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Date: 08 Sep 2009 17:48:10
Title: life in Brittany

Writing this in the cool of the cabin whilst Linda is on deck reading in 26 degrees and soaking in the late afternoon sun. sure beats enduring the gales currently beating the Scottish west coast . In fact since we left Oban some 5 weeks ago, we have only had about two days rain so have been very fortunate.
We never expected to be in Brittany as the cruise down Portugese coast was planned for September with the crossing to Canaries in October and onward to Carribean for Christmas.  However, the reality is that neither Linda or I feel sufficiently motivated or indeed have the physical or mental strength  to endure the long sea  passages that are entailed. This coupled with the uncertainty relative to Stuart's Hospital project mean that we should remain in reasonable close proximioty to the UK.
The trip here to Brittany with the experienced sailors of the two Mikes,Suzy and Sam on board just reinforced our own limitations.  However Yellsound was impeccable and with its new inner staysail and smooth bottom was able to point higher and maintain way in uncomfortable seas. So we think Coastal cruising and the 60 mile passages more our scene with the occasional overnighter.
Mike and Suzy left us after a week here and returned to the UK and last Saturday, Sammy returned to london to be with her Mike. It was a pity that in Sams final week, we were not able to sail as much as we liked due to the high winds materialising as another of the Atlantic lows swept in. Time was well spentt ashore in Camaret with clifftop walks, viewing the German defences around the Brest estuary and visiting the Merchant Navy Museum, a joint French USA and UK  facility. Sam and Stuart  also stripped  and serviced the Windlass which had become clogged with solidified grease and dirt.  Works a dream now.
Since Sam left, the weather has been fantastic with light winds force 2-4  and we have been cruising the Rade de Brest visiting Le Fret, the River Aulne  and last night the Moulin Blanc Marina  in Brest. This Marina and harbour area is undergoing a major transformation with new promenades, restaurants and Marina facilities.
Wintering here is an option as Airport is only 20 minutes away and Ryanair are offering flights at 5 euros without taxes-  seems too good to be true. Marina fees similar to UK. now that pound has devalued against the Euro. On Sunday, we celebrated LInda's birthday at a lovely anchorage in the River Aulne and whilst we missed Sam, we did enjoy the peace and solitude of tree lined shores and smooth mirror glass water -  reminded us of chilling out at Lochaline.
Forecast weather for next few days is less settled so not sure yet if we will continue cruising the Rade, leave the Rade de Brest for Douarnez, or remain here and visit Brest city centre .
regards to everyone.. Stuart and Linda x 

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