On Thursday 13th June 2019, Atlantis set sail from Plymouth heading south with her crew of Andy and Hector Lancaster. This blog will reflect the thoughts and observations of us both so, starting as we mean to go on......
Andy has said to type whatever I'd like, within reason... so
"whatever I'd like, within reason"
Now that the first bad joke has been dealt with, I'll get around to updating the blog. I arrived in Plymouth on Thursday at 1900 after an eight hour train journey from Edinburgh to be met by Fiona and Andy at the station. Within the hour, Fiona had said farewell and we were at sea. The plan was to get across the channel to somewhere on the Brittany coast before stormy weather blew through. After a choppy, wet night and following day with a southerly on our nose Andy guided us through the somewhat sporty access into Aber Wrac'h, where l am sitting writing this now. A friend of Andy's, Chris Russell, had made a similar passage from Fowey and we met up with him and his crew, Anthony and John, for some good food and conversation on the evening of arrival. Saturday was spent doing odd jobs around the boat and being treated to lunch aboard Chris's yacht Inca, excellent food courtesy of John and great conversation all round. I did manage to get out for a run and a dip in the afternoon, lovely coastal path and sandy coves. Looking forward to greeting the sea again now. This first leg has made me think - there is something special about arriving in a foreign port under sail.
Andy here now:
I'm glad that we set off as soon as we did. It was something of a baptism of fire for Hector but his stomach contents and sense of humour remained intact. Despite this somewhat bumpy opening trip across the channel, and wind on the nose most of the way, it was entirely manageable and got us to a position within striking distance of Ushant (Ouessant) and the Bay of Biscay before stronger winds and unpleasantness set in over the weekend. If we'd waited even a few hours we'd still be sat in Plymouth now. Instead we have given boat and crew a shake--down, had some time to enjoy the charms of a small rural Breton fishing port and the unexpected opportunity to meet old friends and new on Chris' yacht Inca. We have admittedly eaten a little more than we would have if we'd been at sea but we'll be making up for it in the days ahead.
On current plans, based on the latest forecasts, we shall slip from here into abating breezes by early tomorrow morning (Monday) to carry the tide south through the infamous Chenal de Four and Raz de Sein - two shallow and rocky passages with fierce tidal streams which separate mainland France from the off-lying islands.at the north-west tip of France. Thereafter, we shall be in Biscay and, for the moment, the weather forecasts for our crossing look largely favourable. It's still a few days off , though, and a lot can change in the interim as those of you reading the blog in the UK will have been reminded over the last few days. Seldom has the overall June weather pattern been less predictable as the course of the jet-stream and other factors mean the precise course of depressions and frontal systems are almost impossible to predict. On one side of them the weather can be diametrically different to the other - and separated by only a few miles. As we head south, however, one day we hope to find some stable summer weather - and stable weather means a stable boat! Hector, particularly, will be pleased.
In the meantime, having completed his first international passage he is on something of a 'high':
Thanks Andy for taking Hector across Biscay.
Touch of sea breezes good for young men.
Fair winds to all
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