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Old 08-04-2016, 04:04   #1
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First voyage, down the French coast

Hi everyone,

We are living in the Netherlands, and currently in the process of planning our first voyage.
Our plan is to start sailing south down the French coast to Bordeaux.
We were wondering whether any of you could recommend us places that we should stop over at during our journey?
Currently we are planning to stop at the Channel islands and sail down to the Mt. St. Michel in Normandy.

Also, we were wondering how most of you prepare your journey? Do you read up in books / websites on the nice places? Or do you just go where the wind takes you?

We really look forward to reading your replies!

Tim & Charlotte
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Old 08-04-2016, 04:59   #2
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Re: First voyage, down the French coast

What exactly is wrong with the English Coast, hmm

So Cherbourg is an easy entry and a good spot to top up supplies with a large supermarket 15 minutes walk from the marina.

Alderney unspoilt and looks like stepping back in time 50 years. Anchor in the middle of the harbour for £5 per night inc showers on the jetty. Wifi in the yacht club and visitors welcome.

Guernsey St Peter Port, again a must stop location. Use the cheap busses to travel around the island. Tourist information office 100m from the harbour and very helpful. Wifi and good showers in the marina.

Herm, take the cheap ferry as its easier than going on your own and spend a day on shell beach, probably one of the best beaches in NW Europe.

St Malo is nice and again an easy entry into the marina, but there is a cill so time to arrive at HW. There are white mooring bouys just outside if yo are early.

Gulf of Morbihan is just fabulous and Le Crouesty again an easy marina to stop before timing the entry into the huge natural lagoon with hundreds of islands to explore.

La Roche-Bernard an interesting trip up the river through a lock.

Offshore the islands of Belle Ile and two smaller ones to explore.

La Turballe one of our favourites.

Piriac also lovely but with a cill so timings important but worth it.

La Croisic very tidal but great market mid week. This might be a drying harbour, we didn't stop long enough to find out.

So that lot should take about 6 months. Worth buying a new pilot for the Normandy and Britany coasts which will have the navigation information on entering many of these fab little harbours.

Pete
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Old 09-04-2016, 06:35   #3
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Re: First voyage, down the French coast

My web site is designed to answer this type of question.

Have a look at English Channel Cruising | JimB Sail , then drill down into the more detailed pages.

One discovery you'll make is that when going west, you're with the ebb tide. This means you'll arrive at low water.

This isn't a problem going west along the English coasts which have lots of deep water harbour access. But many French ports/marinas can't be entered at below half tide - so plan your destinations with care!

JimB
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Old 09-04-2016, 08:45   #4
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Re: First voyage, down the French coast

I will be on the same tracks by mid may. Starting from Harlingen...

Look at my thread too. Great answers.

Save anchorages on both sides of the English Channel / La Manche?

Save anchorages on both sides of the English Channel / La Manche?

Btw visitmyharbour does a great USB stick with all the charts...

Have fun and come over for a coffee if you see my boat.

www.ladyrover.jimdo.com
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Old 09-04-2016, 14:59   #5
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Re: First voyage, down the French coast

It is not a good idea to go to Mont St Michel with a yacht: the area dries completely at low tide and there is not much shelter. The nearest ports are Cancale to the west and Granville to the east.

Indeed, Le Croisic dries. I love Piriac but I dislike the swell in the marina at HW: I often had to use rubber "mooring compensators" on the lines to prevent the boat from moving too much.

In summer, some marinas in S Brittany are sometimes full by 3PM, e.G. Port Tudy in Groix and Le Palais in Belle-Île

Some ports that dry or with a sill or a lock:
Granville (sill, IIRC)
St Helier in Jersey (sill)
St Peter Victoria marina in Guernsey (sill)
Les Bas Sablons in Saint Malo (sill)
Dahouët (sill)
Binic (lock)
La Chambre in Bréhat (dries in part)
Pors Even (dries)
Paimpol (lock)
Perros Guirec (sill)
Ploumanac'h (sill)
Trébeurden (sill)
île de Batz (dries)
Roscoff old harbour (dries), there is a new marina south of Bloscon ferry terminal
Morlaix (lock)

Alain
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Old 10-04-2016, 10:34   #6
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Re: First voyage, down the French coast

Thanks all for the Info.

I also have the Wiley, "West France Cruising Companion" it's very helpful.

I'll be coming south from Ireland in early July.

Richard
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Old 10-04-2016, 10:55   #7
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Re: First voyage, down the French coast

Richard,
When arriving in France by sea from the north-west, you will have to cross the TSS at Ouessant. IME, there is less traffic in summer and still less on Sundays: much easier to cross then.

If you go round the south of Ouessant, the entrance in Brest is not difficult: the fairway is wide and there is a profusion of landmarks and lighthouses.

Alain
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Old 11-04-2016, 12:47   #8
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Re: First voyage, down the French coast

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hydra View Post
Richard,
When arriving in France by sea from the north-west, you will have to cross the TSS at Ouessant. IME, there is less traffic in summer and still less on Sundays: much easier to cross then.

If you go round the south of Ouessant, the entrance in Brest is not difficult: the fairway is wide and there is a profusion of landmarks and lighthouses.

Alain
Thanks. I also just checked my nav program and moved the waypoint to just west of the lighthouse on Ouessant.

I did it last year also, but did Scilies to Trébeurden to Channel Islands.

Wasn't bad at all. AIS transceiver makes it much easier.

Busiest by far crossing I have experienced so far is the Kattegat, followed by the Skagerrak. Did the former at night. Would NOT do that again.
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