Saskia V11: Camaret to Lorient

Raz de SeineHappy SailingGitana 17Hublot ( previously Hugo Boss)PRB Kevin Escoffier

After a few days and some strong South Westerlies in Camaret we managed to leave. Rising at 6am we headed for the Raz de Seine we had left ourselves 4 hours to get the tidal gate at the Raz. As we approached the wind was blowing SW 18kts and there was quite an unpleasant atlantic swell, it became obvious to us that time was going to be a little tight. The tide at the Raz runs at 8 knots once it’s in full flow. We were aiming for slack tide, we tacked to try to position ourselves to get through the gate, we realised we were struggling. A French yacht had motored passed us earlier and we could see he wasn’t quite right either, however, he seemed to continue and it became obvious to us that he was a local sailor who in fact was taking an inshore passage through the rocks. So we thought, follow that yacht! and that’s precisely what we did. At one point the passage was very narrow and we found ourselves with full motor and sails travelling at 6kts but only managing 2kts over the ground, slightly scary but it was short lived and we made it through. Entering the Bay of Audierne bearing away the wind lessened and we really enjoyed a sunny sail travelling at 7kts.

Our next point 3hrs later was the Point de Penmarch this is the last corner dividing North from South Brittany, the scenery is so lovely, the sea was exciting we still had a swell but it was quite pleasant. There was plenty of wind and a few common dolphins came to play with the boat. The common dolphins are quite small with white underbellies they are really pretty. They were definitely trying to impress us or the boat or perhaps it was each other turning over and showing us they white bellies and at the same time smacking the water with their tails we were amused and they were having so much fun.

Having rounded the point we then entered the Bay of Benodet, the wind started to lessen, there were a few clouds overhead which really gave us a boost and helped keep some speed up which at this point was around 5 to 6kts. The sun shone between the clouds and was providing some heat, by this time having started in full foul weather gear we were now down to shorts and tee shirts. We passed through the Iles de Glenan, with these very pretty islands either side of us, we could see the lovey white beaches, almost envious of the boats who had gone over to visit them we carried on.

The late afternoon became very hot and still travelling at around 6kts the wind began to lessen, finally we had to down the jib and put the motor on, by now we had been at sea for 12 hours. In the distance we could see the Ile de Groix which sits outside the entrance to Lorient. Three hours later and after 15 hrs at sea we arrived. We know Lorient very well and once you enter the estuary you can choose, right for Port Louis and it’s little village sitting with a massive citadel proudly extending into the Lorient entrance. The citadel is a fantastic museum well worth a visit. We chose to turn left and go into the Port of Kernevel, this marina overlooks the estuary and the visitors berths are set for a fantastic site of boats of all varieties.

The next day was spent watching various Open 40s, Figaro’s and about 5 or 6 Vendee Globe boats, including Hublot (previously Hugo Boss) arriving back from the Vendee Arctic. It’s a boat paradise here and we are now off to visit The Base next to the Eric Tabarly Museum, to walk and marvel at all these wonderful boats who are based here. You never know we might meet the odd sailor! This is home to Sam Davies and Initiatives Coeur, PRB Kevin Escoffier’s New Boat (he sank the other one in the Southern Ocean) and the Ultime Trimaran Gitana17. We never get fed up with Lorient it’s got so much to offer. The Capitainerie lends out bikes and so we can visit museums, the submarine pens, the beaches and get a feel for a very beautiful area.

Mark and Rima Bugler

Submitted on Wednesday, 29th June