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Voile Houat - Golfe du Mobihan

 

 

The Little Sea

Three rivers fed into the tidal inland sea.  The Golf has many anchorages, moorings and is an exceptional area to visit.  It offers an extensive range of water activities.

During spring tides the currents run at nine knots in the busy and narrow channels.  If you are cruising and sailing here, make sure you are competent and know the rules of the road.  Ferries, coastal freighters, high speed ribs and thousands of vessels use the busy channels.

The Golf has a rich and diverse history.  There are extensive circles of standing stones and tumulus from the megalithic era.  The sea has risen and covered many relics.

Along the Riviera d'Auray and the shore paths around Port du Bono are traces of the mussel industry.  A virus in 1974  wiped out the labour intensive methods.

 

 Cuisine and Culture


Take advantage of the opportunities to eat out the cafes and brasseries.

Sample  France's great reputation for its cuisine but also observe its proud culture.  The extended family eating meals around the table is part of the great tradition.

Port du Crouesty Marina

Brittany's Atlantic coast line has huge marinas and support a thrive yachting industry.  A classic example is the modern marina at Port du Crouesty.   It is celebrating its thirtieth anniversary this year.

Nautiloc provide a wide range of yachts for charter and an a excellent service at great prices. I like their Dehler yachts because of their sailing pedigree. They move and ghost along in any zephyr. In a six knots of breeze we were sailing at three knots boat speed. With the effect of the out going tide this became four knots. 

On a busy summer days at the height of the holiday season mayhem develops.  Sailors who've escaped the demands of city traffic jams create nautical chaos.  Dense ebb and flows of boats vie for visitor berths, fuel, water and shower.  It's great entertainment and fun to watch. 

The sensible sailors anchor on their secret idyllic hide away coves. 

Ten miles south across the Baie de Quiberon is a rocky underwater peninsula and the magical island of Houat.  The fabulous Trech'h er Goured sandy beach is a mile long and provides a great anchorage. Beware if the winds shifts to the east! I and it seems the whole of the French sailing fraternity love this place. I think Houat may mean Heaven. 

Along this rocky exposed coast you need to be aware of the countless beacons marking hazards.

Navigation and pilotage is dependent on cardinal marks, supporting miscellaneous marks and channel marks.

I would never, ever be 100% dependent upon GPS.  For boat safety, a combination of chart work, pilotage and the use of the depth finder is the way to go. GPS is the safety back up.  

Eddy Jackson | Shreditor | 54° North Video


Terschelling-Waddenzee-Video

 

             Terschelling's famous Strand                                  

 

Terschelling  is one of five inhabited Frisian Islands off the Nederland's Coast,  with the shallow Wadden sea on the south of the island and the North Sea  to the north.  It is the second largest island the largest being Texel.  The island is long and thin in shape, with no where being more than half an hour from the sea.

 

 


 
Terschelling is a low level island at risk of flooding and erosion.  Dykes built around the salt marshes known as polders form a line of defence on the south of the island. The practice of building polders has also enabled the islanders to reclaim  land from the Wadden sea for agriculture and prevent coastal erosion.
 

On the north side of the island there is over 30 miles of beautiful sandy  beaches, some are over a kilometre wide.  Vegetation adapted to the sand dunes and salt marshes such as sea meadow grass, sea lavender have  grown up to form a natural form of defence and prevent erosion.

The  climate on Terschelling is very different to the mainland.  The winters  are milder and the summers cooler and there is less rain, surprisingly  the island enjoys more hours of sunshine than the rest of the  Nederlands.

Tourism is a key industry for the island.  Visitors are attracted by the stunning beaches to the north of the island or the  Wadden Sea which is an important nature reserve to the south.  Many  visitors hire bikes to explore the island's numerous low level cycle  paths or follow the sign posted walks. Some prefer to visit the island  for the important annual Oerol arts festival

In the summer the  island's population increases by five times.  The visitors use either  the car ferry or high speed passenger catamaran, from Harlingen on the  mainland, to reach the island.  They travel by car, bicycle or as a foot  passenger and stay in the many hotels, apartments, cottages or camp  sites. Other visitors use alternative forms of transport such as a sea  going barge or yacht and stay in West Terschellings busy marina.

This video is part of a series about the concept of the Anthropocene.

Eddy Jackson | Shreditor | 54° North Video