Blog post : All at sea.
Where I am right now. In real time I’m aboard WABI’’’ at anchor in a bay just outside the Rade de Brest by the name of Anse de Bethaume. It’s just gone high water and the anchorage is being a bit r
ocky-rolly because there is a slight swell coming in from the south west and it’s been blowing from the east and north for several days. The wind has just dropped and come more around to the north, the tide has just started to drop and in a few hours time it should be a better anchorage as I am as up close as I can get to the shore without being on the fringe of rocks which covers most of this bay. As WABI’’’ swings to the combination of wind and tide I get, first, a slow panoramic view of the east end of the bay down towards the Gulet de Brest and then the cliffs of the northern shore just by Camaret where we have just sailed from. As we beat out of Camaret this morning and then close-reached across the bay in a moderate north easterly breeze a French schooner was trying to beat up towards Brest on the flood…not sure but I think she is ‘La Recouvrance’.
Regular followers of the blog will have noticed that the last regular post appeared over a month ago, I haven’t been posting blogs because for that time and more I have quite literally been ‘all at sea’, in fact I have hardly been ashore in a conventional sense aside from quick trips for water, fuel and food. As I write today, in mid May, I have been aboard the little Liberty continuously for 34 days. Without too many spoilers I have obviously crossed the channel and am now cruising in western Brittany, I sailed for a few days on the Uk coast before making the crossing and have since sailed up the Chanel de four ,right now, I’m just starting work on the first of at least 12 new blog posts about the voyage so far. The blog will now change quite a bit I think, although I am wary about writing an endless cruising diary along the lines of ‘what WABI’’’ did next….and next….I hope that it won’t come out like that. Just before I left for the start of my voyage, and I really have no idea of it’s end point even for this year, I finished and posted just about every post that I had in draft and that was useable. After that I really had to go to sea and actually do some sailing myself !
The reason, or reasons that I haven’t been posting is of course that Iv’e had no way of either writing blogs or publishing on the internet. I was so busy just before I left the UK that I didn’t have time to research, buy and receive at home a laptop : it only arrived after I had sailed and even then we didn’t have a way of charging one aboard the boat. Since then my partner did the running around to find a 12 volt charger and just this week came out to join me for a while so this is also the first post where I am drafting the blog actually aboard the boat although it will have to wait until we are in wi-fi range somewhere to connect and post. I have been writing notes for blogs as I go along but they are each just a single page in my A5 logbook and really only notes. I have been taking a load of new photographs too…..about 400 up to today and I can say that I was pretty nervous In transferring them from the camera onto the new (secondhand) laptop.
So, iv’e had a very necasary break in writing and blogging, in fact for 34 days I haven’t been anywhere near a computer or the internet and given that I normally write for 2 or 3 hours a day on average that’s quite an addiction stopped. I have actually also completely retired from nursing, hopefully walked out of the hospital for the last time and even sold my car !. The boat has become my home, at least for the summer and it’s likely that WABI’’’ won’t be coming back to the UK this year at all. So far I have had a few days cruising on the UK south-west coast, had a very unpleasant channel crossing and cruised the 3 ‘Abers’ and the Rade de Brest…..but that’s a lot of blog posts already skipped over and with lots to tell.
My plan, as I have briefly outlined in previous posts was to very much go with whatever the wind was doing. At the start of the trip we had light easterlies in the channel so I initially went west after a hasty departure from Calstock on a rapidly falling tide. I might have just cruised down to the far West Country and then visited the Scilly isles as I have only ever sailed past the islands , usually while racing , and then turned the corner up into the Bristol Channel and north to the Welsh coast which is where I learnt to sail. That might have been a fun start….it could easily have become a ‘keep turning right’ story as opposed to Dylan’s ‘keep turning left’. In the back of my mind though is that I really wanted to go south, especially to western and southern Brittany, conditions allowed so that’s what I did.
At this stage in real time we are having a mini-cruise within the voyage as my partner is with me for 8 days and we are already trying to work out where the next rendezvous will be over here as we both learn our way around the French buses and train systems. In a few days time she heads back to Roscoff and the slightly larger cruising boat back to Plymouth, I then continue the voyage south, but as I have said before …..there’s lots to catch up on.
In the morning we will probably beach WABI’’’ in a small gulley of sand in between 2 rocky reefs here, go ashore for coffee and a walk, later, when the flood starts to run and the wind is backs into the north west we should be able to haul off the beach and reach up through the Gulet and back into the Rade to continue our mini cruise.
So…last for today is a general apology to everyone that I haven’t answered in the blog and for where I haven’t approved or moderated posts. To write new material I really had to stop writing and actually go to sea.