Pembroke Haven Yacht Club

 

Roscoff calling. (5.8.2017)

Posted by ALISTAIR LINDSAY 15 August 2017 22:25:50

The very next day we bid farewell to the medieval town of Treguier.


We headed out down the river and turned left. Again the tide was with us and we made good progress across the extended bay towards Roscoff. That was until the tide decided to play tricks again and we ground to a virtual stop. Bit of a theme going on here !!!!!. Unless you can go anywhere along the North Brittany coast within 6 hour forget it, is my advice. Anyway Roscoff finally appears as a gleaming white object on the horizon. As we drew closer we both realised we were looking at the Irish Ferries ‘Oscar Wilde’ which is the stand in replacement for the Isle of Innishmore (Pembroke dock to Rosslare ferry which I used to see most days).

We arrived in the marina, which was very new and very modern, with toilets on the actual pontoons. Now, I’m getting used to a moving loo at sea, but when your brain tells you you are on dry land and the loo still goes up and down then said brain has problems working the whole movement / inner ear thing out. The marina pontoons were huge and a long walk ensued to get to the office to report our arrival and pay the exorbitant fee for what you get. We couldn’t even take on water as the cunning French had a new system for which you needed an adapter for your hose which they didn’t sell in the local chandlery. Work that one out!

The town of Roscoff is a long walk away, but a courtesy bus does run every quarter of an hour. Problem was, from where? We both decided to forget going into Roscoff and spend an evening on the boat. When I say spent an evening we were so tired we were in bed by 8pm. Nos da.

The early rise the following morning saw us leave the marina in company with other like minded sailors and we traversed the channel between Roscoff and the Ile de Batz on a falling tide. All very well and good if the engine doesn’t falter, but if it did you were left high and dry. Literally! At the Western end of the channel the wind decided to take up the battle with the outgoing tide. The result was about two miles of unrestful sea with short sharp waves and the boat slamming down on each and every wave whilst the skipper powered through the channel. Eventually, we were spat out the far end of the channel, and things calmed down on reaching the open sea. Or so we thought. Sails up and away we go guys.

Oh dear, I want to head on a course of 260 degrees. Aha, wind coming from 260 degrees. We tack out to sea for miles and miles and miles, and then back in for miles and miles and miles. I think you get the gist. On our way we were lucky enough to see a turtle, closely followed by a pod of porpoises which Judith filmed on her mobile. By now the seas had decided to once again play up and mount an attack on Money penny in the form of some pretty big rollers. Money Penny took on the challenge and swept them aside with aplomb. She really is a sea worthy vessel.

Our destination was the marina in L’aberwrach. Again up a river inlet, offering shelter from the rolling sea. According to the chart there was a short cut we could take through the rocky out crops in order to get into the river sooner than using the main channel. What the chart didn’t explain was just how close you had to get to the rocky out crops in order to use the ‘short cut’.  Judith was in panic mode, well slightly concerned, and made her way up to the bow in order to provide some divine intervention should a rock appear in front of us. I couldn’t have avoided any rocks if they were in front as by now we were in the tidal flow and only going forward, surfing down the waves. Some short cut! The calm sheltered waters of the river where soon upon us and we motored up the river to the relative security of L’aberwrach marina. We arrived to be greeted by a young lad in a rib who wanted us to raft up alongside another vessel. Following Anglo / French negotiations between Judith and young lad in rib we secured a pontoon berth. When I mentioned the relative security of L’aberwrach marina, in order to get to our allocated birth we had to manoeuvre around 4 yellow buoys surrounding a big red post as there was a big rock under the water ready to pounce on the unwary.

20170805_173717Looking back at the Marina as we made our way up hill to the promised supermarket!

Once tied up and boat reasonably tidy we set off armed with a shopping trolley for the shops in order to purchase provisions for future trips. Oh dear, the only shop was in the next village!. Up a hill, and a long walk brought us to said village, where a small supermarket was located. Provisions bought  and stored in shopping trolley, we commenced the long walk back with shopping trolley in tow.  The next day we decided to rest. Judith’s idea of rest is to pump up the kayak, sort out a picnic and paddle our way to a secluded beach, have picnic, sun bathe and paddle back. You’ve got to earn your lunch when Jude’s about!  The kayak has a see through bottom on it so you can see what you are just about to hit. We paddled over row upon row of oyster beds and could see the immature oysters encased in netting growing steadily awaiting their feat at the dinner tables of France, and beyond.

IMG-20170815-WA0008Our ‘picnic’ beach!

L’aberwrach is labelled as a mini Scilly Isles and I can see why. Its a lovely place, often used as the first port of call for yachts crossing the channel from Falmouth, heading south to warmer climes. This usually involves a one night stop over. They are missing a treat. Where next? Cape Finistere! Blimey!

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