Northern Brittany June 2022

In the last couple of weeks I have been lucky enough to take part in my yacht club’s cruise of Northern Brittany, from Trébeurden to Saint Malo. We had about 90 members spread across about 25 yachts, and had some very good sailing and a very sociable time. Crew for this period were Johnny and Lucy, and we were joined by François for a couple of days in the middle, and son Jonty at the end.

After welcome drinks and a dinner at Trébeurden, we lost a day of exploring the local islands to bad weather, but made the most of it by walking in the surrounding hills and hiring electric bikes, some of us getting a bit wet. Once the poor weather had passed, we headed out to a quiet anchorage in calm weather in Lannion Bay.

Anchored in Lannion Bay at sunset, next door to Speedwell of Cremyll

The next day we sailed to Tréguier, enjoying a fine beat along the coast, nipping back out from time to time into the Channel to avoid the rocks, until we entered the long river which winds its way down inland. It is a pretty tidal place, and you ideally need to arrive at slack water to make mooring easier.

Lucy enjoying helming
Sailing down the Tréguier river, with another club yacht ahead
The fleet moored in Tréguier river. François joined us here

Once moored, we explored the beautiful town with its Cathedral and market square, and went on organised visits of the local Kerdalo gardens and beautiful Chateau de Roche Jagu, where we had a drinks party.

Tréguier
Kerdalo gardens, currently being restored. Many of the original plants came from gardens in the south and south west of UK
Chateau de la Roche Jagu

After Tréguier we headed out to the Ile de Bréhat, anchoring for lunch at the north west end of the island (La Corderie) before heading down the Kerpont Channel to La Chambre, on the south side, from where we enjoyed a long walk around the beautiful island.

Photos from the Ile de Bréhat

We much enjoyed strolling around the island on what was a beautiful day. Like Sark, it has no cars and so is peaceful and seemingly far removed from the mainland.

The next day we undertook a timed passage to Fort la Latte, aiming to win on handicap. Sadly, like many of the competitors, we left too late, having aimed to make the most of stronger winds and fairer tides forecast for later in the morning, with the former not appearing. We arrived 15 minutes after the cut off time, but anchored briefly below the castle to drop off François before heading into Saint Cast. We had planned a group picnic in the castle grounds but sadly the conditions to anchor became untenable.

Anchored below Fort la Latte
Looking up to the castle

After a breezy and somewhat bumpy night on the outside visitors’ pontoon of Saint Cast, we headed over to the Ile de Hébihens for a generous party at the house of one of our French Members. The views were delightful, and we were royally hosted, as I hope the photographs show.

Ile de Hébihens – great place for a party, with Spellbinder anchored in the background
The view from the nearby Vauban fort

The final part of the cruise took us to Saint Malo, where we dressed overall to mark the end of the French part of the cruise, and headed out to another French Member’s house to drinks, then a final dinner in a local restaurant.

Spellbinder and some of the fleet dressed overall in Bassin Vauban, below the ramparts of Saint Malo
Saint Malo by night
Views from the ramparts

Jonty came on the ferry from Portsmouth for the final festivities, and Johnny and Lucy left on the morning ferry after them. We had a final invitation to take up from other French friends who invited us to their house overlooking the Rance to play boules, which ended up being very competitive!

Pétanque
with careful adjudication

Having checked out with the French border police the previous day, Jonty and I headed through the Saint Malo lock the next morning, flying the Parasailor in light tail winds all the way to Guernsey, where we had a final dinner with Members for heading back to UK.

Locking out of Saint Malo at dawn
Good to be flying the Parasailor again
Back home. The passage from Guernsey to southern UK, if you leave at the right time, is a swift one ably helped by the tides pushing you out of the Race of Alderney, and allowing you to fetch a fair tide into the Solent

We had a fine time in Southern Brittany. Thank you Johnny and Lucy, and François for being such delightful crew and for coping with various plumbing issues which rendered life a bit complicated at times! Spellbinder is now having some work done to her, and getting a new cruising chute and cockpit cushions before heading off to Southern Brittany later in July.

3 thoughts on “Northern Brittany June 2022

  1. Eric Lajouanie

    Hi Nick, fantastic cruse and pictures. Brittany is so beautiful! Have you seen Gerald Raynaud in Lannion ?
    If you pass by Le Guilvinec when sailing in South Bretagne, let us know : we’look be in our house from 30 Jul.

    Like

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