falmouth to camaret 48:16.754n 004:35.363w

Julie and Geoff
Sun 19 Sep 2010 20:47

We have now arrived in Camaret Sur Mer, what a journey.

The sea wasn’t particularly big but it was a very rolly sea with the wind behind us. We left Falmouth in sunlight around 4pm after filling with fuel. Everything went well at the start of the voyage, and we had a great sail out past The Mannacles (east of the Lizard).

Passed a massive tanker which was at anchor just off the Lizard and then thought we’d get to grips with the AIS (this indentifies larger vessels afloat and lets you see their direction and speed, a must for crossing shipping lanes) No sooner had we fired it up when it flashed up that we were in a collision situation with a vessel. We looked behind us and the tanker had just upped anchor and was right behind us, gave us a huge fright!!! We quickly got out of his way!

We prepared the boat for night time, and were treated to a wonderful sunset. The moon then guided us until about 2am. When we got out further in the channel the ship traffic got more and more, and we found ourselves  constantly watching the AIS screen to try and negotiate the ships. It really is like playing a video game, with fairly bad consequences if you get it wrong. (tanker at 25 knots hits the boat side on!!!)


We had set up a watch system for the 3 of us, which we started at 10pm, each of us taking turns for a 3 hour sleep, I got the last watch, and by the time it came for me to go below, I was cold, stressed from much ship watching and feeling rather queasy to say the least. After a 3 hour sleep, I felt much better, and got up just as the sun was rising. I didn’t really completely shake off the queasy feeling until we got into the Rade De Brest. It was the first time I have suffered. I think it doesn’t help when you are straining to look at a screen, and the screen is nearly on the floor in our cockpit, so may have to change that around. Geoff and Mike were fine!

The estuary leading to Camaret is stunning, beautiful rock formations and white sandy beaches. Camaret itself is excellent, a gorgeous beach right by the harbour, an old fort, interesting town and toilets/showers in the bunker under the fort! We went out for dinner on the first night, and had a superb meal; of course Mike and Geoff took full advantage of the cheap French beer!


We are probably going to stay in Camaret for good few days as there is plenty to do and see in this area, and I’ve got to get over the shock of 24 hours at sea!!!!


Mike left today, tokl the ferry back from Roscoff to the UK. A big thank you to him, I was glad he was with us! We have crossed the Channel several times before but always at 20 knots in our old motor boat, it is a completely different ordeal under sail at 3-5 knots – you’re much more of a target!!!!


All for now,


Photos of Camaret to follow, now I’ve sussed a quick way of getting photos on the blog!!!


Julie and Geoff