La Rochelle — Saint-MaloStartharbour: La Rochelle
Boarding after: 17.05.2021 10:00
Departure: 17.05.2021 18:30
Port of destination: Saint-Malo
Arrival: 22.05.2021 04:00
Debarkation before: 23.05.2021 10:00
Days on board: 6
Suggested donation towards jorney expenses: 595€
550 nautical miles
The Bay of Biscay – French islands – The English Channel – Intense Sea-traffic – Tidal currents
Sum and substance
The passage across Biscay is going to be quite intensive, both experience and seamanship-wise. The Bay of Biscay is known for its’ tough character. In the spring it becomes even more fresh and unpredictable.
After Biscay we are going to experience 8-knots tidal currents by the Channel Islands (Guensey and Jersey) and the destination of the journey is going to be Saint Malo known for its 10 meter tides and the most amazing Mont-Saint-Michel abbey, the inspiration for the Minas-Tirith from the Lord of the Rings movie.
After saying goodbye to legendary La Rochelle, we are going to visit some French islands in the Bay of Biscay.
What can be better than anchoring by an blooming island, where you can only travel by boat. For example, the Noimoutier island used to be one of these rare and precious destinations. Now it is connected to main land by a rocky road that submerges twice a day during high tide.
Pierre-Auguste Renoir, the famous French artist used to call Noirmoutier a “delightful little nook of the Earth”. The climate here is soft, pine trees surround the seashore, a little inland flower fields frame an impregnable IX century castle.
We continue our journey along the Brittany coast, looking for ancient rock paintings, that you can still find throughout this region. We might stop by Belle-Île known to any connoisseur as it was quite favored by the French artists, then we pass the Raz de Sein with its powerful currents and the Ushant island veiled in dark ancient legends and mentioned in the sea-shanty Spanish Ladies. There a lighthouse marks the entrance to the English Channel.
We are not going to see the Channel Islands Guernsey and Jersey, but their 8-knot currents are going to be quite noticeable.
The destination of this passage is the magnificent city of Saint-Malo, the homeland of the the famous French corsair Surcouf also known as the King of Corsairs. Traditionally at all times one of the ships in French navy is Surcouf’s namesake.
From Saint-Malo you can take a short road-trip to the famous abbey Mont-Saint-Michel where the tides reach 14 meters. According to druidic legends the abbey is located above the ancient underground Dragom Sanctuary, which these days is hidden under Carolingian basilica.
We are going to cover 550 nautical miles, tame and conquer the Bay of Biscay, ride the tidal currents and navigate in the dense sea traffic of the English Channel. There are going to be plenty of night watches. All that sums up to an impressive record in your yachting log book.
As always we are going to teach you to handle the square rig, but this time around everyone interested can learn to calculate tides and currents so that the ship is safe from underwater rocks and islands hidden in the fog. We will demonstrate and explain the insidiousness of currents combined with swell and wind and teach you to use that great natural power them to your advantage.
How to get to La Rochelle:
- 3 hour train trip from Paris.
Schedules and tickets: http://www.sncf.com/en/passengers
- 7-9 hours by bus from Paris.
Schedules and tickets: https://www.flixbus.fr/
- by plane to La Rochelle airport.
How to get out of Saint-Malo:
- By bus to Paris (Porte Maillot, CDG, Orly Sud, Massy-Palaiseau, La Défense, Quai de Bercy) about 6 hours. Schedules and tickets: https://www.flixbus.fr