Speedwell of Rhu Ship's Log

16 th to 20 th of June 2017 - Arrived in France

Crew : Helen and Andy
Destinations : Off Ushant TSS, Camaret and Brest Marina De Chateau.
Distance : 172 miles

We left our anchorage in New Grimsby Sound at just after 0805. This gave us 3m of tide which allowed us to pass Tresco flats comfortably. The least depth a water we had under the keel was about 0.8m. We headed out of the island group roughly south/south east toward the eastern end of the Scilly Traffic Separation Scheme (TSS). There were no ships to worry about at all. We had our sails up and were sailing on port tack straight away. There was a bit of swell which increased as we left the lee of the islands. However, we were able to maintain 5-6 knots on a beam reach until about 1800 hours when the wind died. This was expected as we knew we were heading straight into the middle of the high pressure system centred on the western end of the English Channel. We were accompanied by the odd gannet, shearwater and razorbill. We are also treated to several visits from a small plane possibly RAF, which made me feel less lonely on my watch.

As we passed south east along the western end of the Ushant TSS we were called on VHF by the VTS asking for us to move a little further away, which we did. As the ships were leaving and entering the Traffic Separation Scheme (Motorway for big ships). they don't want to be giving way to small yachts. We did our usual 3 hours on and 3 hours off over night. The stars were bright and the moon came up around 0130 hours so it wasn't totally dark at any point. Although we still needed fleeces and blankets to sleep, it was a novelty to go off watch and not have to get the circulation back into our fingers and toes. When the sun started to rise it soon became warm again as we approached the end of the TSS and headed toward the Brittany Coast at the southern end of the Chenal du Four. We headed toward Camaret past a number of stunning rock formations and cliffs.


There were several free visitors moorings so we picked one up and, after a cooked breakfast, caught up on some sleep. Later in the afternoon we took the tender around the harbour and eventually found somewhere to moor up and go ashore.

The following day we headed through into the Rade de Brest. Initially we were able to sail across the bay until the wind died. We then motored toward Brest where we were directed to a space on the visitors pontoon in the Marina de Chateau, an easy walk to the town centre. As it was Sunday Brest was very quiet. However, the street market was still in full swing and we were able to treat ourselves to some cherries and courgettes at half the price they would be at home. The next day was my birthday. We took the bikes through the commercial port to find a chandlery where we bought a few bits and pieces and the topped up on some groceries. After a quick shower we went to a restaurant where we both made a lot of noise and mess with our hammers dealing with two large spider crabs. The weather was scorcio! so we again experimented with our awnings to get some shade and breeze into the boat.

On the final day we decided to return to Camaret to pick up a buoy and head ashore to buy my birthday present. On the way we saw evidence of the importance of Brest as a Naval harbour over the years. It remained very warm and was becoming hazy. We are taking time to acclimatise to the heat.



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