This was again a shopping day. I needed a screw clamp (Schraubzwinge) in order to glue the tiller. The joint between the three parts it is glued together from at the end where you hold it had became open. I had epoxy glue but needed a screw clamp Luckily there was a Do-it-yourself-market within walking distance from the port. But as always the things I needed were almost all sold out, but the simple and therefore cheapest ones were still available.
Next door was one of the huge French super markets as well as a Lidl, so I stocked up with some food here as well.
Back at the boat I glued the tiller and the magnifier of the radar screen which got damaged when I fell against it in the moving boat in the waves. It needed real laminating with glass fibre, otherwise it would not hold. And after 15 years having it I glued the handle of one of the navigation triangles to it. It kept falling off although it was supposed to hold by tension in its hole, it never really did, even when it had been new.
After cooking a dinner I went to the Place de Gambetta where a Fete de Noz had been advertised. I did not know what it was, from the poster I had only understood that it was something with dance and music, that was enough for me to check it out. And right I was, there was a man teaching people how to dance traditional Brittany dances. They were mostly group dances but also pair dances. It looked like good fun and for the later evening a concert had been advertised again with dance.
So I went back later and really there was band playing Celtic music and the square was full with mostly village people but also many tourists, dancing to the music. At first I stood aside a bit shy because I did not know the dances. But after a while I found that many people were just doing rythmic movements and trying to do the right steps. So at one point I took all my courage and just joined it. And it really was not too difficult to follow the steps. So we all danced until one in the morning when the band stopped playing. That had been a really great evening!
This morning I sanded the glued tiller and varnished it with epoxy. It looks quite good now but still needs some more sanding and varnishing. But that is only to make it look and feel nice, the substance is secured now.
At lunch time Jacob, my new Swedish crew member currently living and working in London, arrived by train from Roscoff. I showed him around the boat and afterwards we had dinner and did the course planning to go to Treguier the next day. In the evening we strolled around the city, had a crepe and then bumped into what later turned out to be a very nice live music gig. An Englishman and a french woman were playing cover versions of blues music. Already in the Creperie I had tried the local craft beer Philomenn, of which I had already seen people wearing T-shirts. It is a local brewery in Treguier and the Tourbee version was very tasty. We were very happy to read that the brewery was in the place we had planned to go the next day anyway. We had some aim there already.
Going out of Paimpol was not difficult as I now knew the way. We had to tack our way around the headland. Thanks to strong 4 to 5 Bft. wind from a more or less useful direction we made a quick journey and after some short hours at the approach to the Treguier river. We could sail almost all the way up to the town.
I had read about moorings and also had understood the chart that there is an anchorage right at the city. When we came up we saw a waiting pontoon and some small bouys that might be moorings. There was an area of water next to the fairway which looked suitable for anchoring. After having decided for a spot were to anchor I wanted to check out the surrounding depths. As to no surprise closer to the shore it got shallower and shallower, but suddenly it was only 1,7m deep and the next moment we were stuck in what felt like mud. „OK“ I thought, „put the engine in reverse and straight back to where we came from“. But after we had started moving off the shallow piece we heard a slightly grinding sound which sounded as if we had hit a rock! Even worse, it felt as if we had hit it with the rudder, I was very worried. So I put the engine again in forward to get away from the rock, but we again got stuck. „Shit“ I thought, it is not even low water (it was one hour before low water), „will we sit on this stupid rock and may eventually fall off it?“ We waved at the harbour master who was already dashing at us in his motor boat to pull us off. But the moment he wanted to start towing, we noticed that we were free already. I do not know why, but some how the ebb tide had pushed us over the shallow piece. After this shock I gave up the idea of anchoring here and gladly accepted the offer from the harbour master for a place in the marine. Later I learned that anchoring was alltogether forbidden it this harbour, even in the places where an anchorage was marked in the sea chart.
After berthing I immediatly put my short neoprene suit and my diving goggles on to dive down to the rudder to see if I was right that we had hit something. Luckily I found out that there was no damage.
Probably the steel keel got some marks but that is nothing to worry about.
When I checked on the sea chart I noticed that a look into it earlier would have prevented this little desaster as the rocks were clearly marked on it. Damn it! Always double check your memory, I thought. I had looked into the chart something like two hours earlier when we were still sailing up the river and thought I remembered the chart correctly, but obviously I did not. So the lesson learnt is to always double check. I know this is not a dramatic lesson but the sea always reminds you to do even of the simplest things.
After sleeping in (ausschlafen) we got ourselves croissants and bread from the next boulangerie, took a shower and that walked around the very nice historic city and its big church.
The afternoon we went to that said Philomenn brewery for a tour and beer tasting. It turned out to be a really smal brewery in an old locomotive repar workshop and an very basic shop. At the bar we could taste three of their usually six veriations of the beer. But they were run out of the tourbee version we had like the other eveing in Paimpol. So we only looked through the window of the brewing room but did not buy any beer. We are hoping to find some of it in a shop in the next villages we are coming to. But we had the red version in a Creperie at the harbour in the evening.
This day welcomed us with morning temperatures of low as 10°C, a clear sign to head south as soon as possible! So we left Treguier at 9:30 and after motoring down the river we set sail at the mouth of the river. We were tacking against a slow tide of 0,5 knots. Suddenly two dolphins showed up and accompanied us, showing us their back and white bellies. But the anyway not strong wind almost died and the tide pushed us back so we again turned the engine on. That appareantly put them off, at least they stayed behind. The higher the sun was rising the warmer it got, so eventually it turned out to be a nice sunny day, not for T-Shirts, but for pullovers and sun glasses.
With the last light we got into the brand new Roscoff Marina.
We went out to explore Roscoff. It is an old town and the old harbour is drying out. Some yachts there have legs so they do not lay on the side at low tide. Here are some pictures of Roscoff, it is actually a very nice and pittoresque city.
But it is very touristic, it is so touristic they do even not have a proper supermarket. There is only a small grocery shop where could get the basic things.
The afternoon we spent on a little beach near the yacht harbour.
We started very early at sun rise at 7 am to go to L´Aber Wrac´h (Don´t ask how this name is pronounced correctly, it is so celtic it could be anything). It was again a nice sunny day. We had to round the Ile de Batz. Although it was a moderate wind we had quite steep waves when we rounded the island, probably again due to tide against wind and close to the coast. So we got a lot of water on deck, more than ever before. I got afraid that water might get through the ventilators under deck so I took them off and screwed the watertight lids on.
We made good way with the tide pushing us but after the tide had turned and the wind almost died we did not make any headway. We had to round one last rocky field so we turned the engine to motor for one hour. But after that we had a perfect evening sail into the fjord of L´Aber Wrac´h with a light wind from the back and the tide pulling us in.
Here we picked up a mooring and rowed ashore. After a couple of beers in one of the many bars in the small village we went back on board because we wanted to start again early the next morning. It was one of the quietest nights because there was almost no wind and no waves. Only in the morning when it got busy with motor boats it got a bit shaky on the boat.
Going from L´Aber Wrac´h to Brest we had the choice to go through a furnace or hell. We chose the oven. The passage between the Ile d´Ouessant and the french main land was called „Chenal du Four“. Coming from L´Aber Wrac´h it was the shorter one. The other option is good when you come in from the north west and is called „Chenal de la Helle“ (Helle does probably not mean hell but that is what it can be in strong winds against the tide). The problem with the passage along this coast is that at Le Conquet the tidal stream can be up to 5 1/4 knots at spring times. That you do not want to have against you. But we were a little late so we had to motor all the way to this strait to avoid the full tide. It was clear that we would have some tide against us, but the question was how much. Well, eventually the strongest current was 3 knots against us. This was for about 1 hour, than we were through the worst and after we had rounded St. Matieu Lighthouse we had wind and tide pushing us into the bight of Brest.
After 5 hours we could turn the engine off and sailed up to the marina where we found a good place.
We quickly went shopping and had a very nice dinner of lamb with rice with sage (Salbei) and parmesan and zucchini with lemon juice and egg.