In Loctudy, Brittany

Wild Carol does Australia
John and Fiona Fraser
Fri 17 Jun 2011 12:49

47:50.33N 4:10.54W
Friday morning, 17th June
Today's shipping forecast:


Gale warning issued 17 June 08:38 UTC

Severe gale force 9 veering north-westerly and increasing storm force 10 imminent

  • WindSouthwesterly, veering westerly, 5 to 7, increasing gale 8 or severe gale 9 for a time.
  • Sea StateModerate or rough.
Phew!  If we'd kept going we'd be right in the middle of that! 
We got into Loctudy just after 10 last night. It was a long motor in through buoyed channels that negotiate the shallow entrance.  A few miles out we were joined by a big old dolphin with lots of chunks out of his dorsal fin, and, presumbly, his mate.  We soon found out how he got the cuts on his fin.  As he swam under the boat we could feel him scraping the hull and occasionally he hit the prop too.  He followed us all the way into the harbour, then he just sat next to the boat waiting expectantly with his nose out of the water for someone to feed him, I suppose.  Welcome to Loctudy!, he seemed to be saying.
We woke this morning, after enjoying a great sleep, to the sound of the wind howling and rain lashing down. We congratulated ourselves on making a good call and enjoyed scrambled eggs and toast for breakfast, courtesy of Alex. Then to looking at the forecast to see when we can carry on.  I tried to find a good forecast but they all say the same thing.  Gales and more gales.  So at the moment it is uncertain how long we will stay here or where we will head for next.  Plans are made to be changed...
Just a wee bit crew update since the last effort ... well, we sailed out of Falmouth with the extra man - Alex and so the watches changed ... GC and Alex on the 22:00 - 23:59, 04:00 - 08:00 and 12:00- 16:00. Iain and Max on the other watch and El Capitano on a swing watch overlapping by two hours and grabbing shuteye at any opportuniity.. however, the reality being that He got the least sleep out of the lot of us ...Rank has it's privileges ... in this case the lower the better as far as rest was concerned. So off to sea ... heading for the sun ... hmmmm ... not quite ... we did have a few spells of fine sunshine but the weather has been pretty poor in general ... and as we headed South the seas started to build ... A day out of Falmouth and we were heading for a waypoint 48Deg N and 8Deg West the edge of the Continental shelf and the , Atlantic Drop-off the sea bed shelving from around 2000m to around 200m and the shoaling causes considerable increased seas - enhanced by prevailing weather ...
At around 22:00 hrs on Wednesday evening we looked at our options... observed the squalls of which we were in the midst... and decided that to "head for the hills " or, the nearest French port was the prudent move... and so we headed East and to Loctudy. Coming on watch at 04:00 hrs Thursday morning  we spotted 3 vessels on our port side - all heading generally in our direction ... Like a fired array of torpedoes at an enemy target - surely one was going to cause us pain .. but no ... all fell into line and passed astern .. the last one showing no red or green steaming lights - the scoundrel. In our case the prognosis was poor to horrible ... Loctudy is a place I have never heard of but was quite happy to reach last night ...We settled fine alongside a tidy berth - after nearly sandwiching the friendly dolphin between boat and pontoon and made all fast .. engine shutdown.. All was quiet bar the clack of rigging, and the continued snorts and burps from the dolphin, which remained in amongst the pontoons for some time.  A beer for the crew and so to bed.
As John said ... a great sleep and a long lie ... Sacre Bleu - not to be sniffed at ... The marina is very busy with boats .. numerous Brits .. and the lassie at the Marina office in reply to my "Je parle Francais un peu BUT Do you Parle Anglais ?" said "Oui". "Bon" said I " Une ticket for the Douches S'il vous Plait " and that was it .. I was cleansed. Back to the Wild Carol for the scrambled eggs mentioned above... that's all from me...
We're a bit short of photos from the last couple of days so here's a selection from the trip so far.  No photos of our friendly dolphin I'm afraid!
Essentials for Passage Planning
Life at Sea
Sunny Days
Passing Traffic
Rolling down to France
Arrival in Loctudy