Captain Hugh and the Reluctant Navigator
The Voyage of Vega

The Raz

Monday July 20th.
Enough procrastination. I have found every reason so far to postpone our sail across Biscay. But we have been to the supermarket and boulangerie here in Audierne to stock up with more goodies and are finally setting off this morning.

On Saturday we left L’Aber Wrac’h, up before 5am to ensure we caught the tide heading south through the Chenal du Four. The consolation for such an early start was the magical feeling of sliding out of our berth in the marina in the black stillness and a fabulous sunrise as the first light of dawn appeared orange and blue. For our nautical friends, we wanted to get through two tidal gates in one leg, the Chenal du Four and the Raz de Sein, a distance of 30 NM. Currents can run at over 5 knots in these with strong overfalls, particularly in the Raz, which should ideally be taken at slack tide. In fact there was so little wind that we motor-sailed most of the way past the low lying west Brittany coast-line, and it was easy. At one point we were racing along at 10 knots, 5 knots of this tide, in an eerily bubbling sea.

I persuaded Hugh that on Sunday, with strong southwest winds predicted, a day in Audierne in South Brittany would be preferable to slogging into the wind across Biscay. So after rounding the Raz we headed east for ten miles and then waited until an hour before high tide when we could negotiate the entrance to Audierne along with about ten other yachts. We managed to squeeze onto the end of a pontoon, rafted up to a small but obliging motor cruiser, in the marina on the curve of the river, right in town.

Whereas L’Aber Wrac’h is a small village with a large marina, Audierne is a pretty town with too many yachts trying to stop in the over-crowded marina. We had spent a lovely day in L’Aber Wrac’h trying out our new folding bicycles and exploring the surrounding countryside. In Audierne we wandered around in the dismal rain before consoling ourselves with crepes.

We haven’t managed to get WiFi here so no pictures, but I’ll add these later. In Spain I hope. We’re off in an hour………… PS we are in Spain and Wi-Fi now.



  1. Mike

    July 20, 2015 - 7:18 am

    You are having a good time. What’s the hurry. This is not a race. Poetic blog. Annie did you say Hugh had a blog? I would be interested in the technical stuff.

    • annie

      July 24, 2015 - 11:13 am

      Hi Mike. To get to Hugh’s blog go on the Links section of my blog and click on what it says there… It should take you there. Magic!

  2. Steve

    July 20, 2015 - 8:51 am

    Dear Reluctant Navigator

    Beware of overconsumption of the croissant it is well known to sap the resolve of the British Jack Tar

    • annie

      July 24, 2015 - 11:14 am

      Fortunately we are no longer in France. How is paella?

      • Steve

        July 24, 2015 - 11:37 am

        The Spanish threat is from ‘Churros’ with true Spanish style drinking chocolate as a light breakfast.

  3. Sheri

    July 20, 2015 - 9:27 am

    Happy sailing Annie & Hugh!

    • annie

      July 24, 2015 - 11:16 am

      Thanks. If the sun shines and the winds are mild then I will be happy. If I am happy then Hugh will be happy 😉 xxx

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