L’Aber Wrac’h to Cameret, France

After my docking faux pas we hit some bars the same afternoon, did some shopping, and hit some more bars. This, in the sailing world, is called evaluation and provisioning.

Felt good to let off some steam. I think I’m way too hard on us sometimes. I lose perspective and beat myself up whenever any little thing doesn’t go our way. We’re going to make errors, we’re going to mess things up. So long as we learn and keep enjoying ourselves right? I have to keep reminding myself I’m very new to this strange world.

We didn’t want to hang around this small town as we needed to press on south if we wanted to see the Med during 2014. So one afternoon / night it was, and early the next morning we headed to Cameret.

Being our first overnighter (coming into a port one day, leaving for another the next) I felt a little underprepaired the next morning. Hyperaware of docking the night before, I was very focused on leaving cleanly and did just that thankfully. Before we knew it we were out of L’Aber Wrach’h and heading towards the notorious ‘Channel de four’.

This channel gets a lot of bad press due to its quickly running tidal streams (which if you time wrong mean you head backwards or worse sideways), rocks scattered around just under the surface just waiting to snag you, and sea fogs that can quickly reduce the visibility of the above to zero. We were told to respect this area of the coastline and after seeing all the wrecks of boats on our digital charts, we took the advice and researched it best we could.

Pete Green forwarded over a great website listing the major waypoints. As long as you stick to these closely things shouldn’t be too bad. You just have to time when you enter and make sure you exit before the currents push you out of the safe waters. Helen hit the books and worked out we’d have a slot pretty much bang on when we’d be close to the area which was pretty lucky. Many have to hang around for hours before entering or set off in darkness to get the timings right.

The channel turned out to be actually one of the best sails we’ve had so far. We had a great wind on the nose which meant some high speed close-hauled action. The Hanse 385 really flies at this angle, her massive (in relation to her size) main sail providing some serious force. With big smiles on our faces we navigated from waypoint to waypoint flying along at 8-9 knots- good times! Some navigation markers took us really close to the rocky coastline, while others were missing completely but apart from that the area was pretty easy going. We were at high tide though, so who knows how many rocks were hiding just under the surface for sailors veering away from safe routes.

Once through the channel it was easy going as we headed East towards Cameret and entered the small marina late afternoon. We safely docked up on one of the outer pontoons (which we learn’t didn’t have water or electric hook up so we’ll have to move again at some point- grrr!) then headed into town for some beers and pizza at the local Irish bar (don’t ask).

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