1 to 3 July 2016
Camaret sur Mer N 48° 16.85′ W 04° 35.31′
Deserving of a blog entry of its own, Camaret sur Mer was the perfect place for us to contemplate our short handed (1) passage across the Bay of Biscay.
Fed up with the concrete and drizzle grey of Brest, we motored the short distance to Camaret sur Mer, a beautiful fishing village tucked into the Atlantic coast. With its rugged coastline so reminiscent of Cornwall, the entrance to the harbour was the promised maze of fish farms and we arrived in time for breakfast as the sun finally put in an appearance. Finally, an opportunity to start to dry out the contents of the boat and to start exploring.
The marina sits alongside the Tour Vaugan and Chapelle Notre-Dame-de-Rocamadour on the sea wall.
We headed along the beach and up the headland,
finding beautiful rock formations jutting out into the Atlantic coast.
As along the beach in Dunkerque, we appreciated the attempts to bring some joy to Hitler’s Atlantic wall high up on the cliff.
On the other side of the headland, we finally found the kind of beautiful white sand beaches with crystal clear and blue water we had only dreamt about all those muddy water days in the estuary.
Climbing back up from the beach we found the ruined mansion of the poet Saint-Pol Roux, destroyed by Allied bombing, and some much more ancient standing stones.
We wandered around the old town, its ghost ships and artists quarter. We stocked up in the supermarket for the crossing. We watched the weather closely and contemplated the 350 nm crossing, three days at sea. Our biggest test yet and doing it unintentionally short handed.
Our greatest fears about the crossing?
the notorious sea state – although after An unexpected crossing to France we were confident Pintail could cope with it
the impact of the above on us and one or both of us becoming incapacitated with sea sickness leaving us even more short handed
being further from land, safe harbour and help than we had ever been before – trusting only our own abilities and equipment
trusting our weather forecasting to deliver the right wind in the right direction with no nasty surprises
We decided that leaving on Monday 4 July gave us as good a three days for the crossing as we could hope for ….
(1) with minimal crew