Speedwell of Rhu Ship's Log

24th to 25th of July 2018 - Ile de Groix

Position Map
Crew : Helen and Andy
Destinations : Locmaria and Pte de la Croix.
Distance : 17 miles

After getting fresh bread from the kiosk at the end of the pontoon, we said goodbye to a couple of growling swans, slipped from our berth and motored out of the harbour.

It was very warm and there was a little bit of wind. We were able to sail most of the way. We headed around the south side of the Ile de Groix to check out the anchorage at Locmaria. There had been plenty of boats anchored off the beaches as we passed the east end off the island but there were just two other yachts anchored at Locmaria and enough space for us to tuck inside the reefs. There were several shallower draft boats further inside the harbour and many small fishing boats just off the beach.

There was a transit to take boats between two rocks and into the harbour, but the rear mark now has a big bush over it so we used that instead. We spent the afternoon at anchor watching yachts gradually come in to anchor. Nobody had any problems until a French yacht decided they wanted to anchor where we were. They dropped their anchor and a never ending amount of chain just where ours was lying. They gradually drifted back so that their tender almost touched our bow. We asked them to move which they did, but they just moved slightly further away and again slowly drifted back on to us. They made no attempt at setting the anchor and just turned off the engine. The skipper seemed unperturbed until it was clear that he was drifting slowly back on to us again. He told us he had put out 40 metres of chain. As they took it in again they were not keeping a look out but and drifted onto another French boat who quickly got out their fenders and started shouting at them. Eventually they anchored further out and were perfectly comfortable. The wind was slightly onshore initially but overnight it veered around to the north and we had a very peaceful sleep. 

  

The following morning we went ashore. We had a lovely walk across the island to Port Tudy for lunch and then around the east coast for a swim in one of the amazing beaches and back to Locamaria for a sundowner.

   

When we got back to the boat there was smoke in the galley, coming from the engine. Andy tentatively took the cover off the engine bay which fortunately continued just to gently smoke. He found the engine starter motor was hot to the touch. We quickly turned the batteries off. On further investigation Andy discovered that there had been a short circuit somewhere inside the starter motor, most likely due to the salt water. It was terminally broken so we couldn't use the engine.

After supper, and checking the weather, it looked like the best option was to get moving whilst there was a bit of evening wind and be in easy reach of the marina the following day when there was very little wind forecast. We sailed off the anchor at around 2000, narrowly missing another French yacht that was anchored quite close to us. They were perfectly understanding when we explained. "Notre moteur est caput". We sailed around the rocks of Pte de Chat and then the wind slowly died away. We weren't going to make the anchorage at the entrance to Lorient harbour before dark and may have ended up just bobbing aimlessly around, so we tacked around and very slowly found space to anchor just south of the Pte de la Croix. We stayed quite a long distance off shore as it was very protected from any westerly swell. We had a pretty sleepless night.

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