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Leg 14-07-06 till 27-07-06: Pascal, Anja, Rob and Salvatore
Brest to Scilly 155miles, 6bf
2. Scilly to Glengarrif 198miles, 0-3bf
3. Glengarriff to Inishbofin 169miles, 3bf
4. Inihbofin to Barra 244miles, 5bf
5. Barra to St Kilda 85miles, 4bf
6. St Kilda to Lochboidsdale 122miles, 3bf
8/7: Drive to Brest
on Sat, we leave for Brest, with a stop in Tarare to collect antifouling
paint and reach the Imram in the night. After the transfer from
St Malo to Brest in January 2006, the Imram has spent the rest of
the winter moored at the quay in .
9/7: Port Launay to Moulin Blanc
After the locks
of Guilly Glaz, the boat is in salty waters again. On its way motoring
to the Rade de Brest, the Imram meets its younger and bigger brother,
the Viskoulen of Pascal & Marie. Once in the Rade, we hoist
sails and the Imram loses its status of "peniche". Quick
check of the various lines and we moor in the Moulin Blanc harbour.
10/7 - Fri 14/7: Preparation
after receiving its first antiflouling coat (in June 2003, in St
Malo, before leaving for Greenland), it is about time to renew the
protection of the hull: wakeup at 6 am, drying out, cleaning with
pressurised water and a ride by travel-lift to the boat storage
area on land. Sofar so good ... but the Imram has 35 m² of
wetted area, all of which needs to be sandpapered manually to rid
the boat of the fresh-water mini-shells from Port Launay.
raft is sent to Gloaguen in Concarneau for refurbishing, further
paint is collected in Plongour Lanvern, and the jib goes to Incidences
in Brest for repair.
On Tue we start
repainting hull, rudders and deck. Peter leaves in the afternoon.
Wed afternoon, the boat is already back in the water. Moored next
to the boat of Bernard Stamm, Anja has no difficulty locating the
Imram on arrival from Geneva late Wed evening ... Next day, she
actually gets invited on-board by the skipper in person ! Salvatore
arrives together with Anja and Pascal reaches Brest Thu at lunch,
thus completing our crew.
The last charts
and pilot books meanwhile arrive at the Capitainerie and the local
ship chandler. By Fri morning, July 14th, we're ready to leave,
except that we still need fuel. In principle a triviality, were
it not that a beautifully shining blue boat all but blocks the access
channel to the fuel station, with a 4 Bf wind abeam. Fuel at last
being taken, we leave the Port du Moulin Blanc ... the first time
the boat is sailed without Peter on board ! We're a bit early for
departure with evening HW, so we do some manœuvres in the Rade,
and then set off for the Isles of Scilly.
14/7 - Sat 15/7: Moulin Blanc to Scillies
étant terminés, nous décidons, après
une longue attente de va-et-vient devant la pompe à essence,
de larguer les amarres et d'entamer notre première traversée
vers les îles Scillies. La météo est favorable
avec un vent de 4- 6 Bf NE et la mer est agitée, toutes les
conditions réunies pour mettre à rude épreuve
nos estomacs pas encore amarrinés ... Nous passons en fin
d'après-midi au SW des îles d'Ouessant et après
une bonne estimation de notre route, nous voyons se pointer à
l'horizon les îles Scillies. Enfin le moment tant attentu
de savourer notre première "pinte" de bière
au pub le Mermaid !
14 juil 2006
We are in the goulet de Brest. Excellent conditions. Great
mood. Will keep you up to date. Imram :-)
The weather forecast is favourable - good weather
and 4-6 Bf NE. In practice, the wind is towards the upper end of
this range, with only occasionally stronger gusts. Prudence prompts
us to take the somewhat longer route SW of Ouessant. Approximately
half- way, we discover that we've picked up a stowaway, a homing
pigeon. He (or she ?) quietly sits on the halyards and doesn't object
when we move him around to adjust the sails. We reach the Isles
of Scilly Sat late afternoon - well in time for a beer at the Mermaid.
The pigeon, seeing St Mary's, decides to leave us.
No motor (except for departure and mooring), and
no GPS used. The latter is an achievement given that we're equiped
with a log of which about a third of the relevant pixels fails to
15 juil 2006
Just arrived and anchored in Scilly. Excellent conditions.
6bf. 6knots with 2nd reef no jib. 8 knots with jib. Arrival
from the south straight on target. No GPS. All happy. Starboard
compass light does not work; any spare bulbs anywhere? Email
doesnt work, PC misses driver. Log display damaged.
16/7 - Tue 18/7: Scillies to Glengarriff
un magnifique coucher de soleil, nous quittons les Scillies pour
traverser vers l'Irlande. Les prévisions météorologiques
sont favorables pour ces prochains jours et nous décidons
de passer par la côte ouest de l'Irlande. La traversée
fut calme et agréable, une légère brise constante
nous a accompagné jusqu'au Fastnet rock, phare mystique qui
indique l'approche de la côte irlandaise. A l'aurore, nous
entrons dans la baie de Bantry pour finallement arriver, après
avoir longé la côte intérieure sur plus de 18
M, à Glengarriff.
prenons l'annexe pour aller au village et durant le trajet, nous
constatons qu'une petite île, jouxtant le port, est à
vendre. Par contre, quelle ne fut pas notre surprise en débarquant
à terre quand nous découvrons, juste en face du ponton,
une pancarte qui indique que l'église est à vendre...
La visite de Glendarriff s'est achevée par la dégustation
d'un plat local, morrue et biensûr accompagné d'une
l'après-midi, au moyen de l'annnexe, nous sommes allés
visiter les îles environnentes. Là, sur de gros galets,
se doraient au soleil une quantité de foques, qui nous ont
inspirés à faire de même et terminer par une
bonne sieste !
marked by the first incident-free departure from the Isles of Scilly:
both in 2003 and in 2005, engine problems made the stop definitely
at sunset, we have a steady breeze for the first half of the crossing
to Ireland. Later, the wind dies but the excellent weather remains.
At midnight Mon to Tue, we pass within a few cables N of the Fastnet
rock, thus completing the rounding of this racing mark (we had passed
to the S of the rock in 2005). After rounding the cape, we enter
Bantry Bay heading for Glengarriff (Gleann Garbh).
does justice to its Riviera reputation: the temperature is 31 C.
One of the more famous Irish anchorages, and founding place of the
Irish cruising club, the place is remarkably beautiful with its
numerous small islands and seals, surrounded by green hills - a
cross-breed between a Mediterranean and a Scandinavian landscape.
16 juil 2006
lots of sleep. Minor repairs. Planning to leave this evening
to bay of Bantry. Expecting moderate wind tonight. Navigation
pizza will be prepared soon. ;-)
18 juil 2006
in Bantry bay. Fantastic! Relaxed crossing, 3bf calm sea.
Later motor. 36 hours, 200 miles. Fresh bread was cooked once
pizza was finished. All in excellent mood, including imram.
18 juil 2006
are planning to leave tomorrow morning to Inishbofin (with
Killary harbour as back-up solution). Weather is expected
to be fine for 2 more days. Reminder: spare mèche de
safran are needed. We still do not have a copy of ATT NP201-06,
no real problem though.
Red LED 3mm mounted on cable is needed for compass light.
Rob is suffering the heat (31°). We are eating excellent.
19/7 - Thu 20/7: Glengarriff to Inishbofin
On the morning of our departure, the vast high pressure
zone over Ireland decides to turn cyclonic and much of the leg therefore
took place in the haze and drizzle more usually associated with
these isles than the weather we sofar enjoyed. Inishbofin only emerged
when we're a mile from the distance, after an approach by radar.
Once nearby, the harbour entry transit is well visible - which is
fortunate given the narrowness of the entry. In the harbour entry,
the echo sounder decides that it is getting too cold. Henceforth,
it refuses to show soundings when this could be useful. In exchange,
it does regularly show remarkable readings in open water.
Soon after arrival, the weather clears up. Gradually,
the harbour fills with sailing boats, with an accordingly crowded
pub in the evening as a result ! Weather remains good on Thu, reason
for a hike in the hills of the island.
20 juil 2006
in Inishbofin. All fine. Very smooth crossing. Info: we do
not have specifications for engine oil, hence no oil yet.
Pleas confirm meeting day in Lochboisdale.
Conditions remain good in the north, we plan to continue afterresting.
21/7 - Sun 23/7: Inishbofin to Castle Bay (Barra)
eggs for lunch after the hike, then departure between the islands
off the coast and ... on to the Hebrides, some 220 M from here.
Anja has meanwhile become an expert in working out distances and
courses between coordinate points, as well as in doing the transformations
between rhumb lines and great circles. Needless to say that no GPS
at first, but a steady fresh Easterly breeze all of Sat as the fronts
pass that are associated with the low pressure zone to the W. One
thunder cloud passes straight over us in the night.
the steep cliffs of Barra Head emerge from the clouds - the sure
sign that we've arrived in the Outer Hebrides and a good occasion
to have breakfast with the Hebrides Overture by Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy
(granted, this was composed with Fingal's cave in mind, which is
not exactly nearby). Around lunch time on Sun, we reach Castlebay
(Bágh a' Chaisteil). A quiet village, with a surprisingly
large number of sailing boats - many showing Tallisker flags. After
a visit to the excavations of a neolithic settlement, we go for
a hike over the hills and then ... to the pub - as usual. In the
pub, an elderly couple, with musical instruments, from the nearby
island of Vatersay tells about life when they were young. Circumstances
in those days are hard to imagine nowadays - while since 1991 a
causeway (just 250 m long !) connects Vatersay with Barra, Vatersay
used to be inaccessible for days. Given the shallow waters, only
tiny boats could be used to transport good, people and cattle to
and from Vatersay.
comes in a number of variants: lovely Scottish weather means that
it doesn't rain continuously, one may actually see the sun at times;
with fine Scottish weather, it will of course rain continuously,
but it should not snow much; with fair Scottish weather, the July
blizzards may still be manageable and one doesn't want to imagine
what poor Scottish weather would be like. So on Mon morning, we
decide to go for a cream tea - in the open air, it is fine Scottish
weather after all. Not surprised in the least, the lady of the place
kindly supplies plastic sheets to be put over the benches so that
we remain dry from below. Eating sufficiently fast, we also manage
to keep the scones dry. It has to be sayd that everything we ate
there was of remarkable quality: not only were the scones freshly
baked, even the bread used for an, in every respect superb, sandwich
of locally smoked lamb and locally grown (organic) greens, was made
on the spot.
21 juil 2006
Still unsure about your arrival date. Denmark sounds good.
Leaving soon for Barra. Had wonderful morning exploring Inishbofin!
24/7 - Tue 25/7: Castle Bay (Barra) - St Kilda
The low pressure zones keep arriving and we sail
to St Kilda with tailwind, mostly in the fog and haze. Levenish
appears when we're only 5 miles away. Soon after, also the amazing
cliffs of St Kilda emerge out of the clouds. After mooring in Village
Bay, Anja's birthday breakfast is served: pancakes, clementine marmelade
from the Isles of Scilly and other goodies.
The island has been inhabited for at least 1000
years until 1930. In that year, the last inhabitants were evacuated
- life on the island, which had always been very tough, had become
unsustainable. Volunteers for the Scottish National Trust have,
over the last 40 years, done a truely remarkable job reconstructing
the village as it existed when it was abandoned. Their dedication
is only rivaled by the quasi religious care with which the army
has succeeded in destroying the charm of the place with a cold war
missile tracking station, implanted near the heart of the village
with a giant generator buzzing all the time, cars driving to the
radar on the hills and helicopters bringing in supplies.
24 juil 2006
Barra for St Kilda. Scones eaten on terrasse in fine scottish
weather. Stuck toilet fixed. No chart was bought here. Till
soon. :-) Imram
dinner, announced to consist of appetisers, several primi and a
cake, prompts for a walk. St Kilda has to be visited to be appreciated
- Village Bay is probably a former glacier bowl with smooth slopes
rising to about 400 m. Hardly any tree grows there - an indication
of the high winds which sweep the place. All around, stunning vertical
cliffs rise from the sea. The fog banks perhaps even enhance the
26/7 - Thu 27/7: St Kilda - Lochboisdale (S Uist)
Next day, after
a quiet night at anchor, we go for another walk and then sail around
the N side of the island to the Sounds of Pabbay and from there,
by spinnaker, to Lochboisdale (Loch Baghasdail). Lochboisdale is
our first crew-swap place with Peter, Susan and Mathilde arriving
and Rob leaving. Given that Peter is due to join here, the boat
is thoroughly cleaned ...
It is only when
travelling to Geneva that one realises how remote the Outer Hebrides
really are: it starts with a 6 h ferry boat ride from Lochboisdale
to Oban, then after several hours of waiting, two train rides of
2 h each to Edinburgh, a bus ride of an hour to the airport, again
several hours waiting a plane to London, a 1 h bus ride around London
and another plane to Geneva ... all in all, some 36 hours.
Précédent voyage: Index 2005
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Imram Voyage 2006 - Integral 12.50 - ACAPELA, sept 2007
pg & al