WABI’’’ real time : at anchor Anse de Lesconil.
This morning we left Loctudy after a night of steady rain and that following a day of complete wind-less glassy-calm motoring from Concarneau. I don’t know why it is but a day plodding along with the outboard clattering away in the back of the cockpit always seems like a long one even when it’s a short coastal hop. One of the few features of the Hunter Liberty design that is very bad is that the engine is mounted inside the cockpit but very close to the round transom which acts as an almost perfect parabolic sound reflector : only tolerable at low speed at the best of times.
Last night we spent alongside in the small marina at Loctudy as we needed to stock up on water, food and fuel after our cruise out to the Glenans and the Aven river. We noticed a huge contrast in the attitude of the marina staff in Loctudy compared to Concarneau where we put in for a few hours just to do the same job. At Concarneau there are only 2 official visitors berths and we definitely got the impression that they didn’t really want us there….now I have to admit that one of the staff was on the ‘stressy side and was talking about a big yacht race due in that afternoon…..60 boats if I got the numbers right.
Loctudy in comparison was excellent : as we approached what I thought was the outer visitors pontoon one of the staff waved us around to a finger berth in an entire pontoon of visitor berths. The staff were really nice and helpful too and it wasn’t an expensive stay either, they even seemed impressed that my little boat had come all the way from the UK.
I was going to write about Loctudy when I came past this way nearly a month ago now , may have even started a blog but it seems to have got lost in the Mac’s circuits somewhere and since then I have started at least another half dozen posts…so….Loctudy for micro-cruisers.
Friendly Glenans teaching boat in the marina.
I get the impression that Loctudy is the first port that many cruisers visit after the passage through the Raz de Seine and maybe after Audierne and the ‘offshore’ coastal hop around the reefs and rocks of the Pointe de Penmarch. When I was making my passage east a few weeks ago I completely bypassed Lesconil, where we are anchored right now as I thought it was a difficult looking place to get into : it isn’t although it does need an ideal wind direction in the north to north-west to stay in the anchorage there.
I know I have covered Lesconil in a separate post but we are back there again and this time we came in on a westerly wind which wasn’t forecast, so rather than using my previous anchoring spot about halfway along the beach I tucked WABI’’’ just to leeward of the ‘Men Ar Groass’ reef with the second deeper area of reef just downwind of us. All in all it made for a very snug anchoring spot with the slight swell breaking over the reef just upwind of us. As I write the wind is slowly working around to the north, I’m expecting the wind to go around to the north-east in the morning which should give us a reaching passage back to the west in preparation for the passage through the Raz de Seine in hopefully easier conditions than last time.
Picking up the Loctudy story then : it’s an easy entrance after the passage around all the rocks and reefs that seem to hold the boat off this coast all the way around from Pointe de Penmarch : the rocks and reefs extend almost to the entrance into Loctudy but they are well marked. Today as we handrails our way around from mark to mark the local guys in their fishing boats were working right up against and behind many of the rocky areas…..local knowledge I guess.
Speaking of fishing…..this whole section of coast from the Pointe de Penmarch around to Loctudy seems to be very important commercially for fishing. The 2 ports around the headland itself : La Guilvinec and Ste Guenole are almost entirely dedicated fishing ports only , Lesconil has a small fishing fleet and a Fishermans cooperative on the dock and then Loctudy has a fishing port separate from the yachting marina. We took a walk into town a couple of times here and the quickest route is through the ‘port de peche’ and it looks like a decent sized industrial operation with workshops, boatbuilders and an entire area for fish processing, distribution and at least 2 poissoneries that sell to the public. This morning as we walked up into town early, but not early by Fishermans standards the fish distributors were already packing vans ready to go off with plastic boxes full of fish and I guess crustaceans on ice. As we have found before they are pleasantly generous with their ice….giving Jax a whole bucket load for free this morning and that stocked up the coolbox nicely.
I have now moored, marina’d and anchored in a couple of different places in Loctudy and I really like it, even the marina was ok even though a couple of the Glenans boats that came in , 4 in total last night, were a bit exuberant, and very off-key, with their boozing and singing for a while : luckily it rained so that damped them down a bit !. One oddity, or difference I note with say Uk marinas is that many of the French ones like Loctudy have quite short and very narrow finger berths. They are plenty long enough for our pip-squeak boat as we just fit entirely inside a berth but most boats have their sterns out in the run between successive pontoons. The set-up is slightly odd as well in that often there is only one cleat right at the end of the finger berth and then 2 for head ropes (bow-lines) . That works well for me during the few times I go into marinas solo because I use a breast line technique to moor solo anyway. For bigger boats there isn’t much time to stop and get a line on that first cleat on the way into the berth…..I noticed this morning that at least one of the Glenans boats were just doing ‘ins and outs’ obviously practising marina berthing which can be pretty tight in France.
Trendy….chines and square windows.
The marina is ok…as marinas go, there is water and power on the pontoons, a fuel berth, heads and showers up by the port office and friendly helpful marina staff . We only spent the one night there, plenty to go into town which was about 10 minutes walk and just a bit further to walk up to the supermarket in the opposite direction. We hit town first just on lunch time on a Monday so most businesses were closed anyway : the supermarket was open but I noticed here as with other supermarkets that I have shopped in that Monday is a bad day to shop…by Tuesday they seem better stocked especially with fresh veg. Tuesday morning (today) and the very nice boulangerie is open and there is a small open market running just at the head of the port creek.
The size perspective.
There are a couple of mooring fields just upriver from the entrance and notably one over on the Ile Tudy side near the quay on that side where a ferry service runs from the marina to the Ile-Tudy shore….it’s not really an island either , just named that way. Just to the north of the main moorings is the entrance to the Riviere De Pont L’abbe and a useful anchorage creek : the Anse de Pouldon. Those 2 are split by an island , the Ile de Chevalier : I anchored both sides while I was there just to try out both sides. The best anchoring area in the river side is only a few yards off the bank of the river and almost in the river channel. There is a very wide mud-flat area around another small island that side : the Ile du Rats, where I could easily have dried out on a soft mud/weed bottom. The river does go further inland at least up to the Pont L’Abbe itself….I didn’t go that far this time but just poked around the first couple of bends in the wooded river.