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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.