What a welcome to the Pink Granite Coast!

(Photo's below)

The day had begun in Jersey’s St Helier Marina with an 07.30 hours start to catch the tide for the 40 mile trip to Lezardrieu. After a day off walking the coast to Gory, we were well rested following the 2 days trip out via Cherbourg. Eight hours later we had passed the Isle de Brehat, motored up the beautiful Trieux River and were amazed to find that all three boats could moor on fingers alongside one another at the north end of the marina. We then realised that it was Bastille Day (14th July) but fortunately the local restaurant that we have favoured in the past could still fit all eight of us in.

Now the crews of Fairwind (Sue and Barrie Pearson) and Niobe (Bill Greening with Kip Moore and John Wharf) were sitting in Cantata’s (Esmond Pope, Harry Loewe and Roy Dyton) cockpit drinking a laced coffee and enjoying the late night fireworks being set off on the gravel wharf just down river from us. And what an excellent display it was!

We had made the relatively new marina at Bloscon (Roscoff) the objective of our trip as none of us had been there before. The next day we motored along the Pink Granite coast, inside the Sept Isles and across the Baie de Morlaix to find the marina tucked under the small Bloscon commercial port which is just big enough for 1 ferry to either Plymouth or Ireland and a few fishing boats. The marina houses some 600 boats and has all the usual facilities including a surprisingly useful general store. It is about 1 kilometre from Roscoff Old Port, but during the peak holiday period (which we were in) a free shuttle bus runs every 15 minutes. The French are really trying!!

Roscoff itself has an interesting drying port and plenty of restaurants and shops for tourists. We spent a pleasant day exploring and on our second day caught the passenger ferry to the Isle de Batz which is 3 miles long by 1 mile wide and about 1 mile offshore. I have sailed through that channel a couple of times with a friend and can report very strong tides and masses of rocks. It was much more relaxing to let the locals take the strain! Niobe’s crew hired bicycles to explore the Island – very “Last of the Summer Wine” as my wife insisted. There is very little motorised traffic with a pleasant mixture of small cliffs and sandy beaches. It also boasts a surprisingly good small supermarket – much better than Roscoff where the main supermarket has closed.

We enjoyed a leisurely sail back across the Baie of Morlaix to Trebeurden for a walk and a night in its marina before heading to Ploumanac’h, surely the heart of the Pink Granite coast. Its lovely entrance is through an area of impressive rocks until crossing the sill leads into an enclosed harbour where you moor on trots of dumbell buoys. Fortunately the harbour master was there to assist so we did not have to figure them out for ourselves!

Although Lezardrieu, Trebeurden and Ploumanac’h are old favourites, none of us had been to Port Blanc before, so that was our next night’s stopover. It was only 7 miles along the coast. We picked up 3 of the 5 visitors’ moorings in mid-morning and headed ashore to explore. Imagine beaches looking offshore into a multitude of rocks and plenty of moored boats, backed by the odd hotel and other facilities. Again, it is very attractive. However the moorings are open to the north, and as a w.n.w. wind increased to all of 10 knots we experienced moderate rolling during the night. We all complained of lack of sleep.

The next day it was time to start heading for home. As strengthening north easterlies were forecast for the end of the week, we only lingered for 1 night in St Peter Port (which has upgraded its outside pontoons to walk ashore), stopped for a night in Cherbourg as we would then have a daytime Channel crossing and arrived at the Bar Beacon after a 12.5 hour motor sail and before the north easterlies had strengthened. We prefer to do our cruising in comfort!

The weather had been excellent, we had some pure sailing, although as always not enough, and of course the company had made it. It is some years since we have been to the Pink Granite coast, and I, for one, hope it will not be so long before we return.

Bill Greening

Niobe

 

Port Blanc

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Ploumanac'h

Ploumanac'h

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Trebeurden

Trebeurden

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Bastille Day Fireworks

Bastille Day Fireworks

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