Once again Saskia VII joined the annual club rally to Cherbourg which culminated in the BBQ hosted by Cherbourg Yacht Club in St Martin's Bay in beautiful weather. However we did not return to Weymouth with the rest of the club boats, but set off on our summer cruise on Monday 19th June. We set sail for Guernsey, but the weather and wind were so favourable we decided to just keep going. With the assymetric kite set we made great progress sailing through the night, arriving in L'Aberwrac'h for breakfast.After two days of sweltering heat we left L'Aberwrac'h for Camaret. From Camaret we sailed through the Raz de Sein for the first time in thankfully benign conditions to Concarneau, where we explored the old walled city.

Next stop was Port Louis in Lorient. We visited the old Nazi submarine pens which were fascinating. We also visited the Eric Tabarly centre, which celebrates his achievements and sailing in general.It seemed that most of the French Open 70 fleet were based in Lorient and it was great to be able to see the latest foiling boats and a foiling mini transat.However mooring up a foiling Open 70 requires some very bespoke fenders to protect the foils!

Our next stop was the beautiful Ile d'Yeu which turned out to be packed with French yachts on a rally, but fortunately we found a space. We then headed for La Rochelle and sailied under the famous bridge linking La Rochelle to the Ile de Ré. Our final southerly destination was the Ile d'Oleron where we are currently enjoying some fantastic beaches. We are now planning our return trip to Weymouth and hoping for southerly winds!

This has been our first cruise south of Camaret and we have been assisted in getting here by club members. First, thanks to Lynn and Ray Capp for sharing some of their South Brittany cruising experiences and lending us their charts and pilot book. Secondly (along with many other sailors) we owe thanks to WSC Trustee Jeremy Parkinson, whose RCC Pilot book " Atlantic France" has been our bible.

Mark and Rima Bugler

Submitted on Thursday, 13th July