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L'Aberwach to Roscoff


We had an early start as we wanted to ride the flooding tide all the way top Roscoff and arrive when there was plenty of water inside Ile de Batz. Ile de Batz is just offshore from Roscoff and almost joins it at low tide there is just enough water to get through but the channels are very narrow and unmarked. I say unmarked because although there are buoys they are too far apart to use at low tide.

Lots of boats had picked similar departure time for the same reason. We headed off and once I had picked my way out through the rocks we were on my way.

Soon it was clear that the wind was in a good direction and without saying anything I looked at Linda and she looked back at me and she said "I know what you are going to say, you want to out the spinnaker up". It is a bit of a faff as the sail is heavy and we keep it at the stern, but we managed an oh what a difference. One minute we were doing 5.8knots with the genoa and the next we were screaming along at 8.6 knots, both of us with big smiles on our faces. When we left the river it was as though everyone else had decided to leave at 6am so there was a huge line of boats ahead, slowly but surly we reeled them all in; It was a great decision.

As we approached Ile de Batz we had to drop the sail as the wind went directly behind us, it had to be done in any event because the inside passage twists and turns and spinnakers don't really go with zig-zagging! As we exited the passage the wind suddenly increased to 20+ knots, when we dropped the spinnaker we had barely 8 knots. There is some kind of unwritten rule that when you want to dock in a marina that is the time when the bug gusts arrive.

That evening we went for a walk across the peninsula to look over the pass and see the beach. Well it was low water and what would normally pass as a beach with a seascape was replaced by miles of sand flats. Linda took a photo but it was a bit dark by then. We took a circular route and stopped for a drink but it was really cold, if you look in the photo you can see how everyone is dressed on a summers evening in early August!

The next day it was as though summer had arrived, we could see some mist around the island but in the marina it was glorious. Sea Crusader was booked for a 2:30 lift out to be cleaned off. Shortly before the lift operator arrived to check on the lifting points. Soon I had filled the boat with water and we were off to the hoist. It is always nerve racking going into a hoist as you have to drive it in in reverse. Somehow I always manage it and this was no exception, I took some photo's and we went for a drink in a marina cafe.

We sat outside in the sun and chatted to another English couple who had followed us in. Time flies when you don't realise it, both of us would have been happy to continue sitting there all afternoon. The hull was now beautifully clean and the hoist was taking Sea Crusader back to the water. We stepped on and the slings were lowered and we were off to Helford. As we left the harbour we hoisted the sail and my goodness it felt like we had just lost 4 tons of weight, the boat was so slippery we rocketed along. In front of us was a patch of mist. Looking up we could see blue sky it couldn't be very big. (If you look carefully at the photograph of Sea Crusader in the hoist you can see the mist in the background at a low level).

I put ion the radar and soon had the fog horn going and the wind was perfectly on the beam. We were doing over 10 knots! My passage plan was right up the creek if this carried on as the course computer said that we would arrive at 2am, it would be pitch black. The hours slipped by and the wind went back slowing us down and the arrival time dropped to 4am, it was still going to be black. We had decided Linda would do the 12-3am watch which meant she took over once we had crossed the shipping lanes. The fog was thicker than ever, we could see about two boat lengths and everything was sodden. I went to bed.

P.S. This is a good place for lift and jet off, I was charged €600 (£500) Plymouth Yacht Haven quoted £685 for the same job.


  • The walk to the beach - the tides out
  • One monent there is blue sky the next it has gone
  • Having a nice evening drionk in early August.
  • Blue is the colour of Roscoff
  • Seas Crusader being lifted

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