- Skippers and Mates
- Cruising guides and charts
Flights are available (as of Dec 2018)
|Southampton||La Rochelle||Stansted||La Rochelle|
The channel tunnel is available across to near Calais, if it makes geographical sense for you. Plus Dover Calais/Dunkirk (DFDS Seaways &P&O) ferries
Ferries are available which arrive closer to Brittany.
|Portsmouth||St Malo||Portsmouth||Guernsey & St Malo|
|Plymouth||Roscoff||Poole||Jersey & St Malo|
Train times link and a map below https://en.oui.sncf/en/
Skippers and Mates
Skippers are responsible for the welfare of the crew and the vessel throughout the duration of their cruise week(s) and as such are responsible for carrying out, ohr overseeing, vessel checks, safety briefings and all passage planning, including the production of pilotage plans. Mates should be able to support and assist with all of these tasks.
The mate for each passage must be capable of deputising for the skipper if required, based on experience and qualification. Ideally they will also be a club skipper.
These descriptions below are ordered from nearest to furthest point of the cruise at La Rochelle. On some legs only one potential overnight stop is given any detail between handover ports, but there are so many places to visit and they are just listed.
A technical tip. If you use Google’s chrome browser on your PC then there is always a pop-up box asking do you want to translate this page,and this is very handy when web sites only have French, unless you are fluent of course.
This old cruise plan from 2016 still has some useful information https://www.phoenixyachtclub.co.uk/members/club-documents/
and the blogs from that trip may inspire you for waht you wish to do.
St Peter Port Guensey back to Gosport week 11
This is an opportunity to cruise the gorgeous channel isles without any time pressures.
Roscoff to St Peter Port Guensey week 10
St Malo, available on the return leg in weeks 10 and 11
A good visiting point for any channel isles or north Brittany cruise. Walking through the cobbled streets of St Malo’s old town feels like you’ve stepped back in time. This popular tourist destination and busy ferryport offers visitors an authentic glimpse into Brittany’s important seafaring past.
St Malo has several districts, the most popular being intra muros or ‘inside the walls’. The tall granite buildings, most of which were restored after being bombed during the war, house an interesting mix of cosy hotels, restaurants to suit all tastes and shops by the dozen. Take a tour on the little train to get your bearings or enjoy a bracing walk around the ramparts. The Musée de la Ville tells you all you need to know about the town’s history and includes some fascinating maritime objects like the prow of a ship.
A lovely river destination accessible at all heights of tide but the flows in the river mean you only go with the tidal stream!
Other destinations Roscoff to Guernsey week 10: Channel Isles, Paimpol, Pontrieux, Tregier, Plomanac’h, Leguer river, and numerous smaller anchorages which give shelter according to the wind direction.
Brest to Roscoff week 9
The Bloscon marina at Roscoff is 24 hour access and the shelter is good except in strong northeast winds. http://www.plaisancebaiedemorlaix.com/en/introduction-to-the-port-of-roscoff
Other destinations from Roscoff to Brest: many small ports and anchorages with the wind in the right direction, Ile d’Oussant, Rade de Brest, Cameret, Morgat, Dournenez
The main all weather all-tide port between the Chanel du Four (the first headland of Brittany) and Roscoff
The key headland is the Chenal du Four and is the location of all of those lighthouse in storms photos that you see on calendars, or it is a pussycat with the right winds and tidal direction. In summer it is more usually a kitten.
A lovely town just south of Brest so a place to visit on week 8 or 9, with a maritime tradition, which holds a sea-shanty festival in August.
The town itself is pleasant, mostly 18th century houses built around the flourishing fishing industry. There are also several churches and chapels of interest in this part of the town, known as the Quartier du Vieux Port, so this is a good place to start exploring and also a chance to visit the Douarnenez tourist office.
Lorient to Pornichet week 2 and within week 8 La Trinite to Brest
Lorient: Port Louis is a short ferry ride across the river from the large city of Lorient. There are many marinas to choose from but this one is recommended as the nicest. https://www.ports-paysdelorient.fr/fr/ports/le-port-de-port-louis .
The area of Port Louis is a tourist destination too so is worth a stopover, even if it was not one of our changeover ports, (week 1 to week 2, to be confirmed in January).
Around Pornichet week 3
Pornichet is a modern sophisticated resort next to arguably one of the best beaches in France. It has a large marina with all facilities and many restaurants next to the water http://portdepornichet.blogspot.com/. There are shops aplenty in the town too. To read more about it try this site https://www.francethisway.com/places/pornichet.php
There are many good destinations for a week's cruise depending on how ambitious you are. One is the Vilaine river which has its own PYC blog page https://www.phoenixyachtclub.co.uk/cruising/2019-summer-cruise-planning-destinations-from-pornichet/
Port Haliguen (shown in the two photos above) is a modern marina and small resort town where there is a good pizzeria up a side street.
The Belle Isle has two ports the most northern of which is Sauzon which is a lovely little place, but fairly quiet. Le Palais is reportedly busier
La Trinite is the nearest marina to Carnac a neolithic standing stone archeaological site, which may interest some of us. http://www.brittanytourism.com/discover-our-destinations/southern-brittany-morbihan-gulf/unmissable-sites/carnac
Pornichet/ Pornic to La Rochelle weeks 4 and 6
Both Pornic and Pornichet are served by busses and or taxis from Nantes airport.
Pornic is our changeover port on the return trip and is also a potential destination from Pornichet. There is a good choice of restaurants at the marina. The marina details can be found here https://portdepornic.fr/
The town is a short walk up river which mostly dries out at low water.
L'Herbaudiere (below) is no longer an island since there is a large road bridge nowadays, but it nevertheless has an island feel to it. Lots of beaches, some small shops and restaurants.
Ile de Yue is still an island and has both a large marina (Port Joinville) and a small anchorage (Port de la Meule) to offer. A short walk ashore to the centre of the island gives you views westward to sea from a NApleonic castle with a lot of history.
Les Sables D'Olonne on the mainland has the best choice of restaurants with both excellent food and excellent value (because of the competition?) we found them all along the old fish dock. which is now the small marina (and there is a much larger marina further out of town). It has a good shopping centre and a large beach.
https://www.france-voyage.com/cities-towns/les-sables-d-olonne-34075/marina-olona-23004.htm is the much larger marina further out of town.
Other ports for week 4 and 6:St Giles-Croix-de-Vie, Bourgenay
Around La Rochelle
La Rochelle has lots for the tourist and the shopaholic and more restaurants and bars than you could ever try. It is also home to the largest marina in France, on the outskirts
http://www.portlarochelle.com/en/ has large areas which offer free parking around it. There is a bus service and water taxi into town if you don’t fancy the 2 mile walk. This marina is the best for a changeover since it has free parking for anyone who drives down, and ample visitor berths, with all tide access.
The inner town marinas are right next to all the bars and restaurants, one has a just a few berths deep enough for Quartette and the other you can lock into near HW.
One of the old sea defences of La Rochelle
A chain went between these two towers to keep out the enemy.
St Martin de Re https://www.marinareservation.com/marina-saint-martin-de-re-973
This beautiful harbour which has half tide access with a lifting cill to keep the water in. It keeps tourists trapped during the day too, surrounded by popular restaurants. A real beauty spot. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/destinations/europe/france/poitou-charentes/ile-de-re/articles/36-hours-in-ile-dere/ and must see destination. Quartette is already on their data base with John Halliday as the skipper and we left it that way. But don't bother with the local wine, the next area of Bordeaux is justifiably more popular.
Other places to visit around La Rochelle: Ars-en-Re, St Denis and Boyardville Ile d'Oleron all HW+/-~3hours access with a cill. With a spring tide Rochefort on the river Charente appeals but at neaps there is not enough water in the river for Quartette.
Cruising guides and charts
This table will be kept up to date, as charts are requested and bought
|Cunliffe||Shell Channel pilot||South coast England (inc. Scillies)||North coast France||On board|
|Featherstone, 2nd ed||West France Cruising companion||North Brittany to Spain||Judith|
|2510||Imray pack||North Brittany||Judith|
|SC5604||Admiralty folio pack||Channel Isles||On board|
|SC5604||2 copies of 6th edition 2009||Channel Isles||Available for planning only||Judith|
|Western English Channel||On board|