierre (John Dory) one of the best fish in this area – happiness was returned to Askari. We explored town briefly grabbed a few provisions and beers.

Cameret sur Mer

Cameret sur Mer

Sun goes down on Cameret sur Mer

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