Thursday, February 02, 2012

Cruise of the ‘Aziz’ a Pioneer 9 Part 16


Saturday, 16th August was reserved for a day in port. I took a bus ride into the city to have a look at the architecture and to buy food. A fellow at a local chandler’s gave me a bolt of the exact type for fixing the dynamo. I have always found the French very helpful and generous. I recollect how helpful they were when I was there with my friend Bill. They helped us repair a gooseneck fitting that failed on his Eventide 26.

When I woke on the morning of 17th August I found that a mosquito had taken a liking to my left ear. I have to be careful to protect myself from mosquitoes, because in the past I have suffered badly from their attacks.

At 0735 we left Moulin Blanc Marina at Brest. My Czech friends were nowhere to be seen. As their inflatable dinghy was hanging off the stern, I assumed they were still asleep. I really wanted to say goodbye, because they had been such great company. They kept in touch via the Internet and Thomas sent me photos of his catamaran, one of which I have reproduced here.

Thomas's catamaran

We anchored off the pretty town of Camaret in time for lunch. There had been very little wind, necessitating me to use the engine to get there. I noticed the fan belt had become shredded; therefore it wasn’t doing its work of rotating the dynamo. Fortunately I had a spare belt which was easy to fit.

That afternoon I had a very enjoyable walk along a cliff top path before returning to the town which had several galleries displaying colourful paintings for sale. Moored in a shallow pool there was an unusual looking yacht with the name ‘Antarctica’.


On the morning of Monday, 18th August I was anxious to be moving on, because the tide was right for going through the Chanel du Four, en route for L'Aber Wrac'h. As we were entering the southern part of the channel to the west of St. Mathieu Point, fog rapidly enveloped the yacht. By then the tide was whipping us northwards. There was no wind, and to keep way on the yacht I had to have the engine on. Going through the Chanel du Four with good visibility would have been exciting enough, but doing it blind was not a picnic! Basically, I had no option. My eyes were everywhere searching ahead, studying the chart and watching the GPS. I could not hear anything, apart from the yacht’s engine.

The tension was great. When I saw a gull swimming on the calm water emerge from the fog, I thought it was boat of some kind, because there was no sense of scale. How we got through the passage without coming to grief is a mystery. We had a near miss at the northern end, off the Platresses Rock, where another yacht emerged from the fog on a reciprocal course. When we were northwest of Le Four we came into open water. From there on, we had good visibility – which was just as well, because I didn’t fancy going into L'Aber Wrac'h in fog. That would have been suicidal. By then the flood tide was really pushing us along to the north of the rock-studded coast. I didn’t want to overshoot the Leventer Buoy, the outer mark of the transit leading Ile Wrac’h, because there would have been no going back, on account of the strength of the current.

Anyway, all went well, and I thankfully picked up a visitor’s buoy at 1600 hours.

Text for the Day

1 Corinthians 14:1 ‘Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts ……….’

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