We have arrived in Plymouth, but we did not plan to stay in Plymouth for a long time, so after two days we left towards France. When we left we weren’t sure if we would go to Brest or if we wanted to keep on going and cross the Bay of Biscay in one go. We wanted to check the weather forecast when we were closer to France and decide then.
The trip to France started with good winds, but also quite high waves. Because of this we found the trip tiring. It was ‘only’ about 1,5 day but we did not find it easy. Because of this, and because of the weather forecast we decided to go to Brest and wait there for a better weather window to cross the Bay of Biscay. Miguel was quite excited to go to Brest, but it proved to be a bit of a disappointment. The area where the marina is, is very industrial. We walked around for a while but it was hard to find a nice view since there were buildings in front of everything. After one night we decided to go to Camaret-sur-Mer, 2 hours away from Brest by boat, where we could stay at a mooring buoy.
A fender goes swimming
Arriving at the buoy when well, but when we were attaching the lines I saw that our big ball fender was in the water! We could not retrieve it straight away, since our dingy lay deflated on deck. We tried calling the marine (their website said they would be around upon arriving to check you in and help if needed), but we did not get through. We saw our fender drifting further and further towards the beach. After a while we decided to inflate the dinghy as fast as possible, hoping we could still catch the fender somewhere. Whilst doing this I saw a small boat cruising toward the fender and picking it up. Luckily the boat stayed around, so after inflating the dinghy (which went well, but I found it much harder than I thought it would be!) we put it in the water, attached our outboard and went on a mission. The idea was to film all of this, but of course our go pro went out of battery..
The boat that picked up our fender was still around. The guy in it was fishing. He did not speak much English, but he did understand what we were asking and he gave us our fender. Yaay! So much excitement!
Our outboard goes swimming
2 days later we wanted to go for groceries, as preparation for crossing Biscay. We took our dingy and went to shore. We had done this before whilst it was high water. Now it was low tide. When we were almost at the shore, we heard a weird noise and the next thing we know, our outboard jumped out and was sinking. See the red dot on the picture? That’s where we were. We weren’t going fast, so Miguel could grab it, but it is a heavy one: around 50 kg. He could not get it back in place from his position. By trying this, he took a plug out, and the boat started to sink too! I realized that I had not put my phone and wallet in our wet bag, so I quickly transferred them to it. We waved for help to a passing boat, and with 2 people it was easy to put the outboard back in place. It had been in the water for a while, so it didn’t start anymore. The guy who helped us gave us a tow to Saetta. We could not thank him enough!
The rest of the day we spent cleaning the outboard and at the end of the day it seemed to work. The next day we planned on going to the marina, where we would be able to dry run it for 30 min. to be sure everything was fine. If you want to see how the process of fixing the outboard went, check out this video.
In the morning we went to a pontoon. Due to crosswinds, it was not easy to park, but Miguel did very well! Of course, the whole marina enjoyed the show of us parking! But our tries would soon be forgotten, because one hour later we saw a boat, which was trying to leave the marina, crash into another boat! That was devastating to watch. There was a massive hole in one of the boats. We felt so bad for both the boat owners.
This accident made me quite nervous about leaving, but after much consideration, Miguel found the right way to work with the wind. He was able to manoeuvre Saetta smoothly out of her berth! And we were off to cross Biscay! You’ll read more about this in our next blog post!
And what about us?
We did not go swimming yet, since the water is quite cold. We are really looking forward to continue our journey and going to get closer to Portugal. Because of this we do struggle sometimes to enjoy the trip in the moment: we are always looking forward, wanting to go to another destination, checking the weather forecast to see if we can go and when. But it was good to stay in France for a couple of days, to slow down and visit Camaret-sur-Mer.