Yacht Sailing – Cruising*

Cruising companion(s) sought for trip along the coast and possibly cross channel, duration 3-4 or up to 10 days. in an Ebbtide 33.  For details click here.

Club Cruise 2017 

After a nudge from a couple of you, I thought it was overdue that I extracted the digit and got this out.  As you will see below, the main cruise this year is to Benodet.  I appreciate that will exclude some of the smaller boats, but it is the 25th anniversary of the twinning.  Benodet (or to be precise, the Yacht Club of the Odet) always treat us very well.

This year, we need to be pretty accurate with details as we are being hosted by another club.  Could I ask you if you can let me have preliminary thoughts about the early May cruise over the bank holiday weekend and your intentions for the summer cruise?  As ever, some will no doubt already be over the Channel and some will dip in and out.  As we will need to try to book berths in marinas, it would be handy to have numbers early.

I thought we might hold the cruise meeting on Friday 31 March at the club house.  As it is lift in weekend, some from up the line may be down who otherwise not be able to be there.  The drawback of course will be parking.

 Possible dates for Summer Cruises 2017

29 April-1May 2017.  I appreciate that this will be the third time we have tried to have this cruise and weather has circumvented us on the last two occasions.  Third time lucky, to go for Salcombe and Dartmouth, with Dartmouth on 29th?  How do we feel about this one?

26 June-whenever 2017!  We have been fortunate in getting a very swift reply from Benodet and confirmation that they would welcome us on the first weekend in July (1/2).  We receive a very warm welcome from them, including free berthing, and as it is the 25th anniversary of the twinning, it is appropriate we go this year.  There is some distance to go to get there – across the Channel to L’Aber Wrac’h is 120NM, so a 24 hour trip.  My suggestion would be to aim to arrive off there as the tide turns south in daylight.  That leaves open the possibility of carrying on down to Camaret on a fair tide through the Chenal de Four if the conditions are right and we don’t feel too knackered.  I did that on our last visit and it worked very well – think Paul and I took 29 hours or so overall – it’s about another 30 miles, but tide pushes you down the Chenal, especially on a spring.  From there, it’s 28 NM round to Audienne, which gets you through the Raz de Seine, another tidal gate.  From there, it’s 33 NM to Benodet.

A possible timetable would be to leave Torpoint at 0800ish on Monday 26 June.  That would put us off L’Aber Wrac’h at the end of the east-going tide on 27th (Tues) at 0745 (BST), should we wish to go in.  HW there on 27th is just before 0900 (BST), so plenty of water.  Tide goes south down the Chenal at 0845 and we are just coming off springs, so again, if we want to press on, that can be done.  Camaret is an all tide entrance for the berths under Fort Vaubin, although it does shallow if you want to enter the inner harbour.  Good shelter within the port, except in strong easterlies.  We would be here either on the Tuesday, or with a stop in L’Aber Wrac’h, on the Wednesday.  Should we arrive on the Tuesday, I would suggest a day to recover from the crossing and head for the next port on 29 June (Thursday).  That would allow any who decided to stop at L’Aber Wrac’h time to catch up with us.

Audiennes is tidal bound.  Interesting nav up to the town and if we want to go there, we need to warn them as berthing can be limited.  The Raz MUST be hit at the turn of the tide (see the warnings in Reed’s), particularly as we’re just off quite a high spring.  On 29 June, the tide turns at 0919 (BST).  It does mean an early start to be there in time, around 0630, but to get through the Raz, that cannot be avoided.  Once through, we’re on easy street!

Audienne is just round the corner from the Raz.  HW is 0030 before Brest.  As the tide turns at the Raz HW Brest, we should have plenty of water to get up to the town after we round the point as it’s only 10 NM to it.  The channel is dredged (supposedly to 1-2m), but it does silt.  If you don’t fancy going up, there are plenty of visitors’ buoys off Sainte Evette in good shelter (and they are free – or we didn’t get charged on the last visit!).

From Audienne/Sainte Evette, we would want to leave as the tide goes south and east.  Again, conveniently, that is HW Brest.  So departing at 0900 would let us pick up fair tide all the way.  That should give an arrival at Benodet for mid-afternoon on the Friday, conveniently on a tide starting to rise.  Then a couple of jollies over the weekend.

It may well be that having gone that far, some will choose to spend some time there.  The Yacht Club de L’Odet are planning a cruise to the Channel Isles after our visit and some may like to accompany them.

However, I am conscious that not all are ladies/gentlemen of leisure, so have planned a return straight after the weekend.  I suggest going to Sainte Evette for the passage through the Raz – it works very well.  Going to there would be on the Sunday, 2 July.  Tide goes slack at the Raz on 3rd (Mon) at 0645 before going north.  Another early start, I fear, around 0600.  After the sphincter testing of the Raz, I would recommend a night in Morgat – we had three glorious days there on the last trip.  27 NM from Sainte Evette, so there soon after lunch.  Again, we’ll need an early start to hit the Chenal next day at fair tide on 4th (Tues), which starts at 0835.  With a 15 NM run to the start, 0530 would be a good departure time.  It’s 49 NM in total to L’Aber Wrac’h, so arrival there would be around 1700, in daylight.

Personally, I then intend to head for the Channel Isles, meandering along the coast via Roscoff and Paimpol.  Some may want to crack off straight back for Plymouth, others may wish to accompany me to Roscoff first (32 NM from L’Aber Wrac’h) and then head across, which reduces the cross Channel distance to 97NM.  These we can discuss at the meeting to see what people would like to do.  Leaving L’Aberwrac’h on 5th or 6th (Wed/Thurs) would get you back to Plymouth for 6th or 7th, so 11 or 12 days away.

Obviously, this is in the perfect world where the weather is great and the winds fair!  We could end up storm bound in L’Aber Wrac’h (wouldn’t be the first time!), or have to re-adjust the itinerary.  Boats, as ever, can dip in and out as they see fit.  Just keep me in the picture, so I can liaise with HMs for berths.

End of Season Cruise.

Need a Mooring?
Torpoint Mosquito Sailing Club have the following available for hire.
One, if not the cheapest in the Plymouth area.

Deep moorings                  – Idea for large vessel and fin keel yachts

Shallow moorings             – Idea for motor cruisers and bilge keel yachts

Mud moorings                   – Idea for flat bottom vessels and bilge keel vessels.  Dry at low water

Working vessels welcome

For more information contact Karl @ [email protected]