Paludin to l'Aber Wrac'h - Friday, 29 August, 13 miles

The forecast offered light winds in the morning, getting up F5 North Westerly in the afternoon.

After shopping in Llanalis - an excellent town for the purpose - we dropped the mooring at 10:30 and motored down the river. At l'Aber Wrac'h, we were able to make sail and tack down the channel until we came abreast the Passage de la Malouine, where we headed North between the rocks under engine. Outside, the tide was still foul, and the wind hardly F1 North Westerly, so we made very slow progress to the Ile Vierge, where we considered going inside, but didn't as we wouldn't be able to lay the course back out to sea again.

At 13:40, the wind quickly increased to F5, as promised, but from the North East, which was not what we expected or wanted! After a short while, it started to rain, and we found we couldn't lay anything like the course. So we turned round and scuttled back into l'Aber Wrac'h. Coming up the channel we were making 11 to 12 knots, but, of course, we were now sailing free in smoother water.

We picked up a buoy in l'Aber Wrac'h, and were visited by a local cat enthusiast who worked for the French equivalent of Trinity House. He said that all the steel buoys were to be replaced by new high-tech plastic ones, but that the new buoys were mostly gathering dust ashore, as Chirac had cut off their funding before they could lay many of them.

We invited a couple we'd met the previous day to dinner, and had a very convivial evening. One nice feature of cruising in an area closer to home is that you meet many more people with whom you can socialise. In Spain, there were very few yachts, and further South in France, we found our French good enough for business, but not really for easy social chat with the mainly French yachtspeople we met.