Tuesday 02/08/11 Camaret to L’Aber-Ildut

After stocking up on a few more supplies, filling up with water and getting everything together so that we were ready for the trip across to home in case our next stop didn’t have everything we needed, we left Camaret about midday to catch the tide up the Chenal du Four.

The Chenal du Four is another of those places that cause people to tut and shake their heads, or perhaps waggle their finger at you. Or, worst of all, tell you to ‘Pay attention’, while doing all of those things. Possibly the single most irritating thing anyone can do. I wouldn’t mind if it was just well meant advice, but generally these kind of encounters seem to exist purely for the bestower to inflict their perceived doom onto you. And I don’t want that, thank you very much.

However, having been to Brest a couple of times both of us had been up and down the Chenal du Four a few times already and knew its reputation well. On every occasion we’ve done it it’s been fine, including today. The reason for its notoriety is the tide. The Chenal du Four translates as the ‘Oven Channel’; presumably because the water moves so fast it bubbles and boils rather than an allusion to an obscure shopping channel, and the tides rips up or down it depending on what time you hit it.

This could obviously work in your favour or against depending on how well you worked out your timings, and thankfully today we timed it well and it was nice to see lots of other boats joining us at the south end just as a regatta fleet left it coming the other way and the tide turned to carry us north. Unfortunately the light north winds forecast picked up to the top end of a F3, so we got a bit wet driving into it and went a little slower than we would have liked. But still all good, and we moored up in L’Aber-Ildut just after 5pm. We’re planning to go straight from here to home as soon as the weather allows. Only 100 miles to go!


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