Thursday, 29 October 2015

Homeward Bound 2015

Sailing from Oleron was like being the ball in a pinball machine as the winds turned every day to a different cardinal point.  Our options were to zigzag with the prevailing winds or wait stubbornly until a steady wind from a good direction blew our way.  As the season draws to a close and we have to start paying attention to the calendar, we decided to make a series of small hops from Oleron to Bourgenay and then almost due west to Yeu island flying the gennaker.
A sunset sail to Bourgenay, arriving 1 hour after dark. The deck lights work well !

The spinnaker halyard got away from us leaving Oleron.  The only thing we could do was turn around in the water a few times to get it to wrap itself around the backstay.  It held up under 2 meter swells and 20 knot winds.
Yeu island is one of our favourite spots on the French Atlantic coast and we had it entirely to ourselves… not a single other visiting yacht in port the day we arrived !  We rented bikes and enjoyed stretching our legs along the south coast and the old chateau.

A favorite picnic spot on the south coast of Yeu.

The chateau from the sunny side.
After two days on the island the winds and tides made it possible for us to make a 43 mile trek to Piriac, the last port in the Quiberon bay before heading into the Vilaine river and our home port of Arzal.

Heading to Arzal in the cold rain.  Time to call it quits.

Morning raindrops in our cabin.  Really time to call it quits...
Over the last few weeks, the cooler weather has led to condensation in the mornings and a feeling that all our clothes and bedsheets are wet.  We have 2 heating systems (one hot / dry air fan and one oil-bath radiator) and they keep things cozy, but they’re just no good at drying out clothes folded and closed up in cabinets or closets.  On our last morning in Piriac, we were woken up by cold drops of condensation raining down on us, convincing us that it was really time to call it quits for the year and head home.

Mareda is tied up on an offshore floating dock in the Vilaine river, waiting for the sails, dodger and bimini to be removed before really snuggling down for the winter.  We’ll pull her out of the water from mid-January to mid-April.  I guess the good news is that I’m too exhausted to be sad after the last 2 days of moving.  The house is littered with bags and boxes of damp clothes and equipment needing to be washed, dried, and stored, so we’ll stay busy for quite awhile.  And tomorrow we head out to our local boat show to see if we can buy even more boat stuff at good prices, so we don’t feel too land-bound just yet.


Astrolabe Sailing said...

While you're packing up we are gearing up! Summer is on the way here.
I'd be interested to hear more about your heating systems. Did you go with the options when you bought the boat?
I'll miss reading about your adventures while your tucked up at home!
Cheers Viki.

Sailing Mareda said...

This is a great North-South trade-off ... over to you now for the next few months ! We didn't get the pulsed air system in the boat but rather opted for our own portable heaters. We figured that anytime we were sailing in the colder weather we'd most likely be in ports rather than moorings, so we'd have shore power. We may break down and get a small kerosene or other gaz type heating system for those times when we aren't plugged in, but all of these together are still much cheaper than the on-board system and we can direct the heat where we want it.