Two lie-ins in a row - what luxury. We had an early
moules frites in Camaret on Friday, then scampered back to the boat for an early
night with every intention of getting up at 5am to set off for the terrifying
Raz de Sein. The ungodly hour was necessary because all the pilot books said
that south-going yachts should pass through the Raz just after high water when
the tide is slack. They promised huge breaking waves, overfalls, 6 knot
currents, sea monsters and Vikings.
As we dropped off to the depressing drone of
bagpipes on shore for a 14th August 'Fest Noz' (knees up), I forget to set my
alarm. So we awoke at 9ish the next morning wondering at how light it was. Not
to be defeated, though, we set off soon afterwards, planning to hit the Raz at
slack tide the other way - low water. The advantage of this is that we had the
current with us south from Camaret. The risk was that missing our rendezvous
with the turning tide would mean that we had to plug into 6 knots of spring tide
to make it through the Raz. In other words we would have had to turn round and
find some shelter.
As it was, we had a delightful 7 knot sail down to
the Raz, which was as flat and calm as the Chenal du Four had been the previous
day. We hung a left at the corner and set off across the wide bay towards the
'gateway to the south' - a huge lighthouse standing sentinel over a wide expanse
of rocks and drying plateaux. After a three hour run with the wind dead astern,
we rounded this marker and found ourselves threading our way through a maze of
buoys into Loctudy.
This is pretty cool little harbour which is very
well protected from all directions. The town spreads across the water from the
mainland to a little island called Ile tudy. It is shared between boats like us
and a small fishing fleet. Half the harbour is fringed with great mature trees
dipping into the water in the grounds of a couple of large
And as we sat watching the sunset last night with a
glass of wine, another Fest Noz started up, complete with disco lights, in the
town square on the water's edge. In the universal DJ style, a dude with a fruity
voice could be heard telling what must have been a dozen or so revellers,
"Alright, here it comes..." and then sticking on the third BeeGees track of the
evening. At about 11, the night fever really kicked off with what must have been
the most grandiose firework display ever seen in south Brittany. All from a
barge moored 100m away from us. We kept thinking it was over, before another
salvo of rockets were sent skyward with a bassy pop.
We fell asleep to the zips and whistles of the
mandatory Euro techno echoing across the water from the Fest.